A beach barbeque, lunch in the vines and a 'gourmet village' at Leeuwin Estate Winery will be some of the events at the Margaret River Gourmet Escape food and wine festival, to be held in the south west in late November.
Internationally famed chefs Heston Blumenthal and Rene Redzepi will be the headline attractions at the four day festival, along with local talent, Greenhouse head chef Matt Stone and Dany Angove, the head chef at Leeuwin Estate.
Tourism industry bodies have responded well to Friday's offical announcement, with the Margaret River Wine Industry Association saying the event would take the region’s wine brand to the next level.
“Heston Blumenthal, the owner of the famous Fat Duck restaurant in the UK; Rene Redzepiu, chef and owner at the world number one restaurant Noma in Denmark are some of the key culinary drawcards appearing along with a number of wine personalities,” the association said.
“Leading a stellar line up of 25 international and Australian personalities, they will draw international attention to the captivating Margaret River wine region and its exceptional wine and food produce.”
The Australian Hotels Association was another industry body to welcome the announcement of the festival.
AHA chief executive Bradley Woods said the development of truly West Australian tourism events like the Margaret River Gourmet Escape is exactly the kind of state government support the AHA and hospitality and tourism operators have been calling for.
The high-profile chefs and celebrities attending Margaret River Gourmet Escape will be involved in a range of events, including;
- the Gourmet Village at the famous Leeuwin Estate Winery - the event hub will be open to the public and feature dozens of masterclasses, pop-up restaurants, cooking demonstrations, wine theatre, wine-matching programs, meet the winemaker sessions, live music, and premium WA wine and produce
- a cocktail and wine bar will be located at one of the region’s natural locations. It will be home to events including opening-night festivities and live music
- Beach BBQ - will run at one of the region’s beaches on Saturday and Sunday with a high-profile chef as host each day
- Lunch in the Vines - a long-table lunch at one of Margaret River’s wineries, featuring leading chefs and sommeliers
- Official Wine Routes - three to four themed wine routes throughout the Margaret River Wine Region
- Icon Celebration - A highlight event awarding an icon of the industry each year
The festival is the latest event to be funded by state government body Eventscorp’s regional events program.
Tourism minister Kim Hames said Brand Events Australia, a subsidiary of global event management company Brand Events, would run Margaret River Gourmet Escape.