This winter, join Heston Blumenthal at his favourite food festival Margaret River Gourmet Escape, Western Australia’s best food festival

“This is the food festival the chefs want to be at”, says Heston Blumenthal of Margaret River Gourmet Escape. And with white sandy beaches, surfing in startling blue water surrounded by dolphins, three days of barbecues, world-class food, 200 vineyards and 170 artisanal producers taking part why wouldn’t it be? Heston is just one of the 30 chefs heading to the food festival in Western Australia from 21st-23rd November 2014 along with Rick Stein, Ashley Palmer Watts and Claire Smyth.

“I don’t do many of these kind of events and certainly I’ve never been to one like this before. It’s such a beautiful location and actually we are with a lot of our mates, so it’s got this real camaraderie. The events range from dinners, bbq on the beach and discussion panels. What made it so fantastic [last year] is the chefs really mingle with the people in the area. I’ve never experienced anything like it,” says Heston, who also recalls that last year the biggest competition amongst the chefs and critics was a table tennis competition – and this year, he’s determined to beat his pal Adrian Gill. 

During the festival, the Michelin-star chefs will be bringing dishes from their famous restaurants to the town’s Voyager Estate (a beautiful Cape Dutch-style winery) where guests will try the likes of the Fat Duck’s Botrytis Cinerea (a dessert made up of a bunch of ‘grapes’, developed using the flavour molecules in Sauterne wine but each one tasting completely different).


Heston Blumenthal, AA Gill and Matt Stone a Margaret River Gourmet Escape last year

There’s  also the Feast in the Forest, a carnivore’s dream, which will bring to life farm-to-fork style eating through feasting menus created by Australian chefs Paul West, Darren Robertson, Matt Wilkinson, Ben Milgate and Elvis Abrahanowicz that will see whole animals slow-cooked over coals in a fire pit. All this will take place at the Leeuwin Estate’s Safari Club, an authentic Aussie barn in a beautiful forest setting.

Meanwhile, in the Gourmet Village there will be tasting sessions, talks and demonstrations, and Australian wine critic James Halliday will host wine tastings. 

Tailor-made travel company, WEXAS Travel ( 0207 838 5874) is offering exclusive itineraries for the festival from £1,995 per person for a six-night itinerary based on two sharing a one bedroom apartment, including international flights from the UK to Perth, seven days car hire and six night’s luxury accommodation. This price also includes Premium Gourmet Village tickets and Gourmet Beach BBQ tickets.

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