Es­cape hailed a big suc­cess

Augusta Margaret River Times - - Front Page -

The fi­nal year of the Mar­garet River Gourmet Es­cape as we know it was a roar­ing suc­cess, with crowds of met­ro­pol­i­tan vis­i­tors pack­ing the re­gion for the week­end.

Es­cape or­gan­is­ers IMG Culi­nary said more than 20,000 peo­ple at­tended events across three days, in­clud­ing the Gourmet Vil­lage at Leeuwin Es­tate.

Re­turn­ing for her sec­ond visit, head­liner Nigella Law­son gushed about the re­gion af­ter the Es­cape fin­ished on Sun­day.

“The thing about Gourmet Es­cape is that it’s got such a re­laxed, sort of beachy vibe, and if you com­bine the fact that ev­ery­thing is laid-back with the fact that it’s full of peo­ple who feel so pas­sion­ately about food, it some­how cre­ates its own en­vi­ron­ment, its own am­bi­ence which is un­like any­where else,” she said in a state­ment.

“I find it quite mag­i­cal re­ally, be­cause it’s also in a set­ting that’s of such nat­u­ral beauty. Ever since I first came here, I have to say I’ve just told ev­ery­one about Gourmet Es­cape. I don’t think I can count the num­ber of friends I’ve told about it.”

Mar­garet River-trained chef Matt Stone said he en­joyed com­ing back to meet friends and make new con­nec­tions.

“There’s some amaz­ing restau­rants,” he said. “There al­ways has been, but I feel they’re com­ing to a whole new level.”

Or­gan­is­ers said WA pro­duc­ers were well rep­re­sented at events such as the seven tick­eted Beach Bar­be­cues. With on­go­ing WA Govern­ment fund­ing, the event will be known as Western Aus­tralia Gourmet Es­cape next year.

The Mar­garet River Gourmet Es­cape will be a re­gional event, sim­i­lar to the ex­ist­ing Es­cape, and will close the ex­panded 10-day fes­ti­val, which also cov­ers Perth and the Swan Val­ley.

Pic­ture: El­e­ments Mar­garet River

Nigella Law­son an­swers ques­tions dur­ing a Gourmet Es­cape event on Sun­day.

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