In Food + Drink

Your Last-Minute Guide to Margaret River’s Gourmet Escape

Gourmet beach barbecues, Cape Naturaliste tours with Wadandi man Josh “Koomal” Whiteland and yoga among the grape vines? Gourmet Escape is hotting up to be better than ever.

The award-winning Margaret River Gourmet Escape weekend is bearing down, and we have your last-minute guide to all the action that you can jump in on over the four days.

Showcasing unique world class produce, the work and experiences of food and wine celebrities, and the stunning landscapes of Australia’s south west, the Gourmet Escape is one of WA’s most revered food and lifestyle events. Taking place from November 16 until 19, the four day festival sees more than 50 different free and ticketed events occur.

Located at Leeuwin Estate, the Gourmet Village is the hub of all the festival activity. A vibrant celebration of all the region, the grounds at Leeuwin Estate will be teeming with artisan producers from all around the south west. From free food and wine sampling, to a beer battle, celebrity chef appearances, live music and even cookery classes, there is plenty of action within the village to keep you busy. Gourmet Village passes start from $40 for one day general admission, with VIP packages and multi-day passes also still available for purchase.

If you want to further your foodie experience and explore more of what the Margaret River region has to offer, consider jumping on some of these last-minute tickets before they sell out.

Twilight Cape Cultural Tour and Native BBQ at Cape Naturaliste

Be guided around the top of Cape Naturaliste by Wadandi man Josh “Koomal” Whiteland, learning about native Australian bushfoods and the history of the Wadandi area. Considered an expert on bush tucker, Whiteland has consulted on the topic to both Rene Redzepi (Noma) and David Chang (Momofuku). Finish the easy 2.5km bush walk with a casual BBQ around a campfire, while listening to didgeridoo performances and dreamtime stories. Tickets are $120pp, on Saturday 18th November, at 4:30pm.

Regional Flavours At Amelia Park Winery Restaurant

The spotlight is put on ethically-farmed produce and locally foraged ingredients at this decadent 5-course lunch. Cooked by Amelia Park owner-chefs Blair and Renee Allen, and co-executive chefs at Oakridge Wines, Matt Stone and Jo Barrett, the lunch is a collaborative effort and showcase of their different styles. Pair the feast with a glass or two of some of Amelia Park’s elegant, fruit-driven varietals. On Friday 17th November, 12:00pm and tickets are $280pp.

Audi Gourmet Beach BBQ

A sell out event last year, the Audi Gourmet Beach BBQ is a fine representation of what West Australians do best. Walk the sand of Castle Rock Beach barefoot, and help yourself to gourmet BBQ delights cooked by celebrity chefs Curtis Stone, Rick Stein, Peter Kuruvita, Josh Niland and Shane Delia. On entry, receive a cocktail and graze on canapes, before moving on to the free flowing local beer and wine for the rest of the evening. On November 16 until 19, 12:00pm and 5:30pm.

Bao & Beer at Bunkers Beach House

Asia’s best female chef and owner of Hong Kong’s funkiest bao burger joint, Little Bao, is bringing her bao prowess to Bunkers Beach House for one night only. At this casual style canape event, you can chow down on some of May Chow’s famed steamed bao buns, and sip on some of the finest wines and craft beers from the region. The ticket includes 2 drinks on arrival, with more available for purchase throughout the evening. On November 18, 6:30pm, and tickets $85pp.

Three’s Company: A Mod-European Dinner

Joining chef Kate Lamont for Three’s Company in her kitchen at her namesake restaurant Lamonts, is award-winning Brit chef Kirk Westaway of the Singaporean restaurant JAAN, and Pierre Koffmann of La Tante Claire. The 6-course mod-Euro feast will feature the very best of seasonal ingredients (including Exmouth prawns, local marron and wagyu rib) matched to Lamont’s famously full-bodied wines. A Q&A with Koffmann will also take place after dinner. November 18, 6.30pm, $280pp.

Yoga in The Vines at Watershed Winery

Do yourself a favour and start your day off the right way, with an outdoor morning yoga session amongst the vines at Watershed Winery. The hour-long class is followed by a healthy breakfast full of local produce, served on the winery’s large, wrap around balcony. November 17 until 19, 8:30am, $45pp.

(Lead image: Opening Night at Castle Rock Beach Photo: Elements Margaret River)

Published 10 November, 2017