Margaret River Gourmet Escape – Everything you need to know

  • For full coverage of the 2014 Margaret River Gourmet Escape, click here.

The time has once again come to celebrate the premiere for food and local produce event on the Margaret River calendar.

With chefs, TV personalities, media outlets and knowledgeable foodies flocking to the region to experience the best in produce, food creations and beverages, there are a number of events that are a must see on the Mail's list.

With something for everyone, from amateur food appreciator to fine dining connoisseurs, the Gourmet Village allows everyone to enjoy the culinary attractions of Margaret River as well as rubbing shoulders with the best of the best in the dining world.

The village has a mix of demonstrations, cooking classes, Q and As, as well as a host of new attractions to add to this year’s line up.

In particular, keep an eye out for the Siemens Culinary Classrooms, the free Lurpak Table Talks, the free Gourmet Village Brewhouse, the regional pavilions and the beginners wine tutorials at Around the Barrel.

Eagle Bay Brewery have created a very special brew just for the Escape.

To get a behind the scenes look at what it might be, click here.

Within the Gourmet Village, there are also a number of ticketed events that are still available.

These include the brand new signature sessions, where celebrity chefs will demonstrate their skills with spectators enjoying a glass of wine in the process, premium wine tasting presented by Wine Companion and a Canon Food Photography class are all available to be enjoyed.

There’s also something for the whole family with Rebecca Sullivan and Sibilla Gelke hosting interactive children’s classes Pick it, Make it, Eat it, with food quizzes and snacks to keep them entertained.

Rebecca Sullivan can also be found at the Margaret River Farmers Markets on Saturday hosting Australia’s largest jam session, performing demonstrations on how to make jam in the Village on Saturday and Sunday also.

The food on offer from dining establishments all over the state will send tastebuds into a spin.

For a larger version of the layout of the Gourmet Village, plus timetables, click here.

Heading to the Village for this reason alone is enough to celebrate the weekend at hand.

These are numerous other events are sure to captivate.

Click here  to find out what else is on in the Village.

Sunset, Beats and Bites: the ultimate WA dining experience, with a sunset and a glass of wine selected by wine writer Nick Stock guaranteed to cause good vibes. Enjoy the scenery at Gnarabup beach at the local White Elephant Beach Café, sipping local wines and eating canapés whilst listening to cool beats by Surahn from Empire of the Sun.

Table for Twenty – a Journey from Harvest to Table: Bondi Harvest teams up with White Elephant Beach Café  in Gnarabup to create the ultimate harvest to plate five-course intimate dining experience.

Chef Guy Turland together with local chef Rosie Griffiths have designed a five-course menu that will highlight all of the exquisite produce that the Margaret River Wine region has to offer.

Farm, Forage and Graze: Join home-grown Matt Stone and Swedish culinary star Daniel Berlin at Clairault Streicker Wines as they team up to create a relaxed long table style dinner with a focus on locally farmed and foraged foods.

See our interview with Matt Stone ahead of the event here.

Food for Thought: Prepare for a menu of delicious gourmet bites accompanied by matching wine as Australian food critic Matt Preston and world revered food critic A.A Gill talk you through some of the world’s most controversial food tropics with a panel of celebrity chefs.

The Mail were also delighted to have a chat with chefs Peter Gilmore, Melissa Kokoti and Poh Ling Yeow ahead of their appearances at Gourmet Escape, where all culinary masters have something very exciting in the works.

Tickets for these events are still available through Ticketek.

For a larger version of the festival map in the Margaret River region, click here.

Margaret River Farmers Market: Visit the local Margaret River Farmers’ Market, held every Saturday in Margaret River town, for a genuine taste of the region direct from the local farmers, growers and manufacturers.

A number of chefs and critics will be visiting the markets to host demonstrations and talks about using local produce. Click here to find out more.

Dinner with Evans and Tate: The evening presents an opportunity to relax with the chef and winemaker on the stunning suspended deck at Lake Cave.

Prepare to be entertained by a classical guitar under the stars on Thursday night as a menu of local produce from Gnarabar restaurant accompanies the finest wines from Evans and Tate

Neil Finn: A special one off performance by amazing singer/songwriter Neil Finn accompanied by Megan Washington and Gurrumul is planned for the Gourmet Escape weekend.

Under the stars at the amazing Sandalford Estate, one struggles to think of a finer way to spend a Saturday evening.

See our interview with Megan Washington ahead of the performance here.

Tickets for these events are still available through Ticketek.

To find more Fringe events, click here

IF you’re worried it’s too late to enjoy a Gourmet Escape Satellite or Fringe event, fret not as there are still tickets left to some of the top experiences.

  1. The Pierro Wine Dinner on Thursday night will be a true culinary treat. A six course degustation menu with exquisite matching Pierro wines will be served from 7pm at the delightful Studio Bistro. The evening will give Head Chef Malcom Chow an opportunity to highlight the amazing food that can be enjoyed through out the year, not just over the Gourmet Escape weekend.
  2. Friday sees wine heavy weight James Halliday grace our coast with the International Cabernet Celebration at Cape Mentelle. The event runs from 10am until 4pm and will include a barrel room cabernet tasting session followed by a luxurious long lunch.
  3. George Calombaris, Claude Bosi and Tony Howell will be creating a delectable masterpiece on Friday evening at Aravina Estate for the Siemens Collaboration Dinner. Hosted by drink and food journalist Max Veenhuyzen the evening is set to be a truly delicious way to begin your weekend.

The State Government has announced that the Margaret River Gourmet escape is so successful that they will be committing to funding the event until 2017.

“The Margaret River Gourmet Escape has moved the culinary landscape. No other event in Australia attracts chefs with such culinary talent,” acting tourism minister John Day said.

In just two years the gourmet escape has reaped dividends for Western Australia attracting chefs like Heston Blumenthal, Rene Redzepi and Massimo Bottura and generating $9 million in global publicity for the State.

“It has achieved critical acclaim, generated tourism, established itself as a leading food and wine festival on the world stage in just two years, and given Western Australia a significant share of the culinary spotlight,” Mr Day said.

“This is a fantastic event for Western Australia because it puts the State and the South-West firmly on the global culinary map,” regional development minister Terry Redman said.

“It provides trade potential and broad exposure for local producers as well as local employment and training opportunities.”

For more detail on the weather conditions for the big weekend ahead in Margaret River, click  here.

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