- 2015 Margaret River Gourmet Escape to feature more than 50 culinary events over three days, from November 20-22
- Supported by the State Government through Royalties for Regions
The godfather of modern cuisine, Marco Pierre White, has officially kicked off this year's Margaret River Gourmet Escape. The original rock star chef, and the youngest ever to have been awarded three Michelin stars, is a headline attraction for this year's culinary festival which starts on Friday.
Tourism Minister Kim Hames said the Margaret River Gourmet Escape's ability to attract the best chefs in the world was one of the keys to the event's success.
"Over the years, local, national and international chefs of note have embraced the Margaret River Gourmet Escape experience, resulting in worldwide media coverage of Western Australia's South-West region and showcasing our State's amazing food and wine," he said.
"This year is no exception with the line-up also including Antonio Carluccio, Sat Bains, Aaron Carr, Adriano Zumbo, Rick Stein and Matt Stone, to name a few."
Dr Hames said foodies had been quick to embrace the event with about 22,000 tickets sold to the festival last year, more than double the sales for the first gourmet escape in 2012.
"Last year's Margaret River Gourmet Escape generated almost 30,000 room nights and produced $8.8 million in economic impact for the region which shows how valuable it is to State tourism," he said.
The State Government has committed funding for the Margaret River Gourmet Escape to stay in WA until at least 2017 after renewing its three-year contract with Brand Events Australia, the event owner, last year.
Regional Development Minister Terry Redman said the Royalties for Regions investment would continue to encourage visitors to discover the produce and landscapes of the South-West and promote those products around the world.
"Regional tourism creates great social and economic prospects for people who live and work in the regions," Mr Redman said.
"In addition, the Margaret River Gourmet Escape provides trade development potential for West Australian producers."
Dr Hames said tourism was crucial to the WA economy, generating $8.7 billion in visitor spend in the 2014-15 financial year.
"Our strategy is to increase this value to $12 billion by 2020. Supporting events such as the Margaret River Gourmet Escape helps us achieve that goal and adds vibrancy to regional towns," he said.
- The Margaret River Gourmet Escape is funded through the State Government's $60m Regional Events Program, which also supports other major events such as Cinefest Oz and the Ord Valley Muster
- The Margaret River Gourmet Escape is a key component of the State Government's Taste 2020 food and wine tourism strategy launched earlier this year
- For more information, visit http://www.gourmetescape.com.au
Tourism Minister's office - 6552 5300
Regional Development Minister's office - 6552 6700