TOP 5 GOURMET ESCAPE EVENTS
1. The Godfather Dinner
In one of the most anticipated events of the three-day festival, culinary bad boy 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. “I’m really looking forward to meeting up with some of my ex boys, who are doing a special dinner for me,” says Marco. “But I’m excited about many things. I’m excited about going to Margaret River and seeing what goes on there. My friend George Calombaris always speaks about Margaret River with such affection, and he tells me it’s the finest and greatest food event on earth. I’ll be very busy, which is good because I like being busy.”
When November 20
Where Vasse Felix, Caves Road (cnr Tom Cullity Drive), Margaret River
2. Dining on the Jetty
New to this year’s festival line-up, Dining on the Jetty invites guests to feast on seafood cooked by legendary chef Rick Stein. The dining marquee will be set up at the end of Busselton Jetty, the longest wooden jetty in the southern hemisphere. Guests will be transported to the event aboard the Kimberley Quest II.
When November 20-21
Where Busselton Jetty, Busselton
3. Stokehouse aboard the Kimberley Quest II, with Winning Appliances
Set sail for an afternoon of deliciousness with Stokehouse Brisbane head chef Richard Ousby, as he showcases the foodie institution’s signature style, using local produce. Guests will feast on canapes and wines from the Margaret River region, as the Kimberley Quest II cruises the shores of Cape Naturaliste.
When November 21-22
Where Embarks from Pro-fisherman’s
Boat Ramp, Quindalup (opposite McDermott Street), Dunsborough
4. Marque and Print Hall at Woodlands Winery
Set in the barrel room of Woodlands Winery, this dinner will focus on the very
best local and national produce, with accompanying wines. 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).
When November 21
Where Woodlands, 3948 Caves Road, Wilyabrup
5. An international cabernet celebration at Cape Mentelle: long lunch with the world’s best
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, this event is one not to miss. The wine tasting finishes with a long lunch in the winery’s gardens. One course will be prepared by acclaimed chef David Thompson, whose restaurant, Nahm, was ranked number 22 on the 2015 World’s 50 Best Restaurants List.
When November 20
Where Cape Mentelle Vineyards, 331 Wallcliffe Road, Margaret River
Visit gourmetescape.com.au for more information.
CHEFS ON THE MOVE
US chef Ryan Ebbs is now heading up the kitchen at The Merrywell. He’s made some inspired additions to the menu, thanks to a stint at Le Cordon Bleu Culinary School in Atlanta and extensive experience with cuisines including Latin American and Italian. The Merrywell’s much-loved dude food will remain front-and-centre, though – think donut burgers and bacon cocktails. His other creative riffs on menu favourites include the ‘charcola’ burger (made with a pork-and-beef patty and smoked pastrami), broken sushi (seared salmon with vinegared rice cake), and mo-lamb chops (lamb cutlets with a Mexican mole negro sauce).
The Trustee Bar and Bistro
The Trustee has a new head chef to fill Michelle Forbes’ sizeable shoes: Andre
Mahe, who headed up the kitchen at Must Winebar since its inception in 2001.“I left Must late last year, had a break, and then took the job here at The Trustee,” says Andre. “The menu has now been changed, and will be changed quite often. There were a lot of Italian and Asian dishes before, and now we are doing more European and French-influenced dishes using local seasonal products. My charcuterie dish has made it to the menu too. It’s a bit different from Must, maybe even better.
150 East Riverside Bar and Restaurant
Sydney boy Andrew Dunn is the new executive chef at Assured Ascot Quays’ 150 East Riverside Bar and Restaurant. Andrew already has a few impressive notches on his knife belt, including stints at The Rocks Cafe and the iconic City Tattersalls Club in Sydney, as well as The Boulevard Hotel in Perth. “Our new menu is inspired by my own experience in cooking and the use of seasonal produce, sourced locally wherever possible. We have share plates as an option now, and I have introduced a signature main and dessert dish, which I am excited to showcase. For the spring menu, I will offer crispy-skin salmon with cauliflower puree and chocolate silken tart with hazelnut crumb and raspberry gelato.”
Also on the move
• The Peasant’s Table in Mt Hawthorn has a new head chef, Martin Swindells, who’s substituting traditional dining with share plates. Martin has previously worked his magic at Vans in Cottesloe, the Subiaco Hotel, and La Cholita.
• Ashleigh Pattison is running the kitchen at Kitsch, with a new menu of hawker bites, street plates and sweet treats.
• After 11 years, Anton Augustine is retiring as catering manager for the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre to spend time with his family.