The Margaret River Gourmet Escape (Nov 18th, 19th, 20th) as most foodies will know is one of the South West’s, if not WA’s biggest food events. The event has just been awarded the Best Tourism Award at the Australian Event Awards and this year, I’m lucky enough to be hosting The Audi Gourmet Beach BBQ Series events all weekend.
I’ll be joining guests who will be treated to uniquely designed cocktails made with artisan Gourmet Escape gin. Ashley Palmer-Watts crafted this exclusively for the event in collaboration with award-winning local distillery Limeburners. There will be a selection of local wines and live music, generous canapes and a sizzling grill being cooked by celebrity tong-masters including chefs Frank Camorra (Movida Melbourne), Rick Stein, Mike McEnearney (No. 1 Bent St Sydney) and Guillaume most what’s most exciting is that they will all be accompanied by our very own, very talented local Perth chef Jesse Blake (Petition Kitchen).
This event is the perfect opportunity to discover and taste highly acclaimed wines as well and local produce. With over a huge amount or events including 40 notable chefs coming together from around the globe, this is a great chance to learn and gain special knowledge on the culinary trade. I know I will definitely be making the most of that!
With 70 wineries to visit and over 350 wines to try, chef demonstrations, interactive masterclasses, over 130 artisan producers and 10 of WA’s best restaurants planning is the best way to make the most of your day. We’ve put together a list of 10 unmissable attractions to get your taste buds firing.
1) Check out the Chef’s Theatre schedule to know when your favourite chefs will be on stage cooking up a storm with local produce. Special guests include Nigella Lawson, Rick Stein, Dominique Crenn and Frank Camorra, to name a few, with host Adam Liaw.
2) Love a sweet fix? Join the new Sweets and Treats Masterclasses with the wonderful Rebecca Sullivan. Instead of using refined sugar, Rebecca will show you how to use gorgeous alternatives such as local honey, Bahen & Co chocolate and seasonal fruit to create treats with a little less guilt to take home with you. There are 4 sessions per day, $10 each and you can book on the day.
3) Meet Nigella! If you get in quick there are still a few places left on Sunday to pre-book your place to meet the UK’s queen of cooking and have her latest book signed while enjoying a glass of Margaret River wine. Book online now!
4) Have your say in the Battle of the Breweries presented by Mane Liquor. Over 4 sessions each day, beer connoisseurs will be able to taste and learn about some of the south west and WA’s best beer where breweries will go head-to-head in a battle that will ultimately crown Gourmet Escape’s Best in Brew 2016!
5) Sharpen your skills at the free-to-attend Wüsthof Knife Skillery workshop. Learn from the best with Guy Grossi, Ben Knights, Scott Pickett, George Cooper, Hadleigh Troy, and Mike McEnearney all taking turns on the knives. Hone your cutting skills whilst preparing local cuisine and enjoy eating it at the end of each session.
6) Appreciators of wine will enjoy Around the Barrel. Wine expert Nick Stock will unlock the secrets to what makes the perfect wine and how to enjoy it, featuring the region’s top wineries and their winemakers. Book on arrival.
7) Take advantage of trying dishes from some of the region’s top restaurants, chefs and produce in the one location. There will be 10 to choose from including Leeuwin Estate, Vasse Felix, Xanadu and Rustico at Hayshed Hill and each will provide a tasty signature dish to enjoy throughout the day.
8) Sample the region’s best produce, wines, beers, spirits, treats and temptations from more than 100 artisan producers. Think of the Gourmet Village as your one-stop South West shop!
9) Get up close to the stars of Margaret River Gourmet Escape at the Gourmet Greats presented by Winning Appliances – pairing our visiting chefs with local produce and cooking demos – and Consuming Conversations in association with Food Network where some of the world’s best discuss the latest food trends and thought provoking topics. Both are free to attend.
10) Plan ahead. Check out the program online to schedule in your favourite activities – http://www.gourmetescape.com.au/programme/gourmet-village/ and pre-book your tickets online – it’s cheaper and you can avoid the queues.
Gourmet Village entry starts at $40 ($30 for Seniors) plus booking fee and there are a number of packages available, which include Village Currency, tasting glasses, premium experiences add-on events or for those of you who do not think one day is enough, a Weekend Pass.
Village Currency Cards are new for 2016 and used to purchase food & wine. These can be purchased in advance (for collection on the day) or from roaming Currency Sellers inside the village in $30 increments. Currency can be topped up throughout the day and importantly any unused currency can be refunded at the end of your village experience.
Are you an Audi driver? Audi customers get preferential parking (Stevens Road entrance) fast track entry and access to the Audi Customer Lounge with complementary beverages and reserved seating.
Bus transfers are available via Southwest Coachlines from Bunbury, Busselton, Dunsborough, Yallingup, Augusta and Margaret River. Check online for details.
Tickets are available via Ticketek. For event information visit www.gourmetescape.com.au