Heath Townsend was born and bred in the Margaret River region, and learned his trade in the rare occasions when he wasn’t surfing. Starting an apprenticeship at the tender age of 15, he gained great experience at the bustling bistros of Oriel and Astoria in Perth before heading to two different coasts in search of surf and work experience. First came Australia’s East Coast, then America’s West, where he gained a stint at the Boulevard Restaurant in San Francisco under Nancy Oakes.
But it’s in the Margaret River that Heath has made his name, both as a chef and a proprietor. Having served as head chef at Wise Vineyard in 1993, two years later he negotiated a lease with Ron Wise for the restaurant. Twenty plus years of hard work, smart decisions and great food have followed, based on the principles of sourcing the best produce from the region and the state to create food that is as renowned as the wines.
Heath puts the region’s joys into his cooking and his business. Family, food, wine and surf: good things happen when you focus on the important things in life.