Robin Wickens - Portrait_web

Chef Robin Wickens: Executive Chef at the Royal Mail Hotel Dunkeld.

Robin began his culinary career at the age of fourteen when he left school to work his way through some of London’s most respected restaurants – Pied Terre, Bibendum and The Glasshouse, working under famous chefs such as Bruno Loubet, Stephen Terry and Raymond Blanc.

Among his many achievements Robin was awarded The Age Good Food Guide ‘Young Chef of the Year’ in 2004, Gourmet Traveller ‘Best New Talent’ in 2005, as well as earning two hats in The Age Good Food Guide in 2007 and 2008 at Interlude.  Robin earnt a hat rating at Melbourne’s The Deanery and made the tree change to the Royal Mail Hotel, Dunkeld in 2013.

Rick HeinrichChef Rick Heinrich: Owner Kookaburra Restaurant Halls Gap

Rick Heinrich is the owner of Halls Gap’s iconic Kookaburra Restaurant and one of the founding fathers of Grampians Grape Escape.

With more than 36,000 serves of duck and even more pots of stock under his belt, Rick has certainly earned his stripes when it comes to excellence in cooking.  Rick’s food philosophy has remained the same throughout his career – take the best ingredients and enhance their natural flavours, letting them speak for themselves on the plate.

After a visit to France in 1984 Rick fell in love with duckling. Since then duck has been the most popular dish on the Kookaburra menu. The focus of his cooking demonstrations at this year’s Grampians Grape Escape will be the boning and preparation of a number of duckling dishes.

dbaumMasterclasses presented by the Grampians Produce Group:  This year members of the  Grampians Produce Group will present a varied and interesting selection of master-classes.

  • Toby Pinhol form Tosca Browns Hamilton will show you everything you need to know about Cooking with Yolks.
  • Deb Bain will outline The Food Connection.
  • Mount Zero Olives will deliver an Olive Oil Masterclass and Olive Curing Workshop.
  • Louise Fitzroy from Paddock to Plate will introduce their new app for directly connecting producers and consumers.
  • Deirdre Baum (pictured) from Deirdre’s Restaurant at Laharum Grove will demonstrate the elements of a tasting plate, creating lavosh, pickled veggies, crackers and labne.
  • Sarah Guthrie from Grampians Estate will conduct a beginners guide to wine tasting and provide hints and tips for a great tastings.
  • Sara Kitterley from Stock and Ladle, Beaufort will demonstrate how to cook Greenvale Farm pork and vegetable gyoza.  Quick to make, quick to cook, great to eat!