Image: Jenny Susanto-Lee
Fancy having dinner with one of the most recognised chefs in the world? Or perhaps cruising our fair shores on a luxury boat is more your speed. When it comes to lavish events, the sky’s pretty much the limit at this year’s Margaret River Gourmet Escape.
5 LUXURY EVENTS YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS:
· The Godfather DinnerOne of the most anticipated events across the three-day festival. The bad boy himself, Marco Pierre White, will host a Q&A session over dinner at Vasse Felix winery together with his former chef protégés, Jock Zonfrillo, Richard Turner and Spencer Patrick. Marco’s boys will re-create the signature dishes they once produced under the iconic chef, who apparently demanded nothing less than military precision.
Where: Vasse Felix, Caves Road (Cnr Tom Cullity Drive), Margaret River
· Dining on the JettySpanking new to this year’s festival program line-up, Dining on the Jetty will have guests feasting on seafood cooked by chef legend Rick Stein. Not only that, they’ll be seated at the end of Busselton Jetty, the longest wooden jetty in the Southern Hemisphere. Transport to the dining marquee at the end of the jetty will be courtesy of the Kimberley Quest II. Or, if you’re so inclined, you can wear your flats and leg it.
Where: Busselton Jetty, Busselton Beachfront, Busselton
· Stokehouse Aboard The Kimberley Quest II, with Winning AppliancesJoin two kitchen kings from foodie institution, Stokehouse, aboard the Kimberley Quest II. Set sail for an afternoon of foodie deliciousness with Oliver Gould (head chef, Stokehouse Melbourne) and Richard Ousby (head chef, Stokehouse Brisbane) as they showcase their signature style using local produce. Guests will feast on canapés and wines from the Margaret River region as the Kimberley Quest II cruises the shores of Cape Naturaliste.
Where: Meet at Pro-fisherman's Boat Ramp, Quindalup (Opposite McDermott Street), Dunsborough
· An International Cabernet Celebration at Cape Mentelle: Long Lunch with the World’s Best
A celebration of the world’s finest cabernets. The benchmark event begins with a tasting of twenty esteemed cabernets from acclaimed international wine regions, and finishes off with a sumptuous long lunch in the winery’s gardens, ably prepared by David Thompson (ranked number 22 on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants List). The 2012 year was a stunning vintage, to be introduced by special guest Lisa Perrotti Brown (wine critic, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate). Showcasing wines from the world’s finest cabernet-producing regions (including Château Lafite Rothschild, Château Cos d’Estournel, Château La Mission Haut Brion, Napa Valley, Tuscany and Margaret River), it’s one not to miss.
When: Friday, 20 November, 10am-4pm
Where: Cape Mentelle Vineyards, 331 Wallcliffe Road, Margaret River
· Marque and Print Hall at Woodlands WineryA truly decadent evening. Set in the barrel room of Woodlands Winery, enjoy a menu designed and prepped by one of Australia’s masters of contemporary cuisine, Mark Best (Marque Restaurant, Sydney) alongside Daniel Fisher (Print Hall, Perth). The dinner will focus on the very best local and national produce, with accompanying wines provided by Woodlands.
Where: Woodlands, 3948 Caves Road, Wilyabrup
The Best of the Best
This year, MRGE are blessed to have the top chefs of no less than six restaurants on this year’s World’s 50 Best Restaurants list gracing the event. Best thing? You’ll be able to see them all in the one spot.
· Head chef, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal (London)
· Number seven on World’s 50 Best Restaurants list
He’s Heston Blumenthal’s number two, and is a master at dragging historic British dishes into the 21st century. After dining at The Fat Duck in 1999 left a lasting impression on him, Ashley took up work at a nearby farm picking watercress until a position at the prestigious restaurant became available. Now that’s dedication.
· Chef-owner, Gaggan (Bangkok)
· Number ten on World’s 50 Best Restaurants list
Gaggan’s progressive Indian restaurant clinched the top spot on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants this year. Before hitting his straps as a culinary genius, Gaggan performed as a drummer with local rock bands in India. He went on to become the first Indian intern to work at the legendary Eli Bulli.
· Chef-owner, Pujol (Mexico City)
· Number sixteen on World’s 50 Best Restaurants list
Despite his Mexican roots, Enrique did much of his training in New York. He’s a master at reinventing traditional Mexican fare, with menu items including powdered ants and grasshopper salsa. Enrique has just opened a restaurant, Cosme, in Manhattan to rave reviews.
· Chef-owner, nahm (Bangkok)
· Number 22 on World’s 50 Best Restaurants list
Aussie-born chef David Thompson has carved a name for himself as one of the best Thai chefs in the world. When not banging the pots and pans, he can be found broadcasting or writing books. David scored the first-ever Michelin star for Thai cuisine at his London branch of nahm.
· Chef, White Rabbit (Moscow)
· Number 23 on World’s 50 Best Restaurants list
So named for its Alice in Wonderland décor, White Rabbit is best-known for its borsch thanks to Vladimir’s grandma’s secret ingredient of crucian carps. Meanwhile, the boy wonder has just clinched the gong for highest new entry at the World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards. Fun fact – prior to becoming a chef, he dreamed of being an astronaut.
· Chef-owner, Borag, (Santiago)
· Number 42 on World’s 50 Best Restaurants list
He’s a forager extraordinaire, and draws on eighteen preparations out of a massive 300 on constant rotation at the restaurant. Not only that, but he has a degree in chemical engineering, and works as a consultant for research teams and other food-related projects. When not busy trailblazing, he hosts his own TV show in Chile.