We were lucky enough to spend last weekend at the magnificent Leeuwin Estate Winery as part of the inaugural fine food and wine event – Gourmet Escape. I love the Margaret River region, with it’s awesome beaches and great wineries it’s one of my favourite places to spend time, so I jumped at the chance to be able to combine coffee along with all our other passions together at the Gourmet Escape.
We were their as part of the Gourmet Village at Leeuwin. The village was a combination of gourmet producers, including many of the regions best wineries, chefs and restaurants, sharing their wares through small pop-up tents and marquees. Various stages, kitchens, theatres, classes and lounges were also set-up around the village with celebrity chefs and other foodie personalities sharing recipes, dishes, stories and insights on the world food scene. The roll call of Australian and International celebrity chef’s and other foodie luminaries was huge.
In between coffees and food and wine sampling, I was able to watch a couple of discussions. One I found particularly entertaining was a debate on restaurant critics by restaurant critics. MC’d by Jill Dupleix and featuring Terry Durack, AA Gill and Pat Nourse. There was a lot of debate as to the reviewer’s responsibilities to their readers, their employers (the newspapers) and the restaurants they’re reviewing, whether we prefer reading a good review or a bad review and the effect a poor review can have on a restaurant. While most agreed we ultimately wanted to know where the best restaurants were, it’s more often the train wreck review that’s garners more interest, has people talking, and I’m guessing sells more newspapers.
I also was able to hear some of the passionate “Next Gen” chefs provide their take on the food scene and what they would like to see in the future. Jock Zonfrillo, Matt Wilkinson, Hadleigh Troy, Adam Dysilva and Matt Stone – it was great listening to them. All were infectiously passionate and uncompromising in trying to provide us with some really unique and wonderful dining experiences.
The picturesque grounds of Leeuwin were the perfect stetting for the village, once again Perth provided impeccable weather and we were spoilt with an abundance of tasty food and drinks. Looking forward to next year.