WA Gourmet Escape Margaret River

It’s a full plate at the 2018 Gourmet Escape, with a line-up of international celebrity chefs and homegrown favourites.

Nigella Lawson is back for a second helping of the region after her appearance at the 2016 event, and will be joined by the likes of Rick Stein, Monica Galetti, Skye Gyngell and Tetsuya Wakuda. If you are an avid foodie, simply chasing a bit of celebrity action, or want to try the region’s premium wines, there is something for everyone this year.

To make your planning that little bit easier, we’ve listed five different ways to experience the festival. Have a read and choose your own adventure!

Gourmet Escape - Nigella Lawson

It’s all about Nigella

We won’t judge if you are just coming for the Nigella experience. We love her just as much as the rest of the world! Having fallen in love with the Margaret River Region when she attended the event in 2016, Nigella will take part in a series of events over the festival weekend including the iconic Gourmet Beach BBQ (Friday 16 November, Lunch and Dinner). You might also want to take part in Nigella’s Tea Party at Howard Park Winery (Sunday 18 November). A ticket to the Tea Party will include flutes of sparkling wine, locally baked treats, and a good serving of Nigella’s tips on cake. Top that off with Nigella’s appearance and book signing at the Gourmet Village at Leeuwin Estate (Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 November) and you’ll have the full Nigella experience covered.

Red Wine Winter Firepit Leeuwin Estate

Gourmet wine-lovers

Organise your transport and get ready for a full ‘Wine-lovers Weekend’. Wine connoisseurs will be spoilt for choice this year, with the prestigious International Cabernet Tasting and Long Lunch at Cape Mentelle with commentary by Sarah Ahmed (Friday 16 November), the Cullen Chardonnay Tasting & Lunch, with lunch by Tetsuya Wakuda (Saturday 17 November), and the annual Leeuwin Art Series Dinner (Friday 16 November). Vasse Felix, Arimia Estate, Cape Lodge, Yarri Restaurant and Fermoy Estate will also be joining the party in 2018, hosting distinct and unforgettable food and wine events over the weekend’s program of events.

It’s probably worth booking your ticket to the Amelia Park Spring Harvest Dinner if wine is your thing too. The event will bring together Australian-born Skye Gyngell of Spring London, with Danielle Alvarez of Fred’s Sydney and Blair Allen from Amelia Park Restaurant to celebrate the incredible local produce and seasonal cooking philosophy shared by all three chefs. With incredible views over the Wilyabrup Valley, and Amelia Park’s award winning wines, expect a thoughtful, unforgettable dinner inspired by West Australian spring flavours.

Lunch Tony Howell Seafood Ellensbrook

Hooked on seafood

With coastal inlets, the Great Southern Ocean and Indian Oceans, rivers, and bays, the Margaret River Region is a seafood lover’s paradise. Salmon, abalone, marron and crayfish are the prized picks of south west. Make sure you get along to Fishtales with Rick Stein at Wills Domain (Saturday 17th). Rick will talk about the sustainability of the seafood industry and will chat to local seafood producers in a thought provoking discussion. With a seafood menu prepared by Jack Stein (Rick’s son), and Seth James (from Wills Domain) your tastebuds will be satisfied, and a final Q & A with Rick Stein will leave you with some food for thought.

For the full ocean experience, join Guy Grossi’s Aboard Ocean Dream. The journey will take guests along the stunning Geographe Bay in an Ocean Dream Charters luxury, 25-metre twin-catamaran. Enjoy the ultimate Italian summer canapé reception with matched beverages, prepared by Italian celebrity chef Guy Grossi, the man behind Garum at the new Westin in Perth, all surrounded by the blue hues of the Indian Ocean.

Gourmet Escape Asian Inspired Food

Asian Inspiration

Asian food is so hot right now and the 2018 Gourmet Escape is picking up on this trend. New to the region, restaurant Chow’s Table, will host a Chinese Feast, and bring together three young guns of modern Chinese cooking for one high-energy evening of food, drinks, and story-telling (Saturday 17th). Andrew Wong from London’s Michelin-starred A Wong, Victor Liong from hipster Melbourne laneway diner Lee Ho Fook, and local hero and host Malcolm Chow will bring together a feast you won’t forget.

If Japanese cuisine is your Asian food obsession, booking into Niki Nakayama’s Chef’s Table at Miki’s Open Kitchen will be a must-do. The exclusive event has just 36 seats so grab your ticket fast. The evening will showcase the elegant Japanese cooking of Niki Nakayama from LA’s modern kaiseki restaurant N/Naka. As one of the stars of Chef’s Table on Netflix, this is the first-time Nakayama will bring her deeply personal, seasonally-inspired cooking to Western Australia.

Gourmet Escape Beach BBQ Festival

Party people

Let’s face it. Gourmet Escape might be about food and wine, but it is also about socializing, rubbing shoulders with the celebs, and just having a good time. If you are in the region for a bit of everything and want to frock up (or suit up) and have some fun, we suggest you secure your tickets to the Gourmet Beach BBQ held at the secluded Castle Rock Bay. The Gourmet Beach BBQ is one of the signature events of the festival and this year’s line-up has a beachside food and drink celebration for everyone.

Make sure you get along to the Gourmet Village too – a buzzing world of culinary excitement and the perfect opportunity to experience the delectable delights the region has to offer. Beef up the experience with a VIP pass which will give you extra special treatment.

Other iconic and popular events to include in your program would be Feast in the ForestSunset Beats and Bites, and Fraser Gallop Estate Long Lunch.

To top off the weekend, do not miss the Gourmet Escape closing party, held at The White Elephant Beach Café. Great food, music and vibes to finish the festival will leave you well and truly partied-out.