Milan shares hearty Irish food
Lyndey Milan falls in love with Irish hospitality, writes
LYNDEY Milan knew her next cooking adventure was never going to be easy. It’s one of the reasons she headed to Ireland – a place so famous for its warm and generous hospitality.
The last time we saw Milan in a TV food series was when she headed to the Mediterranean in 2011 with her son Blair for Lyndey & Blair’s Taste of Greece.
Sadly, the wonderful adventure ended in tragic circumstances after Blair suddenly died at age 29 of acute myeloid leukaemia back in Sydney, before the show even aired on SBS.
‘‘I knew that wherever I went next would be difficult because of Blair,’’ Milan says, ‘‘so I think to go somewhere English speaking was going to make it that bit easier.’’
In Milan’s true spirit, and to continue her and Blair’s dream, she spent September 2011 in Ireland to film her latest series, Lyndey Milan’s Taste of Ireland.
‘‘After spending that amount of time there – the hospitality, and the openness and the friendliness of the Irish, and their selfdeprecating sense of humour – I realise we are just like the Irish, there is that connection.’’
Milan kicks off her new series in Belfast, and in first-class style when she visits the dry dock where the Titanic was built.
‘‘It is such a romantic story. And the dry dock is just incredible to visit – it’s absolutely enormous.’’
As always, Milan combines her love of history and food, and here she steps back 100 years to create a dish from the Titanic’s menu, duck breast with Madeira sauce.
Throughout the eight episodes Milan reveals an Ireland rich in produce and meals, along with stunning scenery, and of course, its wonderful characters.
From County Cork, Kinsale and Clew Bay to Waterford and Dublin, she travels far and wide over this tiny island.
And in true Irish style she admits it rained for 23 days straight during her trip.
‘‘That’s Ireland – that’s why it’s called the Emerald Isle,’’ laughs Milan in her jovial spirit, a reason why she’s one of Australia’s most-loved TV personalities.
Lyndey Milan’s Taste of Ireland.
‘‘I like to go on the beaten track, but off the beaten track, in the fact that it’s more than just a food show – there’s history and culture. Food and culture are inextricably linked.’’
Milan is ready to silence those who think her show will be just about potatoes.
‘‘First of all, have you tasted their potatoes? They are sensational, and there is an awful lot more as well.’’
Some of her unforgettable moments in Irish cuisine include freshly caught mackerel, monk fish and turbot, plus home-smoked salmon to a classic spotted dog.
‘‘Cold waters grow such incredible seafood. The quality and diversity of (Ireland’s) seafood really blew me away.
‘‘I had those beautiful Galway oysters straight out of the river. I cooked seafood chowder at a really famous place called Morans at the Wier.’’
She also visits festivals, farmers’ markets and pubs. Milan admits she acquired a love for Irish whiskey during her travels.
‘‘Definitely, I found out I like Irish whiskey, I don’t like scotch. The Irish whiskey doesn’t have that real peat character, and it’s triple distilled, so Irish whiskey is absolutely sensational. And there’s nothing like Guinness on tap in Ireland – it tastes completely different.’’
She says it was hard not to enjoy the famous Irish hospitality and recalls the episode at a whiskey distillery.
Lyndey Milan’s Taste of Ireland: Premieres Monday, 7.30pm, pay TV’s Lifestyle Food.
Celebrity chef Lyndey Milan from