By Leigh O’Connor.
Growing up in the West Australian countryside, Jed Gerrard often went fishing and foraging with his family, developing a love of fresh and seasonal ingredients.
The onsite and Chef-hatted restaurant at Wills Domain overlooks the impressive Gunyulgup Valley and offers one of the best views in Margaret River, with a refined, industrial feel and focus on sustainable, wild-harvested produce.
Sitting on 60 hectares, the winery has postcard vistas of undulating vine-covered hills, an impressive homestead and glimpses of the Indian Ocean – making it the ideal spot to settle in with a glass of estate wine and while away the afternoon.
The estate’s gardens grow much of the restaurant’s produce and offer a rare insight into the depth and lengths the kitchen takes to showcase their unique, stylish and innovative approach.
Crowned the West Australian Chef of the Year in 2018, Jed focuses on cuisine that needs individual craftmanship and works with the purity of produce, in tandem and harmony with the surrounding environment.
A self-confessed dyslexic, he trained in New Zealand and Canada before returning to Australia in 2006 for a role at Tetsuya Wakanda’s followed by Bilsons, two eponymous Sydney restaurants.
After a stint in Europe to gain experience working in Michelin-starred restaurants, he returned to Australia eventually heading back to his home state of WA to take on the role of Executive Chef of COMO The Treasury and The Ritz Carlton.
Last year, he took over the reigns at Wills Domain and as they say, the rest is history.
"After growing up in the country and living at my grandparents’ hotel as a child I have always been interested in cooking,” he says. "From early on in my career, I knew I wanted to be at the top of my game and to do that I had to go and work for Chefs at the top of their game.”
Obsessive-compulsive about details, Jed delivers four and seven-course degustation menus to diners with signature dishes such as cured Augusta nannygai, dried bonito, radish and crab dressing; or dry-aged Arkady lamb, smoked eggplant, zucchini and vadouvan.
Make sure to pair your meal with a glass of Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay or Semillon from the Wills Domain cellar.