July was a great time to visit Margaret River in South Western Australia. The Cabin Fever Festival happens around this time of the year. In its second year, the 10-day festival was held from 19 to 28 July featuring wine and dine events, masterclasses and some pretty fun events such as the hip hop yoga brunch.
While the rest of the world is feeling the summer heat, it’s winter in Australia. The cool 14 degrees celsius cool weather is enough to get me packing my bags to rush down for a change of climate and a good time.
I arrived in Margaret River on 19 July 2019 and that night had the fortunate opportunity to try out the best of cuisines by Chef Evan Hayter of Arimia and Chef Melissa Palinkas from Young George over a five-course degustation paired with wines from Arimia boutique winery.
Held at the cosy Arimia Winery and Restaurant at 242 Quininup Road, Wilyabrup, the sold-out dinner started off with canapes and welcome drinks at the patio where guests huddled around outdoor heaters while munching canapes such as the onion cream cured yolk, the brown rice cheese mushrooms duck croquette Kakadu plum and sourdough cauliflower slippery jack.
The atmosphere was one of excitement, diners engaged in conversations, clanking of glasses as diners toasting and pure enjoyment of good food and wine. People were here to have a good time, and that was exactly what we got.
What Did Chef Evan Hayter Prepare?
Arimia’s head Chef Evan Hayter is classically-trained and comes from a Michelin starred background. He combines Margaret River’s finest produce with refined technique. More food is grown and reared at Arimia’s farm including its own pork, eggs, olives, olive oil, trout, grapes, honey, marron and vegetables.
Chef Hayter served his charred Busselton octopus cauliflower cream with wild leek and fermented daikon paired with a glass of 2017 Chardonnay, a serving of duck breast kumquat and another of bbq carrots yoghurt sorghum native citris with a glass of 2013 Zinfandel. His dessert was a Macadamia ice cream with estate honey and macadamia cream with a glass of fortified Syrah.
Chef Melissa Palinkas’ Dishes
Chef Melissa Palinkas, the chef-owner of Young George, a neighbourhood bar with a focus on food at the George Street dining strip in East Fremantle, serves up a menu of bold flavours with global influences using seasonal and local produce.
At the one night only pairing dinner, Chef Palinkas prepared a beautiful lamb baklava smoked sour cream currants macadamia that was paired with an equally beautiful 2019 Verdelho from Arimia. Another of her dish was prepared a Pork sausage bread that was from Arimia Estate raised pigs. The sausage was plated with miso leek and south west mushrooms paired with a glass of 2013 Cabernet Merlot Petit Verdot. Her dessert was a Rhubarb Yoghurt that was eaten from a spoonful serving.
Margaret River on Tour in Singapore 22 August 2019
Chef Hayter is coming to Singapore for Margaret River on Tour that is happening on 22 August 2019 from 6 to 9.30pm at Grand Hyatt Singapore. Over 30 wineries, restaurants and travel and hospitality businesses from the region will be here for a week of wining and dining, masterclasses, travel trade experiences and fringe events.
Tickets to the one-night-only event are priced at S$75 + booking fees and you get to enjoy wine tastings, complimentary canapes, entertainment and a Plumm wine glass valued at S$25 to taste from and take home.
Chef Hayter will be in town for a ‘live’ demonstration and guests will get to taste his dishes featuring seasonal organic and biodynamic produce from the southwest region and the Arimia farm.
He is joined with two other talents for this year’s edition of the tour. They include award-winning photographer Russell Ord and Wadandi Custodian Josh “Koomal” Whiteland.