Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Gourmet Escape

We had already planned to spend a few days in Margaret River before we discovered the Gourmet Escape food and wine festival... but it did help determine our order of cities to visit!  And what a fabulous way to end our time in Australia.  

In addition to the actual festival, there were several other events that you could purchase tickets to, such as specialty chef pop-up dinners.  We decided on 2 - both things that were unique to Australia, that we couldn't easily repeat at home in DC.  

The first was Dining on the Brusselton Jetty.  Sponsored by the Western Australian Fishing Industry Council (WAFIC) and Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), it was a seafood focused meal.  The dinner took place at the end of the longest wooden jetty in the Southern Hemisphere, which we had to take a boat out to! 

Beautiful but quite windy evening as the group waits for the boat to arrive. 

Not too shabby!

Very cool to see the sun setting in Margaret River, just at the same time as it was rising at home. 

The tent on the end of the jetty!  We were lucky the dinner even was able to occur, the evening's before had been postponed due to the wind. 

Sitting inside the beautiful tent.  There were 2 waves of diners, we were in the second. 

The 2 celebrity chefs, Rick Stein and his son Jack, came out and did a bit of a Q&A, told stories and jokes, in the middle of the evening.  They were quiet entertaining!  We also got to chatting with a lovely couple on the boat who we sat with at dinner, so it was a very fun evening!  We are now Facebook friends - gotta love social media.  You never know - our paths might cross again one day!

The next day was our day to attend the actual festival.  It was incredibly hot that day, but we still had a great (albeit sweaty) time trying all kinds of different foods from the chefs.  

I was so hot I could hardly catch my breath - I don't know how these guys were cooking over hot grills!  

After a few hours and lots of delicious food and drink, we took the bus back to the house to clean up for the event I was most looking forward to - dinner on the Castle Bay beach!

It was even more beautiful than I'd imagined!

Chef Guillaume Brahimi was the celebrity chef of the event.  He's from France, but currently living in Sydney.  He grilled the lamb chops that we had for dinner on this massive grill, right on the beach!  Luckily, at this point in the day, the weather had cooled down and it was quite nice.

We were literally right on the water!  They were starting to stack sandbags while we were eating to keep the tide from getting into the tents.

We had lots of time to mill around, try different beers, take photos and chat with folks before dinner.  Lots of the other celebrity chefs who were in town for the festival were at dinner, and it was very cool to meet some of them.  We met the guys behind Porteno, one of the restaurants we ate at in Sydney

Dinner was served family style, and was absolutely delicious.  We sat with 2 couples who both live in Singapore, and since that was our next stop, we were able to get some tips!

It just couldn't have been a better last evening in Australia. 

The next morning, on our way back to Perth to fly out, we made a few stops along the way.  First, coffee with a view. 

and a windy selfie!

Our final stop was at Eagle Bay Brewery for lunch on their back patio.  It was beautiful!  The food and beer was delicious.  

And with that, our time in Australia had come to an end.  I knew it would be beautiful and the people would be lovely, but we were just blown away by everything.  If only it wasn't quite so far to travel to visit!! 

Next stop, a 24 hour whirlwind tour of Singapore!  

1 comment:

  1. Linds - this looks like a trip of a lifetime! Wow!