The long-standing and spiritual home of the Gourmet Escape is Margaret River, and the best event experience is at the Gourmet Village at Leeuwin Estate on Saturday 16 & Sunday 17 November. I love this event and I’ve been to each one since it began in 2012. It is a mega huge event with a jam-packed program, so take my tips on how to best enjoy it in a previous post here.
If you a chef-fan, this is unmissable, if you love talking to passionate food producers, they are all here in one place and if you love eating and drinking lots of different and interesting local food, wine, beers and spirits, then the Gourmet Village is your one shop stop.
Held in the beautiful grounds of Leeuwin Estate Winery, the weekend-long celebration brings together world-class chefs (including Colin Fassnidge, Jock Zonfrillo, Danny Bowien, Amanda Cohen and more), exclusive pop-up bars and restaurants, and more than 150 local producers and wineries for an unmissable celebration of food, wine and friends.
And Marco White just announced he’s coming down to Margs on Saturday for a book signing at the Gourmet Village, an appearance at the Singapore Airlines Escape Garden and he’ll be on stage with Pierre Koffmann.
Special Features this year:
Chef’s Amphitheatre: It’s the Gourmet Village’s action-packed main stage, hosted by Matt Okine. See all the stars in action – including Colin Fassnidge, Pierre Koffmann with Marco Pierre White, Danny Bowien, Ivan Brehm and Amanda Cohen – with cooking demonstrations, thought-provoking talks, and live music throughout the day. Entry is included in your Gourmet Village ticket.
Consuming Conversations: A discussion of all things culinary with the hottest chefs in town. Unscripted, honest and free to attend, this year’s Consuming Conversations sessions will give you the chance to get up close and personal with some of the most influential food people on the planet. Entry is included in your Gourmet Village ticket.
Wine & Swine with Colin Fassnidge: Wine and a swine with your favourite judge from My Kitchen Rules. On Sunday 17 November, a select few will have the chance to chat with Colin during a short Q&A, sip on a glass of Margaret River wine and taste an exclusive porchetta dish inspired by Colin himself. I’ve seen Colin carve a suckling pig and I’ve tried his porchetta – this is one event that’s exciting and accessible. Tickets need to be purchased in advance for $55 (Gourmet Village entry not included).
Let’s Get Fizzical: A fun and fizzy pop-up bar, celebrating all things ‘sparkling’ – from wine to artisan beers, cider, pet nats, kombucha and even sparkling coffee. All can be paired with shucked-to-order oysters. Entry is included in your Gourmet Village ticket.
Battle of the Breweries presented by Besk: It’s all about beer at Battle of the Breweries presented by Besk, where local breweries will go head-to-head in 30-minute sessions throughout the day. After a guided tasting hosted by Elliot Moore from Besk, the audience will decide who comes out victorious. Tickets are $12 on the day.
Village Workshops presented by Salt & Company: A series of hands-on workshops to hone those kitchen skills. Choose from ‘Kombucha Pickled Seasonal Veg’, ‘Fresh Ricotta Curds, Vino Cotto Pickled Fig’ or ‘Handmade Gnocchi’ and enjoy a special ‘take home’ from every workshop (e.g. a jar of pasta sauce with your handmade gnocchi). Tickets need to be purchased in advance for $35, with Gourmet Village entry not included.
The Butcher’s Block presented by Australian Good Meat: Visit the Butcher’s Block for a series of daily sessions celebrating local beer and lamb. You’ll learn more about the fine art of butchery and innovative cooking methods while enjoying meaty canapés and a glass of wine to match. Entry is included in your Gourmet Village ticket.
Theatre of Drinks: A series of 30-minute interactive sessions that explore the ‘wide world of drinks’, with tastings to match. Hosted by Mike Bennie, topics include everything from ‘Pet Nat Party – Naturally sparkling wines 101’ to ‘Fancy wines for the Cellar – A chat/tasting about fancy reds’ and ‘Wild Beers – the new wave of experimental brewing’. Tickets are $15 on the day.
Grand Marquee Wine Tastings: A brand new attraction at this year’s Gourmet Village, specially designed for wine connoisseurs. Over a two-hour session (including 45-minutes of tutored tastings on Margaret River Cabernets and Chardonnays), guests will have the chance to trial top-end wines from some of WA’s best wineries, plus meet the winemakers themselves. These prestige drops will not be available anywhere else in the village. Tickets need to be purchased in advance for $40, with Gourmet Village entry not included.
The Lilydale Gourmet Fried Chicken Bar: Good things come to those who wait. And we know you’ve been waiting 365 days for this one. The Lilydale Gourmet Fried Chicken Bar is back at the Gourmet Village, putting a twist on an old classic… fried chicken. You’re invited to taste one of three gourmet buckets topped with local WA ingredients, all handpicked exclusively for Gourmet Escape. Unsure of what to order? Luckily, Lilydale’s expert chefs will be on hand to guide hungry Village-goers through their all-important bucket and flavour choice selection.
The VIP Experience: Experience the Gourmet Village like a VIP, with exclusive access to the Singapore Airlines Escape Garden or the Westpac Leeuwin Estate Platinum Lounge. VIP passes include fast-track entry, complimentary food and beverages, private amenities and exclusive access to VIP reserve areas. We’ve been into the VIP area and I can tell you, it’s AMAZING. There’s the Escape Garden at $140 and Platinum Lounge at $250 – the most amazing Gourmet Escape experience you’ll have.
And for the kids…
The Little Kitchen presented by Rapids Landing Primary School: Who says the Gourmet Village is just for grown-ups? Over a series of 45-minute sessions, youngsters will get the chance to plant their own basil plant or hand-build some delicious and nutritious rice paper rolls. Tickets are $10 on the day.
For more visit www.gourmetescape.com.au
For all the info and the full program, visit gourmetescape.com.au