Fresh grape juice for those hot summer days.

Does anyone have grapes climbing and growing over the trellis on their back terrace? If you do, then this machine is for you. And what is this contraption you may well ask? This contraption makes delicious, natural, pale green coloured grape juice. All you do is put the fresh grapes into the container, they are [...]

By | 2017-10-03T15:48:26+11:00 October 3rd, 2017|Food, France and cooking, Fruit in season, Grape juice making, Grapes|Comments Off on Fresh grape juice for those hot summer days.

Autumn is Chestnut season

Autumn is chestnut time and they are now appearing in the fruit markets.  Chestnuts, unlike other nuts and seeds, are relatively low in calories, carry less fat, but are rich sources of minerals, vitamins and phyto-nutrients that benefit your health. Chestnuts always remind of another old favourite sung by Nat ‘King’ Cole, Christmas song, 'Chestnuts [...]

By | 2016-12-07T19:32:25+11:00 May 18th, 2016|Chestnuts, Desserts - chilled, Food, France and cooking, French food, Recipes|Comments Off on Autumn is Chestnut season

Duck fat – rendering and its uses

Duck fat - the good news!  Duck fat is a ‘good’ fat, rich in monounsaturated fats with a lower cholesterol than butter. We often cook duck breasts in our French Odyssey cooking classes and duck leg  tagines in the Mediterranean - Touch of Spice classes and frequently people are amazed to hear that duck fat [...]

By | 2016-12-07T19:32:26+11:00 February 17th, 2016|Condiments, Cooking classes, Duck fat, Musings|Comments Off on Duck fat – rendering and its uses

Dee Nolan’s wonderful book ‘A food lover’s pilgrimage to France…’, wine, food, history, people and produce along the way of St James

I loved everything about this book! ‘A food lover’s pilgrimage to France: from the vineyards of Burgundy to the mountains of the Basque country food, wine, walking and history on the French pilgrim paths to Santiago de Compostella’ - it is one of the best books I have ever read. Remember, in my former life, [...]

By | 2016-12-07T19:32:26+11:00 February 16th, 2016|Books, Culinary writing, France, France - wine, France and cooking, French food, French wine|Comments Off on Dee Nolan’s wonderful book ‘A food lover’s pilgrimage to France…’, wine, food, history, people and produce along the way of St James

Sens and La Madeleine – renewing acquaintances with Chef Patrick Gauthier

La Madeleine, with 2 star Michelin chef, Patrick Gauthier, was the special highlight dinner during my 2007 stay at La Varenne residential cooking school in Burgundy. Coming back to Sens this time on the barge was a wonderful opportunity for us to book La Madeleine and for me to meet up with Chef [...]

By | 2016-12-07T19:32:26+11:00 September 7th, 2015|Barging on the Betty B, Culinary Travel, Culinary writing, France, France and cooking, French food, Restaurants, Travel, Truffles|Comments Off on Sens and La Madeleine – renewing acquaintances with Chef Patrick Gauthier

Food and wine on the Betty B barge

Travelling in France is one of my wonderful joys in life. I love the beautiful countryside, the delightful and interesting people, the history of the places we visit, plus of course French food and wine. On each visit I look forward to a few special dinners or lunches at some wonderful restaurants and brasseries, both [...]

By | 2016-12-07T19:32:34+11:00 September 11th, 2014|Barging on the Betty B, Cheese, Culinary Travel, Food, France, France and cooking, French food|Comments Off on Food and wine on the Betty B barge

A Mediterranean Dinner hosted by the WD Epicureannes

Many months ago, the Western District Epicureans, based in Hamilton, invited me, via my long-standing school friend and their committee member Leigh, to cook with them for their April Epicureannes dinner. It was themed ‘A Mediterranean Dinner with Tonya’. The idea was that their committee of 5 would be led by me, as we do [...]

By | 2016-12-07T19:32:42+11:00 April 11th, 2014|Cooking classes, Figs, Food - spices, Guest Chef - Special Event, Morocco, Musings|Comments Off on A Mediterranean Dinner hosted by the WD Epicureannes

Soufflé magic with Daniel at On the Ridge

Over January, at On the Ridge, in Queensland, I enjoy working and planning menus for the year’s classes.  I love to cook a variety of  dishes, playing around with ingredients, just for fun. Soufflés are not new on the menu at Cooking on the Bay; there is usually a goat’s cheese soufflé in our French [...]

By | 2016-12-07T19:32:42+11:00 January 23rd, 2014|Desserts - fruit, French food, Fruit in season, Musings, Recipes|Comments Off on Soufflé magic with Daniel at On the Ridge

January at On the Ridge! Day dreaming of La Varenne

January is always a precious time for me. The cooking school is in recess and I spend the month at Kureelpa, Sunshine Coast, where On the Ridge Cooking School was created. It this idyllic place with wonderful valley views and further out to the Coral Sea, surrounded by peace and tranquillity, warmth and blue skies. [...]

By | 2016-12-07T19:32:43+11:00 January 23rd, 2014|Books and reading, Culinary Travel, Culinary writing, France, France and cooking, French food, Musings, Travel|Comments Off on January at On the Ridge! Day dreaming of La Varenne