News: Huge line up at the Gourmet Village – what’s new and what’s back

The Gourmet Village, the heart of Margaret River Gourmet Escape presented by Westpac, will immerse guests in a rich food and wine experience when it returns to Leeuwin Estate Winery on Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 November.

From 11am to 6pm visitors can sample the best food, wine, beer, cider and produce the Margaret River region and WA has to offer.

Festival goers can meet some of the world’s most-loved and respected culinary talent including Nigella Lawson, Rick Stein, Skye Gyngell, Ashley Palmer-Watts and more as they appear at attractions within the Gourmet Village throughout the weekend.

A party vibe is assured with live music across the weekend, provided by some of WA’s most exciting artists, including DJ Rio De Niro who will be resident DJ on the Chef’s Amphitheatre on both days.

This year will see the return of some of the Village’s most popular attractions and installations along with new experiences for both the budget-conscious and the high flyers.

What’s new at the Village this year:

  • Kids 16 and under gain free entry and there’s plenty to keep them entertained.
  • The Little Kitchen Garden will prove the Village isn’t just for grown-ups. Children, and the whole family, can learn the importance of food and community. Each half-hour class will introduce children and their parents to the pleasures of growing and cooking their own food.
  • Consuming Conversations – an intimate gathering with some of the world’s most influential foodies, hosted by food writer Max Brearley.
  • The Wine Hub – a series of informal and engaging wine tastings hosted by acclaimed wine critic Nick Stock.
  • The West Winds Gin Masterclasses – Over 50% of the botanicals used in The West Winds Gins are indigenous to Australia. Visitors can learn more about their blends, the distilling process and enjoy a range of tastings in these informative and interactive masterclasses.
  • Regional Flavours – cooking demonstrations hosted by Rebecca Sullivan (from Warndu) with local chefs showcasing local producers from around Margaret River and beyond.
  • Nick & Mike’s Snack Bar – Nick Stock and Mike Bennie, two of Australia’s leading wine talent, will host a curated journey of drinks with snacks by their good mate, Chef Scott Pickett (Matilda 159 Domain, VIC.)
  • MasterChef 2018 finalist Samira Damirova will be keeping her MasterChef mates Reece and Brendan busy as they serve her delicious menu at her pop-up restaurant – Lavash by Sam’s Foodie Goods.
  • Lilydale are back to satiate the appetite of hungry festival goers, with a mouth-watering pop-up where they’ll be making delicious piping hot chicken dishes.
  • Black Brewing Co farmhouse ale & food matching – guests can sample limited release farmhouse ales by Black Brewing Co, paired with food matchings from their Caves Road Collective kitchen and learn about this lesser known seasonal beer style that’s rapidly growing in popularity.
  • Best Seats in the House – visitors can sit on stage, up close to the stars of the festival as they cook and present and receive a taster of the dishes they cook along with a glass of wine.
  • Wine & Sign – the most fun anyone is likely to have at a book signing. Limited tickets still available for Rick Stein’s session – includes a copy of his new Road to Mexico book and a glass of wine.

Popular returning attractions and experiences:

  • Chef’s Amphitheatre – hosted by multi-talented comedian, actor and TV and radio presenter Matt Okine. Guests can enjoy on-stage demos, talks and taste-offs by some of the world’s best food talent – this year appearing in pairs for even more entertainment. Includes Nigella Lawson, Rick Stein, Monica Galetti, Ashley Palmer-Watts, Skye Gyngell, Laetitia Rouabah and more.
  • Battle of the Breweries presented by Mane Liquor – local brewers and their beers go head to head across the weekend. This is the place to be for those of you that love your beer and a laugh.
  • The Butchers Block presented by Australian Good Meat – Past My Kitchen Rules winners Will and Steve will host meat mastery cooking demos and meat and wine pairings with canapés and more.
  • Meet the Makers – festivalgoers are invited to talk and taste wine with some of the sharpest palates in the game including Emma Farrelly (State Buildings)  and Chris Morrison (award winning sommelier, wine communicator and educator)
  • Westpac Leeuwin Estate Platinum Lounge – panoramic views of the Village from the comfort of the Leeuwin Estate Restaurant and verandas with full VIP treatment.
  • Singapore Airlines Escape Garden – an exclusive area to sit, sip and chill, with an awesome view of the Chef’s Amphitheatre. Plus learn more about how Singapore Airlines delivers its award-winning, world-renowned service in one of the SilverKris Masterclasses, and taste some of the fine wines they serve on board. 
  • Bar Felix – a fusion of food and wine innovation and a sophisticated refuge featuring Vasse Felix wines, a wine school with the makers and delicious meals from their chefs.
  • Leeuwin Estate Wine Theatre – an immersive food and wine pairing experience featuring five iconic Leeuwin Estate Art Series Wines perfectly matched with seasonal canapés.
  • Devil’s Lair Winery and Masterclass – guests can meet the winemakers and take a masterclass with matched cheeses.

The Gourmet Village’s pop-up restaurants are always hugely popular and a chance for visitors to taste their way around some of the region and WA’s best and most exciting restaurants. Featuring delicious plates from just $8 from:

  • Amelia Park Lamb (WA)
  • Bao Wow – new (Perth)
  • Brika – new (Perth)
  • Caves Road Collective, home of Black Brewing Co (Wilyabrup)
  • Lilydale Chicken (WA)
  • Má Là Dumplings (Margaret River)
  • Rustico at Hayshed Hill (Wilyabrup)
  • Lavash by Sam’s Foodie Goods – new (Margaret River)
  • Vasse Felix (Wilyabrup)
  • Xanadu Wines (Margaret River)

A feast of artisan producers will provide tastings and demonstrations all day long. There’s wineries, distilleries, cideries and breweries from across the Margaret River region and the Great Southern; chocolate, chilli, nougat, tea, truffles, preserved, pickled and dried produce, coffee, honey, and more. From Campari to cake and Kombucha, there’s something for everyone!

Guests are advised to plan ahead so they don’t miss a thing. See the full line up of Gourmet Village attractions, restaurants, artisan producers and more at Buy a day pass, weekend pass, add-on experiences and packages from Ticketek. General admission is $40.80 and tickets will be available at the gate ($50 from the Box Office). Westpac customers get Fast Track Entry into the Gourmet Village.

Images: supplied

About the author


Martin was born in England but now lives in Perth, Western Australia. He has a passion for breakfast, coffee, hot curries & fast food, and is a cat & Dalek person.

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