Margaret River Gourmet Escape: A guide to the ultimate foodie fest

Gourmet delights: Opening night at last year's Gourmet Escape at Castle Rock in Dunsborough, where celeb chefs and local foodies partied at sundown. Photo: Elements Margaret River.
Gourmet delights: Opening night at last year's Gourmet Escape at Castle Rock in Dunsborough, where celeb chefs and local foodies partied at sundown. Photo: Elements Margaret River.

As the hordes of festival goers and foodies arrive in the Margaret River region ahead of this weekend’s Gourmet Escape, we take a look at some of the hot spots and best tips to enjoy the weekend and catch your favourite celebrity chefs and experts.

While many events have sold out for the 16 to 19 November festival, there is still lots of great stuff available to immerse yourself in the best food, wine, beer and spirits the region has to offer.

The Gourmet Village at Leeuwin Estate

Plan ahead. Take a look at the program for the day and plan your schedule. There are many events within the Village to get into, and some require prior booking. Plan your day with your friends to get the most out of it.

Don’t bring cash. This year’s village is cashless and you can pay as you go with Tap and Go cards (Visa, Mastercard, Amex). If you don’t have a ticket to get in, don’t worry. You can buy at the gate.

Wear shoes you can dance in. There will be music playing all day and each day will culminate with a live DJ set from Hugo Gruzman (Flight Facilities, Future Classic) on the main stage. On Saturday he’ll also be joined by his great mate and party collaborator Tom Tilley (Triple J) to shake out your afternoon's eating and drinking on the grassy dance floor.

Try something new. Fever-Tree will be launching a new pink aromatic Tonic Water at the Gourmet Village – perfect for summer tipples; Black Swan will be trialling new dip recipes using locally-sourced ingredients; there’ll be cooking demos and skills sessions using great local produce; and sip and sample beer, wine, spirits and foodie treats from more than 100 artisan producers – many who use Gourmet Escape as an opportunity to launch new products.

Bring the children. They’re free if they are under 12 and there will be plenty of fun activities to keep them entertained. Look out for the Kids Corner.

Book the bus. There are shuttles available from Margaret River, Augusta, Yallingup, Dunsborough, Busselton, Broadwater and Bunbury to and from the Gourmet Village. Visit gourmetescape.com.au for more information.

More Gourmet Escape action

There are more than 50 events taking place across four days this year from Thursday 16 November to Sunday 19 November. 

Here’s a taster of what is still available to experience.

Gourmet Beach BBQ (Friday lunch/Sunday sessions).

Castle Rock Beach is home to the now-iconic Gourmet Beach BBQ event. 

This year there’s new innovations including a G&T produced exclusively for the Gourmet Escape by Margaret River Distilling Company and using the new pink Fever Tree Tonic.

Feast in the Forest (Friday lunch/Sunday sessions).

Enjoy a feast of flame cooked delights while sitting at long tables in a chic rustic setting.

World’s Best Chefs Table & Table of Eight sessions at the Gourmet Village.

Take the rare the opportunity to meet and dine with the world’s best chefs - Ashley Palmer-Watts (#36 World’s Best Restaurants), Alex Atala (#16 World’s Best Restaurants) , May Chow (Asia’s Best Female Chef) and Ana Ross (World’s Best Female Chef). 

Check gourmetescape.com.au for session times on the Gourmet Village page.

Three’s Company, Lamont’s Smiths Beach.

A Mod-European Dinner at Lamont’s Smiths Beach on Saturday nightdine with Brit chef Kirk Westaway from JAAN in Singapore, Pierre Kauffmann who mentored the likes of Marco Pierre White and Gordon Ramsay, and our own Kate Lamont.

Regional Flavours at Amelia Park

Enjoy a long leisurely Friday lunch at one of the region’s most talked about new restaurants and enjoy the fresh local flavours of food prepared by Matt Stone, Jo Barrett and Blair Allen paired with stunning Amelia Park wine.

Gourmet Village Escape Garden and Platinum Lounge on Sunday.

Take the Village experience up a notch and enjoy a premium experience from prime Gourmet Viillage real estate.

There’s also a number of Fringe events taking place across the four days of the food festival, including the Giniversity's Gin Blending Masterclass at the Village, Argentina to the Amazon at Larry Cherubino, O Sole Milo - An Italian Long-Table Lunch in the Olive Groves at Olio Bello and the Some Like It Hot Thai Banquet at Wise Winery.

For more information and tickets visit www.gourmetescape.com.au.