- Location Margaret River
Santiago FernandezHEAD CHEF: VOYAGER ESTATE
Spanish-born Santiago (Santi) Fernandez joined Voyager Estate in May 2017, bringing culinary expertise from his time in Michelin-starred restaurants Tristan in Mallorca, Restaurant Toni Vicente, Santiago de Compostella and Tapies Restaurant, Lleida before landing in Australia and taking the reins as Head Chef of Sault Daylesford, Victoria, for five years. His career has taken him from Spain to Germany, Mexico and Russia, working with small teams of four up to catering for 800 guests for the Spanish Kings Cup Sailing Competition.
Santi fell in love with Margaret River from his first visit, with the salty air and rugged coastline evoking fond memories of his upbringing in the small Spanish port town of Rianxo in Galicia. “The ocean is a great inspiration to me. being close to the coast provides me with a sense of calm and serenity… it’s just like being home.”
Santi leads Voyager Restaurant’s ‘wine-first’ concept, where every dish is carefully crafted to one of the wines. “Wine isn’t just a beautiful accompaniment to a meal; it is the seasoning that brings all the flavours together on the plate,” he says. Inspired by the creativity in the vineyard, Santi develops a new menu every two months, with every dish paying homage to the time, passion and craft put into each the wine.
At the same time, Santi has a strong passion for local produce that is seasonal, ethically sourced, and organic when possible. “I would like to create food based in the region – with wine, we talk of terroir, or the place it comes from. I want to create food du terroir.”
Offering a four or seven-course wine-lead degustation served daily, the Restaurant was recently voted ‘Best Regional restaurant’, ‘Best Regional Chef’ and included in the ‘Top 5 restaurants in WA’, by WA Good Food Guide.View other stars