The four-day Margaret River Gourmet Escape will be an annual event with the potential to develop into the highest profile food and wine festival in Australia and the Asia-Pacific Region.
"Australia has a few good food and wine festivals, but Margaret River Gourmet Escape will be a truly international standard event, providing a fantastic attraction for locals and visitors, as well as priceless promotion for the Margaret River Wine Region and Western Australia as a whole," said Tourism Western Australia CEO Stephanie Buckland.
The first major signing for Margaret River Gourmet Escape is Heston Blumenthal, the owner of the famous Fat Duck restaurant in the United Kingdom and known throughout the world for excellence, innovation and creativity. He is currently rated in the top ten for San Pellegrino's awards for his new restaurant Dinner By Heston Blumenthal.
"I am really excited about coming to Margaret River. Firstly it's one of the jewels of Australia - the most beautiful setting, and it just happens to produce some of the best wines in Australia, and some of the most amazing produce," said Blumenthal.
|The Margaret River Gourmet Escape|
Ms Buckland said talks were underway with many more of the world's and Australia's top chefs and a number of culinary and wine 'celebrities'.
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 showcase premium WA wine and produce;
• A cocktail and wine bar will be located at one of the region's iconic natural locations. It will be home to a range of events from opening night festivities to live music throughout the event;
• Beach BBQ - will run at one of the region's best beaches on Saturday and Sunday with each day hosted by a high profile chef ;
• Lunch in the Vines - an indulgent long-table lunch at one of Margaret River's best known wineries featuring leading chefs and sommeliers;
• A unique and intimate dinner at one of the region's iconic tourist attractions;
• 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.
• Numerous other food and wine events throughout the region
While the event's major base will be at the Leeuwin Estate Winery, other wineries and businesses will also be involved.
Simone Horgan-Furlong of Leeuwin Estate Winery, which will play host to the Gourmet Village, said "Margaret River is making wines that are being recognised alongside the great regions of the world, yet we're still such a youthful industry. To have this kind of benchmark festival created within our region to showcase what we do, and bring the world's leading identities in food and wine to the district - it's a very exciting proposal."
Next to its reputation for exceptional food and wine, the Margaret River region boasts some of the world's most beautiful beaches, spectacular tall tree forests, cave systems, incredible surfing, whale watching and wildflower seasons, making it an extraordinary holiday destination for visitors from Australia and around the world. It's one of many extraordinary destinations in Australia's South West for visitors to the region to explore.
Margaret River Gourmet Escape is supported by the Western Australian State Government through Eventscorp's Regional Events Program which is funded by Royalties for Regions. Eventscorp is the events division of Tourism Western Australia.
Brand Events Australia, a subsidiary of global event management company Brand Events, will run Margaret River Gourmet Escape.
"Brand Events is involved in 12 Taste festivals around the world and is uniquely positioned to deliver the highest profile international line-up of any culinary event in Australia and the region," said Ms Buckland.
|The Margaret River Gourmet Escape|
An announcement regarding ticket sales to the Margaret River Gourmet Escape will be made in the coming weeks. To stay up to date with program information, ticket releases and travel options, visit gourmetescape.com.au and add your details.