What a spectacular weekend!
Well organised event, beautiful venue and an amazing advertisement for what Western Australia has to offer the world. We could not have asked for better weather; two gorgeous, bright 'sunshiney' days! We are truly spoilt.
I found Gourmet Escape quite different to Good Food and Wine, Araluen Chilli Festival, Mundaring Truffle Festival, etc. in that it felt like it was more about being there on the day and making the most of it. Drink the wine/beer/spirits, eat the food, buy a few bottles and hit the road home. Of course, there were the chutneys, the oils and the cheeses but we barely got our Margaret River Chocolate Factory purchases home in more than one piece of melted mess!! I was not game enough to give the cheese a go..
The food was in a whole different league to other festivals... I think that was probably the point. This was a showcase of the best the south of WA can produce! Did they ever deliver!
Let me put it out there that I nearly exploded by the end of Sunday.. I tried my best to try as much as possible and there were so many things that I missed! Next year I'm going both days!
Here is the report...
St Margarets Vineyard and Grass Fed Beef
Serving up: Palm sugar and soy seared beef fillet on wild rocket.
The verdict: Magic in your mouth - fresh zingy, clean flavours and succulent beef that was beautifully cooked.
Serving up: 12 hour braised Margaret River Pork with house made tortillas and condiments.
The verdict: Absolutely delicious little morsel! First thing we tried and we were not disappointed!
Serving up: Garlic infused rack of lamb, semi-dried tomatoes and olives, on a pumpkin and potato roulade with red wine jus.
The verdict: The olives and tomatoes were almost like a stuffing, the red wine jus was yum but the roulade was only luke warm and a little lumpy. The lamb was so tender and made up for it!
*Sorry guys, forgot to take a pic of this one... too busy eating!
Serving up: Spit roast big red pork on a toasted bun with quick pickled slaw and BBQ sauces. Dessert option: Custard apple cider jelly with yoghurt panna cotta, roast apple, pork crackling praline and apple foam.
The verdict: Dish of the day. WOW.
Didn't try the dessert but Lex said it was strange.. in a good way and that the pork crackling was the best bit!
Serving up: Biodynamic Socca pancakes (French street food typically from Nice - made from chick pea flour) with garden roasted heirloom beetroot, goats curd, rocket and organic balsamic reduction.
The verdict: Least memorable dish. The pancake was thick and a little dry and it was lacking dressing.
Serving up: Free range Mt. Barker Thai red curry chicken sausage, palm sugar, green papaya salad & tamarind chutney.
The verdict: After the Beaufort Street Festival 'dish of the day' there was no way I was missing this one out! Really tasty! My only complaint (and a minor complaint!) would be that the salad seemed like it had been sitting around a while and therefore the colours were lacking in vibrancy - just didn't look really fresh. Another big thumbs up from me though!
Few other people I want to acknowledge:
The Tasty Date
Friendly ladies from Mandurah dishing up stuffed dates with 'tasty' things and coated in chocolate! Surprisingly good! Think Jaffa, Cherry Ripe, licorice, caramel - all stuffed into a date!? Who would have thought!?
Margaret River Chocolate Factory
Needs no introduction (and they weren't at the festival) but I just wanted to put it out there what a GREAT coffee they served up.
Pictured: Apple and Rhubarb Tart
Plum and Ricotta Crumble with a Traditional Long Mac
Salted Caramel and Nut Tart - So rich and so good!
Our accommodation for the weekend - self contained chalets with everything we needed including: very comfortable beds, wood fire, full kitchen and a lovely balcony plus lots of animals and complete peace and quiet! Serene!
Truly fabulous weekend, thanks to my fantastic friends and sister who made it all the more enjoyable with your wonderful company. xx