Margaret River Hospitality Group (MRHG) Executive Chef Tony Howell stars alongside 50 culinary superstars that include international household names Nigella Lawson, Rick Stein and Joan Roca at Western Australia's biggest food festival, the Margaret River Gourmet Escape presented by Audi that starts on Friday 18 November 2016.
Howell designed menus and together with MRHG head chef Rosie Griffiths will cook for guests at Feast in the Forest at Leeuwin Estate Safari Club and the sold-out Sunset, Beats and Bites at the White Elephant Beach Café, one of MRHG’s venues.
Aptly named Feast in the Forest, the uniquely Australian lunchtime setting has a canopy of Jarrah trees, long communal tables and ambient music, while at night lanterns and candles add to the forest magic. While the menu focus is on meat cooked over an open fire, entrees and vegetable side dishes featuring quality south west local produce make this a feast and the accompanying Leeuwin Estate wines, irresistible.
Howell said he was once again looking forward to the Margaret River Gourmet Escape alongside such a stellar line up of local, Australian and international chefs and cooks.
“I’ve said it a thousand times, this region has it all – scenery, nature, farms, coast and unbelievable produce that I actually feel blessed to have access to,” Howell said.
“I always thought I’d be a career fine dining gastronomic chef, but as I get older, getting back to simple techniques using super fresh A-grade produce is giving me more and more satisfaction. At Feast in the Forest I’m excited to be roasting a whole lamb, smoking up some gorgeous ribs and flame roasting whole chickens.”
Joining Howell on at Feast in the Forest on Friday is butcher and entrepreneur from Vic’s Premium Quality Meat and Victor Churchill in Sydney, Anthony Puharich.
At the Gourmet Escape’s hippest event, Sunset, Beats and Bites at the White Elephant Beach Café on Friday 18 and Saturday 19 November, Howell has put together a menu of substantial canapés to accompany the wines by a new breed of winemakers carefully curated by critic Nick Stock.
Margaret River’s coolest and most talented wineries involved include Dormilona, Si Vintners and Blind Corner, all known for pushing boundaries by experimenting with varieties and new techniques.
“The food will reflect the setting, very cool, casual and funky as well as being easy to eat while mingling. It was a great night last year and this year it’ll be even better - prepare to have a party by the beach!" Howell said.
“The White Elephant is my favourite café venue in the world – that view of Gnarabup Beach is unforgettable.”
Chef and co-owner of Bar Brosé in Sydney, Analiese Gregory, will be joining Howell at Sunset, Beats and Bites. She has worked in Europe’s most prestigious kitchens including the Ledbury, and ran Quay restaurant in Sydney for Peter Gilmore as it was anointed in the San Pellegrino Top 50.
Add to the mix an amazing surprise DJ who’ll turn the volume up as the sun goes down, and those with tickets to Sunset, Beats and Bites will be considered the lucky few.
Sunset, Beats and Bites is sold out both nights and there are limited tickets available for Feasts in the Forests from http://www.gourmetescape.com.au/programme/feast-in-the-forest/.
Howell will also be involved in the Gourmet Escape’s media interviews and will meet with a group of international media journalists on a famil with Tourism WA.
Recently, Howell made his debut as a segment host on the small screen in Fresh TV, a 13-part series aired in Western Australia on Seven Perth and GWN7 before the news at 5.30pm Saturdays and aired nationally on Seven Two (check local guides for details).
Tony Howell is Executive Chef of the Margaret River Hospitality Group that owns Morries, White Elephant Beach Café and The Common. MRHG is also the exclusive caterer for luxury accommodation and functions venue, Willy Bay Resort.
- Margaret River Gourmet Escape presented by Audi 18-20 November 2016
- The festival, it showcases over 150 artisan producers and 50 Culinary super stars over three days.