Be in the know: we run down this year’s hot tickets.

Sell out events are a hallmark of Cabin Fever Festival. This year’s programme is no exception. Many first release events sold out within an hour; the collaboration between newcomer Lagoon in Yallingup and Fremantle’s established heavy hitter Manuka Woodfired Kitchen adding further dates in a recent second release.

With that release comes news that Evan Hayter of sustainable fine diner Arimia is teaming up with one time Burnt Ends (Singapore) head chef Jake Kellie. At the time of publishing just 20 tickets remained for that event on Saturday 24th July. You’ll perhaps need to pray to whatever deity you favour that they’ve got another date or service up their sleeves. As with all events it’s first in best dressed.

Kellie, now Adelaide based, is one of just a few non-WA chefs to feature on the bill over the years but he’s no stranger to the state’s south west, its wine and  premium ingredients.

His inclusion is a sign of the savvy moves that co-directors Erin Molloy and Brianna Delaporte have taken over the past five years in carving out an identity for the festival that’s aligned to the south west community that initially embraced it: laid back, a little off centre and tuned into the slower winter months down south.

There is very much a feeling that Molloy and Delaporte are more about crafting events that are cohesive than shoehorning in big name talent.  It’s an approach that’s worked. “It’s so great to see that excitement levels are high, which has translated into a record number of people booking tickets to attend this year’s festival,” says Molloy.

Two chefs returning to this year’s line up with a handle on seasonality in the south west are Santiago Fernandez of Voyager Estate and George Cooper of Tiller Dining. 

A born and raised Galician, Fernandez has in the past likened the rugged Atlantic coast of his formative years to his current home in the south west.

His four course “SOLI” discovery menu (Sunday, 18th and Friday 23rd July) is built on winter produce but also takes extra creative cues from their organic vineyards.

British born Cooper will host diners at Tiller Farm near Dunsborough for what he describes as a “choose your own adventure.” Having developed a five-course winter degustation menu you have the choice of tempo, whether it’s an evening of jazz (Thursday 22nd July) or a DJ and dancing (Friday 23rd July).

Casual events have been key to Cabin Fever’s success over its half decade – we’re looking at you toastie battle. The team at Shelter Brewing Co in Busselton seem to have nailed the vibe in their first year, imploring festival goers to “eat like an admiral, drink like a fish,” at Shelter the Storm (Thursday 22nd July). Expect sea shanties.

Cabin Fever runs from 16th to 25th July



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