7 Quotes from Nigella That Made Us Blush
You have obviously been to Western Australia before, what keeps bringing you back to Margaret River and Australia’s South West?
It’s hard to resist that extraordinary combination of outstanding natural beauty, wonderful food and produce and excellent wine!
You’re back for a second helping of Margaret River Gourmet Escape presented by Westpac – what are you most excited about?
I’m excited about being part of that very special community of people who love food, and to be able to celebrate that in such a glorious landscape. And I don’t just mean my fellow invitees – but everyone who comes. I love the Gourmet Escape crowd: it’s like hanging out with warm, like-minded people who create such an upbeat and joyous atmosphere.
What do you think makes the Margaret River Gourmet Escape presented by Westpac different from other food and wine events around the world?
I think what makes Gourmet Escape particularly special is how laid-back it is. It’s got a beautiful beachy vibe, and although there are more formal events, the crucial character of Gourmet Escape at all times is not at all formal, but relaxed, enthusiastic, unpretentious and just so gorgeously welcoming.
In terms of produce, what in the Margaret River region most excites you? What do you think the region does best?
For me it’s a lot about the seafood – the yabbies and the marron in particular, and the sweetest-fleshed crab and rock lobster. Having said that, I ate the most wonderful lamb when I was there last time, too: I remember every exquisite mouthful! And the Margaret River wood-fired bread is food of the Gods, especially wonderfully with the raw local honey (and a lot of butter). I think what really draws me to the region foodwise, though, is the respectfulness of the approach, the way that ingredients are treated, and a real sense that food – with its rich legacy of history and geography – is to be celebrated.
Do you have a favourite wine from the Margaret River region?
I’d happily travel the 9,000 miles from London for a glass of anything from Cullen Winery (and I think Vanya Cullen’s approach to wine-making goes to the heart of what’s special about both Margaret River and Gourmet Escape) though my particular favourite is the Cullen Amber. I steamed off a label last time I was at Gourmet Escape, and have it at home, framed. It’s a thing of beauty, like the wine!
Will you have any spare time to enjoy the wonders of Margaret River during your trip? And if so, what’s on your list of things to do?
I have very little spare time, though it’s such a treat to be there that I don’t feel I need time off. Of course, it would be wonderful to be able to stay longer, and to explore this staggering beautiful region in an unplanned, unscheduled, organic way, but I’m grateful enough just to be there for Gourmet Escape.
How many friends have you told about Margaret River and the Margaret River Gourmet Escape presented by Westpac since you first experienced it?
I’m afraid I talk about it so much, no one else has much of a chance to get a word in edgeways! But if I bump into anyone who’s been, we bond immediately over it. It’s a very special place, a very special festival, and a truly, enduringly, life-enhancing experience.