Spring Feast in Guppy Park | Market Eating House

Celebrating regional wine and produce is where it’s at for me, so when a power house team come together to show off what the Geographe region has to offer, I’m there. Earlier this month the fabulous Market Eating House, helmed by Brenton and Bec Pyke, put on an incredible 6 course degustation lunch matched with award winning wines from the Geographe & WA Alternative Varieties Wine Show. Set in picturesque Guppy Park, right in the centre of Bunbury, and conceptualised in partnership with local events queen Jo O’Dea, what a beautiful event it was!

If you’re not yet familiar with the Geographe wine region, it’s time to get exploring! Stretching from Harvey to Busselton, and including the Ferguson Valley, Donnybrook and Capel, this region is not only full of picturesque vistas, charming country towns and delightful locals but is also one of the most diverse wine regions in Western Australia. The Geographe Wine Show was first held in 2002 and has become a prestigious annual opportunity for wine producers in the region to exhibit and have wines benchmarked against industry standards.

And what is the best way to celebrate award winning wines? By putting on a feast, of course! Market Eating House has quickly gained a stellar reputation and cult following since opening in Bunbury a few years ago, and you only have to eat there once to understand why. What I love most about Brenton and Bec is their commitment to ethical, sustainable and responsible produce. They have respect for the ingredients they source and work closely with local producers and farmers. The world needs more people like these guys in the restaurant game (although thankfully there is certainly a movement in this direction).

We started the afternoon with Sparkling Chardonnay from St Aidan Wines and absolutely stunning canapés, my favourite being the cold smoked rainbow trout, nori and cultured cream. I would have been totally happy to just sit down with a big plate of these! SO good. Our next wine was a Nebbiolo Rosé from Kellivale Estate, which I was excited to try as this producer was a new name to me. I was very impressed, and this delightful pink drop is certainly one I'll be seeking out as summer draws closer!

The first course of Shark Bay crab, smoked avocado, dashi and finger lime, matched with a 2010 Talisman Riesling, was a smashing combination and one of my favourites of the day. It was my kind of food, perfectly fresh in flavour as a Spring dish should be. Each course was outstanding, as a parade of morish dumplings, quail, and wagyu made its way onto the table. It's always a good sign when plates are being scraped clean! We closed with a glorious strawberry trifle for dessert, paired in sweet perfection with a Vineyard 28 Moscato Rosa. The other wineries represented were Millbrook Winery (Chardonnay and Tempranillo), Willow Bridge Estate (Shiraz) and Bakkheia (Cabernet Sauvignon) - all exceptional examples of what this region produces.

I’m so happy events like this exist. We have a blossoming region worth celebrating, and it's an honour and a pleasure to support those shining a light on all that is special and unique in the Geographe. It was also heartening to hear the organisers speak of the challenges around delivering events of this calibre - the Pyke's run two restaurants and Jo O'Dea several high profile annual festivals - and share their great pleasure at the enthusiastic response on the day. Rest assured, guys - we'll be right there, glasses outstretched and ready to feast, at the next one!

Story written by Rhianna Henfry

Photographed by Elle Dixon - Dixon & Smith