Restaurant Guide

A taste of place: The premium Margaret River wineries celebrating their stunning surrounds

Pairing sublime wine with fresh produce to create a culinary sense of place.

By BTYB Harvest Road
It's a simple truth in the culinary world: food tastes better when it's grown better. From the soil or the water it's grown in to the climate it thrives in to the people who farm it, local produce conveys a sense of place.
Nowhere is this concept more beautifully evoked than Western Australia's Margaret River and Great Southern regions, home to sustainable and ethical produce such as the Leeuwin Coast Akoya. Traditionally grown for pearls, Leeuwin Coast's farm in Albany is the only place in the world to grow Akoya commercially as a culinary delicacy. A delicate pearl oyster native to Western Australia, grown in the pristine waters of Albany and harvested using innovative aquaculture techniques, the Leeuwin Coast Akoya is featured on the summer menus of some of the region's finest restaurants.
Guided by his Galician heritage, Voyager Estate's head chef Santi Fernandez uses a light, minimalist touch in his continually evolving seven-course signature Discovery experience, aiming at all times to pay tribute to the wines, honour the ingredients and create a true culinary sense of place.
"Our pocket of the southwest region is rich, fertile and bountiful, and we can find everything we need to craft beautiful dishes that are uniquely of this place," says chef Santi Fernandez. Sarah Hewer Photography
"Some might think sourcing only locally is restrictive, but we find it liberating," says Fernandez.
"I love to see where the produce I use comes from and was lucky enough to visit the Albany Akoya farm to see Leeuwin Coast's sustainable techniques in practice. We are lucky to have such a strong and aligned community."
"At Voyager Estate we serve the pearlescent Akoya with green mango and wasabi and pair it with a glass of Voyager Estate Project L'Oeuf Blanc. It's an incredibly textural wine, just like the Akoya," says chef Santi Fernandez. Sarah Hewer Photography
Highlighting just how versatile local ingredients like the Akoya can be, chef Tony Howell at Cape Lodge showcases the Leeuwin Coast Akoya in his weekend Ultimate Summer Brunches menu for an interesting taste experience – a true conversation starter.
Chef Tony Howell of Cape Lodge. Sarah Hewer Photography
"We get fish straight off the boat, vegetables, olive oil, dairy and of course the amazing Leeuwin Coast produce from the beautiful Albany waters all sourced with ethical practices and sustainability in mind," says Howell.
"Western Australia has the most pristine environment and waters and to top it off farmers and producers that really care about the product – and you can taste the difference!"
"As part of our menu we serve an Asian-influenced dish – the Akoya sings alongside a simple yet masterful sashimi dressing accompanied by pickled daikon, miso dressing and ponzu sauce," says chef Tony Howell at Cape Lodge. "We pair the dish with the Estate's Cape Lodge Fumé Blanc. It's a great match with the crisp, clean flavours – perfect for summer." Sarah Hewer Photography
Brought to you by Harvest Road.
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