Gourmet Escape cancelled for 2021 due to COVID-19 restrictions on interstate guests

Headshot of Caitlyn Rintoul
Caitlyn RintoulThe West Australian
Email Caitlyn Rintoul
Rick Stein was due to appear at the festival this year.
Camera IconRick Stein was due to appear at the festival this year. Credit: Supplied

WA foodie festival Gourmet Escape has been canned for a second year due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The South West event usually draws tens of thousands to the region and boasts a stellar line-up of celebrity chefs, tastings and dinners using the area’s renowned produce.

Organisers broke the news in an extended statement today, pointing the finger at travel restrictions on “interstate talent, partners and stakeholders” — which they said meant the event couldn’t be delivered for 2021.

All partners, exhibitors, and attendees will be informed, with all tickets to be refunded.

“Sadly, we will not be able to deliver the unique Gourmet Escape experience our customers love and enjoy,” organisers revealed.

“The health and safety of all people taking part in the event is our top priority.”

This year’s talent includes Curtis Stone, Shannon Martinez and Guy Grossi alongside industry icons such as Rick Stein, Stephanie Alexander and Maggie Beer.

Organisers said they encouraged continued travel in the region and visits to local wineries and restaurants throughout November.

The beach BBQ at Gourmet Escape.
Camera IconThe beach BBQ at Gourmet Escape. Credit: Supplied

“Western Australia has many incredible experiences that can still be enjoyed. Over the coming months we will be sharing some of these experiences and encourage all our ticket holders to retain any accommodation bookings and enjoy a getaway in the region,” the statement said.

Gourmet Escape launched in 2012 and has brought nearly 150,000 international and national visitors to Margaret River to celebrate WA’s food, wine, produce and landscapes.

In recent years, it has grown to encompass Perth, Rottnest Island and the Swan Valley in its event schedule.

Big name talents who have previously headlined at the festival include Marco Pierre White, Heston Blumenthal, Nigella Lawson and David Chang.

The cancellation come as WA gears up to host more than 60,000 people at Optus Stadium for the AFL grand final this weekend.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails