Maggie Beer: a recipe for life
Maggie Beer is certainly a household name when it comes to fine quality produce. Proudly starting in catering without formal training as a chef, she cooks with generosity and love, making the most of what’s fresh, local and in season. She’s also become a trusted brand for those looking to add a little gourmet treat to their shopping basket or name drop on their menu.
Beer also understands how to cook for health, recently releasing her new book, Maggie’s Recipe for Life. Co-authored with Professor Ralph Martins, this collection of 200 recipes are aimed at curtailing the lifestyle diseases that increasingly affect our ageing population. She explains, “To have a healthy old age you must act now, whether you are 30 or 50.”
“This is not a diet book – it’s a way of life,” Maggie stresses. And what a life she has led so far. Beer opened The Farm Shop in the Barossa with her husband in 1979, selling fresh and home-made produce. Within a year, they had transformed it into the Barossa Pheasant Farm Restaurant. The restaurant gained a following serving locally sourced pheasant as well as a pate, known as Pheasant Farm Pate.
That glorious, smooth pate is still a favourite on tasting boards to this day. Not that she hasn’t branched out; you’ll find Maggie’s extensive range of delights stocked at select Blue Cow Cheese stockists. Her creations have grown to include quirky condiments with the flavours of her beloved Barossa, including Cabernet Barbecue Sauce, Ginger Chili Sauce and Fig Vino Cotto. Then there’s Maggie Beer Verjuice, the slightly tart kitchen wonder that she helped popularise, made from the juice of unfermented grapes.
It’s not just the savoury she has covered. Her collection of gourmet ice creams have serious summer appeal. With flavours including Burnt Fig, Honey & Caramel and Morello Cherry & Dark Chocolate, they’re a grown-up treat that parents will be hiding in the back of the freezer.
Of course, it’s not only Maggie Beer’s food products that have caught the public’s attention. Her kitchen skills and warm personality saw her co-host The Cook and the Chef, as well as appear on MasterChef Australia and The Great Australian Bake Off. This, alongside building the successful food empire and releasing 11 recipe books, just goes to show how Beer lives her message, working to get the most out of life.
Maggie’s Recipe for Life is available through her website, with proceeds shared between the Maggie Beer Foundation and the Lions Alzheimer’s Research Foundation.