Santiago Fernandez

Margaret River has a wonderful vibe – the Colonial Brewery on a Friday night is a great place to be – they produce some epic beers and make a great $10 pizza. It was over this beer and pizza that I met Spanish-born Santiago Fernandez the recently appointed Head Chef at Voyager Estate.

Santi’s career has taken him from Spain to Germany, Mexico and Russia and more recently he spent five years as Head Chef at Sault, in Daylesford, Victoria.

“I would like to create food based in the region – with wine, we talk of terroir, or the place it comes from. I want to create food du terroir. Using produce that is seasonal, ethically sourced, such as sustainable seafood, and organic when possible.”

ROCK LOBSTER, CUCUMBER, GREEN GAZPACHO, SEAWEED, DILL Lemon citrus-brushed Rock Lobster medallions on a bed of kombu salad, cured and pickled cucumber surrounded by a green gazpacho (made with green tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, green capsicum and a touch of coriander).

VENISON, BEETROOT, DAVIDSON PLUM, MACADAMIA AJOBLANCO Cured venison silverside and sous vide beetroot served with with blitzed roasted macadamias, white miso paste and garlic and a Davidson Plum gel, garnished with bulls blood, amaranth and beetroot powder.

BERRIES, ROSELLA, ROSÉ GRANITA, YOGHURT PANNACOTTA, RIVER MINT Voyager Rosé in the preparation of the granita on top and includes summer berries plenty of ways – fresh strawberries, fresh and freeze dried raspberries, poached rosella (the native hibiscus flower), a berry sponge, a berry sangria (also containing rosé wine) and a “refreshing savoury finish” with pieces of yoghurt pannacotta and river mint agar gel.

WAGYU RUMP – EGGPLANT – MUSHROOM – SOY Sous vide wagyu beef rump accompanied by charred eggplant purée and roasted eggplant, both grown in the beautiful kitchen garden, various mushrooms (wood ear, baby king brown and enoki) cooked in a soy-sesame sauce, grilled baby onion and sage-infused oil.

GOATS CHEESE, FIG, VANILLA, CABERNET, NATIVE GRANOLA Late summer figs have been incorporated into a fig and cheese dessert with a distinctly Australian twist – all the goodness of this dessert is hiding underneath the white chocolate “soil” – fresh figs, fig leaf ice cream, aerated goats cheesecake, Cabernet reduction and native granola which makes use of native seeds, nuts and fruit as well as Voyager Estate’s own honey.

BBQ KANGAROO, ILLAWARRA PLUM, SALTBUSH Kangaroo loin cured in salt, sugar and native spices, served with an Illawarra plum glaze – Illawarra plum cooked in a syrup made with water, rice vinegar, tamari, miso paste, pepper-berry. Topped with deep fried saltbush, and the saltbush stem is also used for the skewers – a few drops of oil to create smoke on the homemade konro grill.

The degustation Discovery Menu at Voyager Estate tells a story via a wine and food sensory dining experience, and Santi’s food was a joy to shoot