Went to the Gourmet Escape in Margaret River today. Hundreds of stalls and outlets, thousands of people and sadly millions of bush flies.
What with a tightly packed throng throwing a lot of Aussie Salutes trying to fend off the bugs the whole thing was a bit of a strange experience. Yes there was bread, wine and every possible foodstuff, garnish and condiment you could imagine but there were also a lot of people making weird noises as they tried the samples. Quite a lot of pinched hands describing the aroma, the texture, the flavours and that was only when they were tasting the bread. Even more strangeness was on show when it got to the more substantial offerings and as for the wine tastings… Well it was like being in a surreal nightmare of woody notes and citrus aftertastes.
Seriously, there cannot be that many beautiful people with such a take on good (or bad) wine. Where did all these rather well spoken, yet rather bohemian in spirit young old and middl’ing folk come from? These upwardly mobile Yuppies in torn trousers and tie dye t-shirts. These hippies of food stuffs that cost a fortune (seriously, $4.50 for a tub of ice cream that was the size of a tablespoon). I honestly had no idea so many yuppie hippies could be in the south west of WA but here all these Yippees were, just hanging out to see Mr Stein or the fabulous Mr Blumenthal.
Alas, I saw neither Rick nor Heston. I did see George and caught a glimpse of another French dude whose name escapes me but in the end the flies won and we decided to withdraw to the car and the journey home.
I am sure that many, many foodie bloggers will do the whole thing a lot more justice than me. I am sure that the delightful aroma, embodied with a great nose, a pleasant trip of pleasure on the tongue and a subtle rendering of blueberry and blackcurrent will all erupt into a cacophony of gastronomic delight that they will rightly enthuse about. As for me, it was quite nice, I bought some lemon, lime and ginger, a bottle of berry mead and a pot of Pumpkin Chutney. What’s not to like about that.
Ian Andrew is the author of the alternative history novel A Time To Every Purpose, the detective thrillers Face Value and Flight Path and the Little Book of Silly Rhymes & Odd Verses. All are available in e-book and paperback. Follow him on social media: