Ultimate Winery Experiences Australia

Gourmet Escape 2017

The Margaret River Gourmet Escape returns for 2017 with an additional day added to the programme to celebrate the famed wine region’s 50th anniversary.  This year's event will run from Thursday 16th to Sunday 19th November.

Held each November, this unique event engages visiting food and wine loving audiences over a 4 day festival program. Since the launch, 80,000 passionate foodies have shared in the unique local flavours, incredible landscapes and fun atmosphere.

Tickets go on sale TOMORROW Friday 28th July at 12pm WST (2pm EST) so NOW is the time to explore the extraordinary programme and start planning your perfect Gourmet Escape.

This year’s line-up will see many fresh faces travelling from all corners of the globe including the worlds most renowned wine critic, Jancis Robinson OBE MW, as well as a special appearance from Australian favourite Curtis Stone who will officially open the festival at the Audi Gourmet Beach BBQ on Thursday evening. Pierre Koffmann (La Tante Claire, London), Luke Nguyen (Red Lantern, Sydney) and Asia’s best female chef May Chow (Little Bao, Hong Kong) will also join us, plus returning guests Alex Atala, Rick Stein, Dan Hong, Andre Chiang #14 on the World's 50 Best and local favourite Matt Stone!

Of course our UWEA members in Margaret River are always front and centre of the Gourmet Escape celebrations...

The immaculately-kept grounds of Leeuwin Estate are taken over each year to house The Gourmet Village, the beating heart of Gourmet Escape.  The Gourmet Village will operate between 11am and 6pm on Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th November.  This is where you can mingle with visiting chefs to discover Margaret River’s famed local produce and wine, as the best of the State’s food professionals and producers showcase what makes Western Australia such an incredible place to eat and drink.

Get up close and personal with your chef idols in The World’s Best Chefs Table, sip your way through emerging wineries at our Masters and Makers sessions and get hands on in the Lurpak Cookery School. There will also be live music on the main stage as well as interactive demonstrations and book signings with your culinary heroes. 

Tickets start at just $40, and give you access to over 120 artisan food producers, winemakers and brewers from across Western Australia.  However if you want to take your experience to the next level, the Leeuwin Estate Platinum Lounge ticket is your exclusive pass.  Raised up above the hustle and bustle of the Village, this premium experience takes place lounge style in the Leeuwin Restaurant and verandahs with panoramic views across the festival.

Included in your Platinum Lounge ticket is fast-track entry on arrival, a wine-tasting glass, two glasses of Leeuwin Estate wine, and plentiful food stations bursting with dishes created by Leeuwin Estate’s Dany Angove and the team including West Australian seafood and lamb – delicious! Take a sneak-peak at the menu here

Also returning this year is Leeuwin Estate's magical Feast in the Forest. Join renowned Canadian chef Roger Mooking (host of Food Network’s “Man Fire Food”) at The Safari Club, a rustic barn surrounded by pristine Marri and Jarrah forest. Here Mooking will be joined by Elvis Abrahanowicz and Ben Milgate (Porteño, Sydney), Canadian hunter-gatherer Michael Hunter (Antler Kitchen & Bar, Canada) and award-winning Adelaide forager Duncan Welgemoed, known for his contemporary South African style (Africola, Adelaide). Long, communal tables set within the grounds barn will provide the quintessential West Australian backdrop for this series of atmospheric lunchtime feasts and candlelit dinners, each accompanied by Leeuwin Estate wines.

If that's not enough, Leeuwin Estate will also host an intimate dinner with guest speakers, Luke Nguyen and Huon Hooke.

Specialising in Vietnamese cuisine, Luke Nguyen is a celebrated chef, restauranteur, television presenter, author, and gastronomic traveler. Luke’s restaurant, Sydney’s ‘The Red Lantern’ has won ‘Best Asian restaurant in Sydney’ a record six times, and as a presenter of multiple SBS shows, Luke has gained huge popularity with his programs being aired in more than 150 countries.

Huon Hooke is a multi-award-winning wine writer and international wine judge. A published author of 18 books on wine, earlier this year Huon was appointed Australian co-chair at the world’s biggest wine competition, the Decanter World Wine Awards in England.

Luke and Huon will share their stories as guests dine on a menu prepared by Leeuwin Estate’s chefs and perfectly matched to the Estate’s current and museum release Art Series Wines. More information.

Close by at Voyager Estate, we can't wait for Bali Eats & Beats.  Bringing a taste of Bali to Margaret River, Chef Kevin Cherkas and his team from his Jimbaran restaurant, Cuca, will take over the Voyager Estate kitchen, recreating his signature dishes for two special dinners on Thursday 17th and Friday 18th November. 

This will be a truly memorable, ultra-contemporary, ‘think outside the box’ foodie experience.  A sundown spent savoring mouthful after mouthful of magically crafted canapés, tapas-style bites, shared plates and best of the best of Cuca’s signature desserts, each delivered in a deliberate sequence and presented with Voyager Estate wines. 

Voyager's Head Chef, Santiago Fernandez had this to say about working with visiting international chefs:

“We (our team of chefs) are extremely lucky to have this chance to work alongside chefs from around the world.  If you want to cook well you need to learn from the best; this includes seeing different recipes, learning new techniques and tricks, watching how they organise their kitchen, what they do with produce that we use every day but is new to them, it all adds to your knowledge and is very inspiring.”

“It also means we can offer something different and exciting to our guests.  For this event with Cuca, if you can’t get to Bali to taste Kevin’s food, then you can come to Margaret River to sample their Bali experience, with the exclusive opportunity to see how Kevin adapts his menu to match with our wines.”

And finally, at Margaret River’s founding wine estate, Vasse Felix, 50th anniversary celebrations will continue during Gourmet Escape.

Barbados-born chef Paul Carmichael, executive chef at Sydney’s Momofuku Seiobo, will join with Vasse Felix Head Chef Brendan Pratt for a cutting-edge 5 course degustation with wines.

Paul is passionate about preserving tradition and bringing people together over food. At Momofuku Seiobo, named 2016 Gourmet Traveller Restaurant of the Year, he has garnered a reputation for experimenting with native Australian ingredients to discover, learn and celebrate new flavours.  Truly an evening to remember.

Click here for further details and tickets.

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Stay tuned for further details of these events and other exciting announcements!

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