Superb food and wine, exciting pop-up events and a fantastic line-up of culinary talent add up to one mouth-watering festival.
By Georgia Rickard & Paul Robinson
The annual Margaret River Gourmet Escape, celebrating the produce of Western Australia, is one of Australia’s most popular food and wine festivals. The event features an abundance of food, premium wine and a line-up of superstar chefs and winemakers.
- Where: Margaret River, Western Australia
- When: 16 - 18 November
- Price: tickets from A$40.80
From Perth, hire a car to drive three hours south to Margaret River or fly to Busselton, 50 kilometres (31 miles) north of Margaret River. Once you arrive in Margaret River, there are accommodation options to suit every budget. Visit www.margaretriver.com for more information.
Things to do at the Margaret River Gourmet Escape
Meet celebrity chefs
With the region’s spectacular natural beauty and its enviable reputation for fine food and wine, Margaret River Gourmet Escape attracts the world’s top culinary talent. This year’s international chefs include Nigella Lawson (author and television personality, UK), Andrew Wong (A Wong, UK), Ashley Palmer-Watts (Dinner By Heston Blumenthal, UK), Carole Iida-Nakayama, (n/naka, Los Angeles) Edgar Nunez, (SUD 777, Mexico), Jack Stein, (Rick Stein Restaurants, UK), Jake Kellie (Burnt Ends, Singapore) and James Lowe (Lyle's, UK).
Sample the best local produce
The Gourmet Village is the beating heart of the festival, located within the immaculate grounds of Leeuwin Estate Winery. Festivalgoers will have the chance to check out the chefs at the World’s Best Chefs Table, and sample the wares of more than 120 artisan food producers, restaurants, winemakers and brewers. There will be interactive cooking demonstrations and live music from the main stage throughout the event.
Unleash the sommelier within
While the Margaret River is a relatively young wine region – the first vines were planted in 1967 – it has quickly established a reputation for growing some of Australia’s best grapes. Chardonnay and cabernet are standouts in the region and the Gourmet Village will feature over 70 wineries offering tastings throughout the festival. You can also attend a beautiful meal matched with delicious wines at some of the local wineries.
Feast your way through Margaret River
Join one of the ticketed feast events and indulge in the freshest and most unique dishes in Margaret River. From long lunches to dinner by twilight, there are unique options to satisfy any craving. Don't miss crowd favourites including Feast in the Forest, Sunset, Beats & Bites, Fraser Gallop Estate Long Lunch and Dining by Twilight at Margaret River’s Secret Garden.
Go barefoot and gourmet
Buy tickets to the Gourmet Beach BBQ and you will dine on the shores of the Indian Ocean and enjoy cocktails, canapés and local produce cooked on the fiery grill. It's often a sell-out, so get your tickets early to join the fun as huge tepees will transform Castle Rock Beach at Dunsborough into a stylishly laid-back waterfront restaurant. With lunch and dinner sessions on offer, there's a chance for everyone to get in on the fun. After dining, dance the night away to a live band as the waves lap the sands.