October School Holiday Kids Cooking Classes

Hurry, hurry: don’t forget to book the kids in to my Mini Chef  kids cooking classes during the October school holidays: September 30th – October 11th, 2019.  We’ll be making a wide range of delicious, nutritious dishes including homemade potato & leek soup, homemade hummus, pizzas (from scratch), homemade sushi, chicken yakitori, chicken vegetable stir-fry, … Continue reading

Snail Trail En Provence

The sweet smell of freshly baked biscuits was wafting through the air as we walked along the leafy path to the Savoirs et Saveurs de Montagne market near Gap, capital of the Haute-Alpes department in south-eastern France. But it wasn’t until I had passed by stalls laden with local honey, goats cheeses, potted herbs, home-made … Continue reading

Meditation on Quinces

It had a cloak of ash-coloured down hovering over its smooth golden body, and when it lay naked in my hand, with nothing more than its daffodil-coloured shift, it made me think of her I cannot mention, and I feared the ardour of my breath would shrivel it in my fingers. Isn’t that Aphrodite’s apple? … Continue reading

Lost in Japan

I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I agreed to accompany my sister Justy and her partner on a recent trip to Japan. She was keen to see more than the usual tourist sites in Tokyo and Kyoto, as was I, and to include a few days skiing in Nozawaonsen, a … Continue reading

Easter School Holiday Kids Cooking Classes

Hurry, hurry: don’t forget to book the kids in to my Mini Chef kids cooking classes during the Easter school holidays:  Monday April 15th –  Friday 26th, 10.30am – 1.30pm. My kids’ cooking classes aim to teach children to prepare a wholesome, nutritious meal which they love to eat and can reproduce easily at home. … Continue reading

Edible Christmas Cooking Classes

What gift do you most treasure at Christmas?  For me, the most precious is the home-made present, the one which expresses something of the personality of the giver.  It doesn’t matter how wacky it is.  In fact, its very imperfection is  part of its charm and humour. Some of my most treasured possessions are those … Continue reading

Dad Takes The Cake

What Dad doesn’t dote on cake? And what Dad doesn’t dote on a cake made specially for him by one of his children, even if it is a little lumpy? Some dads, needless to say, can get too much of a good thing.  When we were young, my three sisters and I spent many Sundays … Continue reading

Wild about Schnapps

It’s 2pm on an overcast Thursday and the Wild Brumby is packed. Rain and wind on the alpine peaks mean poor ski conditions and many skiers  have fled the slopes to stay inside. What better way to warm up than in this cosy, funky Schnapps distillery which doubles as a cafe/restaurant? Set up a few … Continue reading

Surprising Tashkent: the old and the new

It’s a warm sunny Spring morning in the thriving metropolis of Tashkent, capital of Uzbekistan, Central Asia.  As we drive along one of  the many busy multi-lane boulevards in the city, I can’t help but notice the amount of construction going on. A massive new skating rink is underway, a major presidential promise made by … Continue reading

Osteria Francescana: Everything Old is New Again

I’m re-publishing this article after Osteria Francescana won world’s best restaurant in the San Pellegrino awards again this year: Congratulations to Massimo Bottura and his team! It would be easy to walk past the world’s Number 1 three Michelin star restaurant and not notice it’s there. Situated in a back lane of Modena, a small city in … Continue reading

On the Silk Road: Divine Bukhara

It’s raining mulberries on our dinner table at the Nadir Divan-Beghi Madrasa in Bukhara, an ancient city on the Silk Road in Uzbekistan, Central Asia. They’re white mulberries, also known as silkworm mulberries (Morus alba), not the black ones which stain your fingers and clothes. Their leaves feed silkworms, those voracious little spinners whose fibres … Continue reading

Halloween

Halloween is looming. Mischief, witchcraft and magic are brewing.  The kids are carving out Jack O’Lanterns, dreaming up tricks for trick ‘n treating and donning black pointed hats and masks. Most of us today think of Halloween as an American custom, but did you know it’s actually the popular Scottish name for October 31st, the eve … Continue reading

The Valley Cookbook

The sun is high in the sky by the time I arrive in Glenning Valley, a good hour’s drive north of Sydney near Tuggerah Lake on the Central Coast. I’ve come to visit cookbook author Loukie Werle and her husband Philip Gore to talk to them about their impressive self-published cookbook, The Valley. A majestic stand … Continue reading