Cultivating an intelligent relationship to food within the family framework is key to raising little humans who know the difference between sustainable and non-sustainable eating practices: food that sustains health, body and interest, without impacting heavily on the environment. Gourmet Escape presents all of this opportunity throughout a weekend of chef discussions, demonstrations, and adventures in eating. Food, family and fun centred in the Gourmet Village just a few kilometres from the Margaret River town centre within the grounds of Leeuwin Estate. More information on family-specific activities will be released early September. Here’s a little warm up to get you thinking.
This is the Big Top. An enormous green space cosseted by a tall stand of karri trees on one side, and Leeuwin Estate’s impressive two-storey glass, stone and timber restaurant on the other. The Gourmet Village at Leeuwin Estate Winery is the ultimate family-friendly location. Children under 17-years are free when entering with a paying adult, which makes a day out an attractive proposition. Food theatrics provide the focus of entertainment from the Chef’s Amphitheatre; grab a seat and settle in to watch comedian and actor, Matt Okine, host chef cook-offs, wine tasting battles and delicious demonstrations of culinary expertise. This could be your chance to hear from the likes of the Godfather of Thai flavour and multi-award-winning chef and author, David Thompson. Inspiration in spades for budding cooks. Demonstrations occur on the hour, so there’s always something new to see. Of course eating is big, too. Local food stalls. Local produce. Everything from ice creams and dumplings to sophisticated plates put out by some of the State’s best restaurants celebrating their signature dishes. Set your squad down on the grass with some grub and let them watch you take in a tutored wine tasting at the Grand Marquee. Here, no one is ever hungry or bored or wants to go home now.
There’s no doubt that teaching a child to cook improves his or her chances of adapting a healthy food approach later in life. Teaching kids at home during the confines of a busy weekly schedule can feel like more work than it’s worth. Learning together at a Village Workshop over Gourmet Escape weekend is an adventure. These aren’t workshops designed specifically for children, but a competent adolescent kitchen enthusiast will love them. There are three signature classes, this year, each with a different bent employing unique sets of culinary skills. Learn the art of pickling with the workshop on kombucha-pickled seasonal veg, pasta making with a handmade gnocchi workshop, or take in a little side trip down dessert alley with a class on fresh ricotta curds and vino cotto pickled fig. Kids will learn why the idea of using seasonal veg is important in the new landscape of sustainability. Food economy in the art of hand-making gnocchi – suddenly fresh pasta is the cost of a bag of flour away. And the integration of sweet treats into the diet in a way that is whole and fruit-based and free from hidden sugars and industrial fats. These are the lessons. This is the way to eat. Sharing with your child together in an environment that praises all the good that an intelligent approach to food has to offer is priceless.