Big Apple praise for Margaret River Gourmet Escape

Warren HatelyAugusta Margaret River Times
the Caves Road Cantina was one of the events featured in the New York Times’ write-up of the 2018 Gourmet Escape.
Camera Iconthe Caves Road Cantina was one of the events featured in the New York Times’ write-up of the 2018 Gourmet Escape. Credit: Elements

The New York Times has shone a light on the Margaret River region, offering valuable international exposure off the back of last year’s last Margaret River Gourmet Escape.

With the rejigged foodie festival to face wholesale expansion in 2019, the prestigious New York publication came for a visit during November’s Escape in which UK gourmet Nigella Lawson was the star attraction.

IMG Culinary Australia managing director Hannah Pike said Escape organisers were “delighted” the media team, including a photographer from New York, reviewed the festival. “In addition to the New York Times, there were more than 50 media from around the world in attendance at last year’s festival, so the flow-on effect in terms of media coverage and awareness raising for the destination and event is enormous,” she said.

The article, which ran in international editions, lauded Margaret River as “Australia’s newest hotspot”. And although food and international celebrities were the Escape’s drawcards, the region’s landscape was the main attraction.

“The late-afternoon sunlight in the Margaret River region of Western Australia is deeply golden, casting its buttery hue across vineyards and filtering through the forests of giant karri trees,” the article said.

While acknowledging the region was “stunningly beautiful”, the remoteness of Margaret River as a destination for time-poor American visitors was noted, and likewise the price of accommodation which spikes during the festival.

“A key to the festival’s success has been its ability to draw top-tier talent, and chefs come from around the world to participate,” the report said.

“Margaret River owes a lot to the Gourmet Escape, but its new-found popularity is undoubtedly mostly thanks to that light, those trees and that astonishing ocean.”

The Margaret River leg of next year’s festival is scheduled again for November, at the end of a 10-day expanded format including Perth and the Swan Valley.

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