Head Chef, Travis Crane, works first and foremost with what he can find and forage

The virtue of farm to table eating arises out of hard work and awareness of the inescapable link between food sustainability, deliciousness, and community health.

A dining experience at any one of these Margaret River Region tables offers a true taste of the season, the land, and the passion of the farmers, producers, and chefs whose menus tell their story of place.

De'sendent

The latest addition to Margaret River’s main street, de’sendent is the next incarnation of owners Ann Spencer and Chef Evan Hayter’s previous venture Arimia Estate, but distinctly different.

The team have built a strong reputation for their unwavering dedication to growing and sourcing high-quality, local, organic produce from suppliers equally passionate about the land.

de’sendent is the evolution of Evan and Ann’s story embodying their desire to share their dining philosophy with the world. Diners can expect high-end West Australian ingredients including abalone, full-blooded Waygu beef and marron, sourced from passionate, small-batch suppliers as well as a diverse wine list of premium local, national and global wines.

It’s about raising people’s awareness of what they are eating, where it comes from and what it actually takes to gain that quality of produce

de'sendent is the next incarnation of Arimia from Chef Evan Hayter.
de'sendent is the next incarnation of Arimia from Chef Evan Hayter. Photo: Supplied

Glenarty Road

Sasha and Ben McDonald have a farm. A fifth-generation farm, winery, and restaurant on Glenarty Road in Karridale, one of the region’s smaller towns home to an intimate farming community between the Margaret River and Augusta townships.

With such strong family ties, and a sixth generation to care for, Sasha says regenerative farming is the only approach that makes sense – and showcasing the results to diners via a menu sourcing 90 per cent of its produce from the farm is the best way to spread the message.

“Our intention is to sustainably grow nutrient dense food and to honour and celebrate it when we bring it to the table,” Sasha says. “For us it is about a real connection to the land.” Farm-raised pork, beef and lamb appears as housemade charcuterie – “an incredible way to celebrate the nose to tail of the animal” – vegetable varietals are diverse, and fruits, nuts and flowers form the basis for desserts.

To match wines made from the farm vineyard with food grown in the same soil is, believes Sasha, a complete farm to table dining experience. Farm and garden tours can be booked for those curious to learn more.

Our intention is to sustainably grow nutrient dense food and to honour and celebrate it when we bring it to the table

Glenarty Road
The McDonald's, from Glenarty Road. Photo: Russell Ord

Burnt Ends Smoking Co at Beerfarm

There’s nothing cursory about that Beerfarm moniker. Beer, of course: the brewery in Metricup between the Dunsborough and Margaret River townships is well known for producing craft brews worth drinking. But in this case we’re all about the “farm” and the cattle raised on the land that gives such character to the Beerfarm menu, which is delivered by on-site kitchen Burnt Ends Smoking Co.

As is Burnt Ends head chef Eileen Booth. “It’s actually phenomenal to be able to see the cattle and then pick the ones that you want, and know how they are raised, what they’re fed and where they roam,” enthuses Eileen. The 160-acre farm showcases its beef at Beerfarm’s Smoking Saturdays: think beef ribs, brisket, bolar blade, tri-tip and chuck. Use of secondary cuts ensures whole animal appreciation, an integral part of that farm to table philosophy that prizes zero waste as much as it does seasonality.

Eileen says elements of the cow that Beerfarm can’t find use for are taken up by the restaurant’s Perth-based butcher. “There is nothing left,” says Eileen. “No wastage. And we’re giving every cut a chance to shine.” Spent grain is fed to the cattle to enhance flavour. It also eliminates waste from the beer making process. And the taste? Just like every other committed farm to table chef, Eileen says the reward for the sustainable focus is clear on the plate. “Hands down that quality is so much better,” she says. “The fat quality. The meat content. Everything about it.”

It’s actually phenomenal to be able to see the cattle and then pick the ones that you want, and know how they are raised, what they’re fed and where they roam

Stu Harcourt at Beerfarm
Beerfarm, Metricup. Photo: Supplied

Voyager Estate

Inside the iconic Voyager Estate Cape Dutch Cellar Door, you’ll find their restaurant offering an immersive, wine-focused lunch experience deeply tied to their home in Stevens Valley.

Head Chef, Travis Crane, works first and foremost with what he can find and forage from their organic Kitchen Gardens. What he can’t grow himself is sourced from like-minded local producers who share a deep respect for this land. By sourcing thoughtfully, cooking respectfully, and presenting beautifully, Travis aims to give guests an authentic snapshot of the region, its seasons, and its producers.
For Travis, this leads to more creative flavour combinations and techniques, as well as a more sustainable and honest style of cooking. Think dill-pickled purslane fries with his take on a classic Reuben sandwich or the humble potato salt-baked in ash dough made from ash off the hibachi grill. To complete the experience, each seasonal dish is inspired by and paired with one of Voyager Estate’s organically farmed wines for a true harmony between the vine and the kitchen.
Head Chef Travis Crane works with what he can find from their organic Kitchen Gardens.
Head Chef, Travis Crane, works with what he can forage from the organic Kitchen Gardens. Photo: Voyager Estate

Sourcing produce farm-direct changes the way you approach cooking. Instead of conceiving a dish and then trying to source that produce…the model is flipped on its head! Inspiration comes from your own property, local producers, and the wild ingredients around us. Geographical constraints force creativity. You must utilise what is here, right now.

Cullen Wines

As one of the Margaret River Region’s most prolific biodynamic and carbon neutral winery, Cullen Wines is an opportunity to experience a taste of full circle dining: ask the friendly cellar door staff what’s picking in the biodynamic garden on the vineyard site, as the menu links these tastes to your table via the plates of head chef Ben Day.

The focus and effort to ensure a complete farm to table experience means that cultivation of a wide range of crops sees around 90 per cent of the menus sourced from Cullen’s biodynamic gardens. A self-guided garden tour invites exploration of what it means to work within biodynamic principals, and a visit to cellar door will further inform around the culture and art of biodynamic wines.

The ability to book seated tastings and a four-course dining experience paired with Cullen wines is the delicious deep dive that will bring the experience together.

Outdoor Seating at Cullen Wines
Cullen Wines, Wilyabrup. Photo: Supplied

The Little Farm

In the heart of the Margaret River town centre, you’ll find The Little Farm. Providers of local groceries, local coffee, tea, food products, and fresh food hampers, Owners Antonella and Dave’s mission is simple. They want locals and visitors alike to immerse themselves in the very special flavours of the Margaret River region.

They make fresh paninis, salads and sweet treats daily with ingredients sourced from local growers, chefs, and artisans to enjoy with locally roasted coffee. With beautiful seasonal spray-free and organic fruit and veg, local eggs, hand-crafted relishes, pickles, and cheeses, they have everything you need to make your own locally sourced lunch at home.

The Little Farm sources locally grown produce.
The Little Farm. Photo: Supplied

Fervor

It’s not a conventional farm to table model for chef Paul ‘Yoda’ Iskov, but then Fervor isn’t your conventional dining experience: Fervor runs pop-up dining events focussed on showcasing Australian native ingredients on locations in unique areas of Western Australia.

Tables are out in the open. The farm is the land around. Describing farm to table as “sourcing ingredients from as close as possible to the source where it grows”, Paul places special emphasis on partnership, working with traditional custodians and local communities for his produce.

“We try and work directly from communities that wild harvest, or with growers directly,” he explains. “It’s very important to know and respect the Culture that governs these ingredients and takes care of the land, and has done so for millennia.” Menus are precisely attuned to place: a Geraldton wax ice at one location becomes cabbage palm or marron at another.

Dining experiences are largely outdoors, the environmental backdrop and the community with which he connects further servicing the diner’s connection to the food on the plate. And through food, Paul is hopeful to be part of the change he wishes to see. “In an age where climate change is so prevalent, listening to First Nations people… on the best ways to maintain the land is a very important part of making sure we do things better into the future.”

Keep an eye on Fervor’s website for his next Margaret River Region pop-up.

In an age where climate change is so prevalent, listening to First Nations people… on the best ways to maintain the land is a very important part of making sure we do things better into the future

Chef Paul ‘Yoda’ Iskov from Fervor.
Paul ‘Yoda’ Iskov from Fervor. Photo: Jessica Wyld

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