As the aptly named Cabin Fever festival returns for a weekend iteration between 24-26 July co-Festival Director Brianna Delaporte reflects on the festival’s 2020 journey and what’s on at this much needed down south getaway.

Just weeks away from launching their full event programme, Delaporte and her co-Festival Director Erin Molloy were forced to cancel due to the threat of COVID19. “When we had to cancel it was very upsetting,” says Delaporte. “We had a fantastic line-up of events scheduled over the weeks. We never imagined being able to go ahead, further down the line, so we’d effectively said goodbye for 2020.”

With the likelihood of public events being unthinkable, their gaze eventually turned online to bring some much-needed Cabin Fever cheer to their house bound faithful. “That opportunity was to kind of share with our audience some relevant online events like the Friday wine bar series and the mulled wine recipe from the local Spice Mistress, Sarina Kamini. For sure people prefer to be eating and drinking out, and actually experiencing the product, but having said that people really got behind the Cheese Toastie Battle virtual version.” The battle saw Tony Breen of Gnarabup favourite, The Common challenge Perth toastie OG’s Toastface Grillah to an online cookoff and public vote. Toastface took out the title.

With restrictions being lifted and a level of confidence returning in WA, Delaporte and Molloy saw an opportunity for more than just another pivot, but a full pirouette. And so, the Cabin Fever weekender was conceived. “I think people are just really hungry to be back to normal,” says Delaporte.

Some of the region’s best chefs will be in action, such as Miki Nagai of Miki’s Open Kitchen, teaching a ramen masterclass. Nagai kept his customers nourished during restrictions with dine at home ramen. Eagle Bay Brewing Co. head brewer Nick d’Espeissis will be teaching beer essentials at Beer School, while Rocky Ridge Brewing Co will be launching a secret collaboration with “two Perth powerhouses.” All we know is that it’s based on “an all-time favourite dessert dish.”

The region’s most awarded restaurants, such as Vasse Felix and Arimia, are also in the mix, with Voyager Estate head chef Santi Fernandez  taking the helm of Many Lands, described as “a culinary odyssey, as Voyager’s team of international chefs draw inspiration from their heritage and challenge one another to create the most incredible dish. Global flavours, the best local produce, beautifully paired with wines and beverages from around the region.”

Events may be one-offs, and some already sold out, but Delaporte sees an opportunity for visitors and locals alike to support the local hospitality scene. “Buying local, making sure you’re getting out there and supporting the businesses even if they’re not in the programme is what Cabin Fever has always been about. Supporting local business; that’s at the heart of what we’re about. So even if you can’t make it to one of those unique experiences on the programme, the chefs are still there cooking fantastic meals. We just encourage people to go out and get amongst it at a time when they’re really needed.”

Full Cabin Fever programme can be found here.

WAGFG are a proud digital media partner of Cabin Fever

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