A Margaret River food festival in its inaugural year will merge with the Great Southern when it brings celebrity chef and successful restaurateur Peter Kuruvita to Mt Barker for a one-night-only long-table fiesta next month.
The Margaret River Gourmet Escape will run from November 22-25 at the Leeuwin Estate Winery, featuring other big names including English wunderkind Heston Blumenthal, bestselling author Kylie Kwong and former MasterChef guest judge Matt Moran.
Forest Hill Vineyard has been chosen as the venue for a spin-off event, titled Great Southern Feast.
Its star, Mr Kuruvita, is best known as the host of the SBS network’s Island Feast and as founder of the Flying Fish Restaurant chain in Sydney, Fiji and Columbo.
Well-known young Albany chef Dan Sharp will partner with the visiting food extraordinaire especially for the event, which will have the pair tag-team for the preparation of dishes in a four-course meal.
Mr Kuruvita has only been to WA twice before and said he enjoyed festivals that gave him the chance to see more of the nation.
“It’s a great way to express yourself and for me it’s a great way to get to meet other chefs,” he said.
“You look at the line-up of people coming to the festival … I love looking at a recipe and seeing what their interpretation of it is. I love me learning theirs and them learning mine.”
The chefs are working together to plan the evening’s menu.
It is set to feature a diverse mix of canapes, succulent Butterfield beef, a Sri Lankan curry, a Lebanese salad and a shellfish custard.
Mr Kuruvita said WA had a strong reputation interstate as being home to high quality produce. “We know in Australia how good Western Australian produce is, but some of these chefs are going to be blown away by just how good it is,” he said. “The choices are endless. I think the perception is in the rest of the world that WA is one big mine, but it’s not.
“This gives people (like Heston) the chance to see that.”
The Great Southern Feast at Forest Hill Vineyard will be held on Wednesday, November 21.