Seven must-eat foodie events at WA’s Gourmet Escape 2019

Travelling Well | Sofia Levin | Posted on 17 October 2019

Enjoy a moveable feast at WA’s Gourmet Escape 2019 food festival.

Some of the biggest names in food will descend on Western Australia  next month for the annual Gourmet Escape food festival. Held in Western Australia from 8 to 17 November, for the first time the event will run over 10 days and extend beyond Margaret River to Perth and the Swan Valley. More than 50 culinary luminaries will preside over as many events, with tickets ranging from budget to blowout. Some big-ticket dinners have already sold out, but there are still plenty of reasons to go. Here are seven of the best.

Western Australia's annual Gourmet Escape food festival will see some of the biggest names in food cooking up a storm with more than 50 events.

Meet Netflix’s culinary rock stars

You may recognise Momofuku star chef David Chang from his appearances on Netflix’s Mind of a Chef, Ugly Delicious and soon, Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner. On 15 November you can see him live in action cooking at the Gourmet Beach Barbecue, a signature event where teepees, fairy lights and local food transform Castle Rock Beach, just north of Margaret River, into an epicurean fairytale. Meanwhile, the protagonist of Mind of a Chef season six, chef-owner of New York’s Mission Chinese Food Danny Bowien, will partner with Malcom Chow of Chow’s Table in Yallingup to prepare a ‘new-school’ Chinese feast with beer from Gage Roads Brewing Co. Australia’s own Mark Best, cookbook author, restaurateur, photographer and star of Netflix’s The Final Table, will cook on Ocean Dream, a luxury 26-metre twin-catamaran from which guests will enjoy Geographe Bay with fine food and Margaret River wines.

Exclusive wine tasting lunches

Two special wine-tasting lunches are happening over the final weekend of the festival in Margaret River. The first, on 15 November, is the Cape Mentelle international cabernet tasting and long lunch featuring 20 vintage cabernets from Bordeaux, Napa Valley, Tuscany and Australia. The next day is the 34th edition of the Cullen Wines chardonnay tasting, hosted by James Halliday and Christina Pickard from Wine Enthusiast and catered by Jo Barrett from Oakridge Wines in the Yarra Valley. Chardonnay from Burgundy, New Zealand, Australia and Margaret River will be included. If you have a spare $1300, you can book both.

A multicultural woodlands barbecue 

Among the jarrah and marri trees at the gorgeous Leeuwin Estate in Margaret River, the Safari Club is a barbecue event held over three days from 15 to 17 November. Part theatre, part moveable feast and part celebration of diversity, guests can hop between cooking stations and enjoy live entertainment. On Friday Oakridge’s Matt Stone and Adelaide’s Jock Zonfrillo  will present a taste of native Australia, Prateek Sadhu  (Masque, Mumbai) will do an Indian takeover on Sunday and Asia’s Top Female Chef, Garima Arora from Gaa in Bangkok, will join forces with David Thompson  (Long Chim) for a taste of Thailand. 

Hang out with the godfathers of cooking

Pierre Koffman and Marco Pierre White, both credited with nurturing a who’s who of chefs including Gordon Ramsay, Heston Blumenthal and Jason Atherton, feature in this year’s line-up. You can catch Marco at Gourmet Feast in the Valley, the Wine and Sign and – if the waitlist comes through – at Sitella Winery in Swan Valley talking about the future of food. Pierre, who mentored Marco, will partner with Guillaume Brahimi at Crown Perth for a four-course French dinner, cooking at the Leeuwin Estate Art Series Dinner and at the Gourmet Village at the Chefs Amphitheatre and Consuming Conversations.

Marco Pierre White
A World of Difference

Marco Pierre White features in this year’s line-up.

Gourmet feast in the valley

This family-friendly event takes Gourmet Escape from food to festival. Held over the first weekend of the fest, top chefs including Marco Pierre White will put on cooking demonstrations while a music line-up headlined by The Rubens will be a feast for the ears. Plus there will be tastings, food trucks and workshops to explore. 

Unmissable collaborative meals

Take your pick from a mouth-watering selection of one-off collaborative dinners held throughout the festival. Highlights include a celebration of Western Australian ingredients with Matt Sartori at Wildflower in Perth cooking alongside Colombo-born, Australian-trained Rishi Naleendra from Singapore’s acclaimed Cloudstreet eatery. Paul Carmichael from Sydney’s Momofuku Seiobo is bringing his Barbados roots to Yarri, where he’ll cook a meaty, six-course menu alongside Aaron Carr. There are also dinners celebrating vegetables in a secret garden, exploring African cuisine overlooking a lake and a spread from Italian MasterChef and Hell’s Kitchen judge Carlo Cracco at luxury Cape Lodge, plus plenty more.

World Gourmet Symposium

TEDx curator Fenella Kernebone has assembled the program for this industry thought leadership conference, with speakers including Momofuku’s David Chang, Adelaide’s Jock Zonfrillo (Orana) and Sydney’s sultan of seafood Josh Niland waxing lyrical on such topics as the origin of food, trends and technology, changing food culture, mental health and hospitality, the future of food and more.  

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