AND THAT’S A WRAP 2017!
This year has marked our sixth year, and saw us joined by over 50 of the world’s leading food and wine personalities including Curtis Stone, to celebrate the Margaret River wine regions 50th anniversary through a record number of events.
Curtis officially opened the festival with our hallmark event, the Audi Gourmet Beach BBQ on Castle Rock Beach, and reflected on his brief time back in Western Australia, where it all began: “I had an absolutely brilliant time in Margaret River. It’s a testament to the region that this truly outstanding event continues to attract the very best international culinary talent, it’s a world class event that needs to be on everyone’s bucket list.”
The world-renowned father and son duo, Rick and Jack Stein confirmed their love affair with WA and its premium produce, taking part in the festival for the 5th time. They both thrilled fans at the Gourmet Village, during Ricks ever-popular book signing while Jack teamed up with former pro surfer Taj Burrow for a “surf and turf” main stage talk.
Rick said this year’s event was hard to top because he had Jack by his side. “He keeps me in line,” he said.
Joining these Global Superstars at the festival this year was an enviable line up of new and returning food and wine talent, including chefs from the World’s Best Restaurants* Andre Chiang (#14 Restaurant Andre, Singapore), Alex Atala (#16 D.O.M., Brasil), David Thompson (#28 Nahm, Thailand), Ashley Palmer-Watts (#36 Dinner by Heston, UK) and Rodolfo Guzman (#42 Borago, Chile), World’s Best Female Chef Ana Roš (Hiša Franko, Slovenia) and Asia’s Best Female Chef May Chow (Little Bao, Hong Kong). They cooked alongside a raft of local and Australian talent, forming bonds likely to create meaningful business and personal relationships for years to come.
Passionate festival goers who visited The Gourmet Village at Leeuwin Estate got up close and personal with their chef idols at demonstrations & book signings, sipped their way through acclaimed and emerging wineries and got hands on in the Lurpak Cookery School. Many local producers used the opportunity to showcase new and emerging products to grow awareness and get new audiences excited about what they’ve created. The added music program created a great vibe and set the scene for an amazing weekend.
Over a breathtaking four days, organisers, chefs and personalities were raving non-stop as this year being the best event to date, some highlights include –
- Back for the third time, Brazilian chef, Alex Atala, described Margaret River and the food and wine experience as “next level” to what he’s experienced around the world
- Larry Cherubino of Larry Cherubino Wines cellar door said feedback has been really positive. “I loved that the guest chefs were front and centre in the kitchen. I enjoyed our first foray into Gourmet Escape a lot. The event gave us some great ideas for next year and we’ll definitely do it again.”
- Seth James of Wills Domain on working with Andre Chiang – “It was an honour to cook with him and experience delivering Andre’s Octaphilosophy at Wills Domain. “All of the eight elements resonate with our unique Margaret River environment and we got to showcase the best of local produce in our collaboration. It was a memorable night for everyone in the room.
- Chef Kirk Westaway from Singapore visited Gourmet Escape and Margaret River for the first time and said it was an incredible location. “The food and ingredients have been amazing and it’s an exciting place to be. All of the food I use in Singapore right now is based on European seasons, so it’s in the reverse here. The freshness of the vegetables and the flavour contrasts I’ve had here compared to what’s available in Singapore (which comes from all over the world) is really special. I’d like to return to Singapore with a lot more involvement in Australian produce,” he said.
- Wine personality, Nick Stock – “What a beautiful way to close out the 2017 Gourmet Escape festival in beautiful Margaret River. 28 tastings and talks, three beach parties and the most fun I’ve had in all the six years”.