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Michael Weldon's food trends August 2022

One of the few positives to come from Covid in Australia is that people have returned to the kitchen and are spending more time cooking. This has led to a resurgence of nostalgic recipes being cooked at home. It is partly due to people searching for comfort during tougher and more unpredictable times.

Now that the world is more open and lockdowns are, we hope, a distant memory we’re still seeing people cooking those nostalgic recipes and they are popular in restaurants, too. It makes me happy, and I hope it’s something we will see continue for a long time to come.

The best thing about nostalgic recipes is that they are personal, led by memories, and there are few things as comforting as recipes from your childhood.

Here are three of my old family favourites. 

1. Fish and chips with potato cakes and yoghurt tartare

Fish and chips was our Friday-night tradition growing up, wrapped in paper torn open and spread out over the TV table. We’d fight for the best-looking piece of fish and the crispy chips. This recipe is very straight forward and all about good batter. 

2. Shepherd’s pie

My shepherd’s pie is a twist on mum’s classic recipe. The lamb mince has been replaced by diced shoulder and it’s cooked slowly and gently until falling apart. It’s a slightly fancier version of the classic but it’s got a deeper richer flavour and a perfect texture. 

3. Apricot bread and butter pudding

Bread and butter pudding was our Sunday-night staple growing up. Mum would use up bread at the end of the week and drench it in custard with sultanas. It would be baked until the top is crispy, and the bottom is soft and gooey. The apricot glaze elevates the original to the next level. Serve with ice cream, cream, custard, or all 3.