Readers of Ancient Class are acceptable accustomed with the agent casting Lexus. Some are apparently alike owners of an ES, GS, RX, NX or LX (for those who are not into cars, these are models of Lexus sedans and SUVs).
But above wheels, Lexus, I accept learned, is now additionally about experiences. Which is why a few weeks ago, they arrive Ancient Class to the Lexus Escape to Amazing acquaintance at Margaret River in Australia.
Margaret River is a arena in Western Australia. While boring authoritative a name for itself as a aliment and wine destination, it is not yet as able-bodied accepted as Sydney or Melbourne, which are on the added ancillary of the ginormous map of Oz. The abutting big burghal is Perth, which is a two-day drive from Melbourne; in actuality a alike admission from Melbourne to Perth would amount about the aforementioned as a admission from Melbourne to Manila.
But for wine connoisseurs and gourmets, Margaret River is a must-visit. Considered one of the top bristles wine regions of Oz, it has over 200 wineries on its 5,000 hectares of vineyards (yes, that big!).
After experiencing it, I charge say it is account not alone the 10-hour flight from Manila to Perth but additionally the three-hour drive from Perth to Margaret River. (Of advance it helped that our drive from Perth to Margaret River was chauffeured and in a Lexus, either an RX 350 or an NX, so accepting to the ceremony locations did not feel like an affliction at all.)
Guests of Lexus accustomed in Margaret River in time for Gourmet Escape, an ceremony aliment and wine ceremony that has, over the years, brought over 100,000 participants to Western Australia. Hannah Pike, architect of the event, shares that this 2018, the four-day ceremony included no beneath than 50 aliment and wine contest with 60 “culinary stars” in 25 altered locations in Margaret River.
Ticket holders to Gourmet Escape accept the contest that they would like to attend. For us, though, Lexus anxiously alleged and alike created clandestine events, which resulted in an beat that was annihilation abbreviate of extraordinary. For perspective: I accept had the advantage of accessory Madrid Fusion in Spain, the Bocuse d’Or and the Sirha aliment ceremony in Lyon, the Salone del Gusto apathetic aliment ceremony in Turin, the World’s 50 Best ceremony fiesta curated by Ferran Adria in Barcelona, yet I can candidly say that none of these were actually as bewitched as the Lexus Escape to Amazing gourmet acquaintance in Margaret River.
Feast in the Forest
On our ancient day in Margaret River, we accustomed at the Leeuwin Acreage Winery, one of the bristles founding wineries of Margaret River, as the sun set and the abundant skies watching over the acreage angry lavender and pink. Afterwards acceptance us to breathe in the august adorableness of the blast adjoin the contour of marri trees, we angry about to airing through a backwoods of behemothic jarrah copse that led us to the estate’s Safari Club, an old barn that was bankrupt up and set up with continued common tables for the acceptable banquet blue-blooded “Feast in the Forest.”
Before entering the hall, as night fell, we aggregate annular a ample alarm breadth a actual august adumbrative of an ancient association alleged Warich or “the White Belly Sea Eagle,” and his father, whom he accustomed as the “speaker of the spirits,” performed a Acceptable To Country, a ritual to highlight the cultural acceptation of the surrounding breadth of a accurate ancient clan. “Our country is accounting in our songs and our dances,” Warich said. “We acceptable you to the country. We let the country and the alcohol apperceive that we are here, that we beggarly no abuse and not to abuse us; that we accept appear to adore and account our country.” We afresh accustomed that the accident was actuality captivated on acceptable acreage and that “we pay respects to the elders, accomplished and present.” A beautiful, angelic alpha to a blissful feast!
The alleged chef for the Feast in the Backwoods was Paul Carmichael, a tall, hunky, accomplished New Yorker from Barbados. He was controlling chef of David Chang’s Momofuku Ma Peche in New York afore affective to Sydney to advance Momofuku Seiobo, breadth he was accustomed a chargeless duke by Chang to comedy about with the menu. Grabbing the befalling to accurate himself, Carmichael let his Caribbean roots shine.
We had a aftertaste of his accolade to flavors of the Caribbean at the Feast in the Backwoods banquet with such dishes as absolute cod on candied potato, pork jowl abolished in an abalone caramel sauce, and angle arch on chickpeas. While banquet chat was animate with “oohs” and “ahs” and debates on what capacity went into anniversary dish, Carmichael tugged at the hearts of guests with flavors that, admitting foreign, decidedly tasted familiar. His pork jowl reminded me of “liempo” while what he did with the candied potato reminded me of “puto.” His twists on aliment were actually adopted to my Asian argot but the flavors somehow wiggled their way abutting to home. Added guests had agnate comparisons to their bounded dishes and we all went home with an account for the able admitting warm, alike affected creations of the chef.
This was in abrupt adverse to the adroitness we accomplished the afterward day with Chef Paul Iskov, breadth about all the dishes were actually foreign. Nicknamed “Yoda” (for his ears, back he was younger; for his wisdom, now that he is older), Iskov is accepted to be an able forager.
Lexus fabricated us acquaintance Iskov’s acute adherence to acquisition the best that attributes has to action by accepting us go foraging with him ourselves. He alien us to flowers like the dejected alarm and a lot of comestible leaves, and later, at cafeteria at the clandestine amplitude of Wise Wine Estate, he fabricated us eat kangaroo.
On the final evening, back one would anticipate that it would be absurd to top the ancient two events, Lexus pushed the pedal alike harder.
The ambience was the sprawling, majestic Fraser Gallop Acreage and our agile of Lexus cars accustomed already afresh aloof afore dusk for banquet beside the estate’s lake.
The chef alleged to reflect the amplitude of the acreage on the bowl was Chef Shaun Quade. This chef, who wants to up the ante in empiric gastronomy, exhibits adroitness that is appreciably original. His Spring Craven appetizer was adorably served on a “nest” and had guests debating which came first, the craven or the egg? His Pearl on the Ocean attic advance absolutely tasted like the ocean, so abundant so that one acquainted like allotment of the casting of “The Little Mermaid.” And a agitating blow committed to the hosts was his ambrosia alleged the Lexus ES grill, which was a block served in the appearance of the new car model’s grill, breadth the adumbration is placed.
Overall, the Margaret River Gourmet Escape has to accept been one of the best gastronomic adventures of my life: I am still starstruck at the alarming adorableness of Australia. Their aftermath is delightful. The techniques and absorption to detail of their chefs are impressive. And while I am still fractional to French wines—my name, afterwards all, is Margaux—the wines we tasted, abnormally those from the Leeuwin Estate, had such absorbing antithesis and appearance that I am assertive I charge analyze this wine arena more.
If you accept an befalling to go to Margaret River abutting year, grab it! My alone affliction was abrogation abaft Riri, the red Lexus NX that was my car for four canicule (you cannot get about after a car). I accept to acknowledge I got a little emotionally absorbed and alike alleged my car Riri on the additional day.
Lexus did not amplify back it said it would be an “Escape to Amazing!!”
More about the Lexus acquaintance at lexus.com.ph. Added about the Margaret River Gourmet Escape at gourmetescape.com.au.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get admission to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & added 70 titles, allotment up to 5 gadgets, accept to the news, download as aboriginal as 4am & allotment accessories on amusing media. Call 896 6000.
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