This month, David Thompson, Ana Roš and Curtis Stone will descend on Margaret River, along with more than 60 of their peers, for the sixth Margaret River Gourmet Escape. Over four days, chefs, winemakers, growers and producers will rub shoulders with guests at intimate winery dinners or among the stalls of the Gourmet Village produce market, while at the main stage the likes of Pierre Koffmann and Duncan Welgemoed will go head-to-head on the topic of classical cooking.
The festival's well-loved beach barbecue is set to return, cooked this year by Rick Stein, Josh Niland, Curtis Stone, Peter Kuruvita and Shane Delia. Presented by Audi, this year's festival also celebrates the 50th anniversary of commercial wine production by Vasse Felix, which led to Margaret River's reputation today as a premier winemaking region in Australia and the world.
Local produce will be showcased by Margaret River native Matt Stone and his partner, Jo Barrett, both of Oakridge, who will prepare a lunch of foraged ingredients, while Josh "Koomal" Whiteland will lead guided walks of Cape Naturaliste, focusing on indigenous ingredients and the traditions of the Wadandi and Bibbulmun people, before hosting a casual dinner featuring native flavours.
Rising star May Chow will be joined by names such as Alex Atala and Rodolfo Guzmán at The World's Best Chefs Table, while wine buffs can catch UK wine writer Jancis Robinson at several events including the Cullen Wines annual chardonnay tasting, where guests will taste 21 of the world's best 2013 chardonnays with Robinson, James Halliday and Vanya Cullen, chief winemaker of Cullen Wines.
With a program like this, you might need a holiday from your holiday.
Margaret River Gourmet Escape, 16-19 November, various locations. Tickets available at ticketek.com.au/gourmetescape