Mag­gie Beer Love story

The beloved cook says the se­cret in­gre­di­ent to her suc­cess is her hus­band

Woman’s Day (Australia) - - Contents -

She got en­gaged just 16 weeks af­ter meet­ing her per­fect match in Jan­uary 1970, and Aus­tralia’s foodie queen Mag­gie Beer says mar­ry­ing him was the best de­ci­sion she’s ever made.

Re­flect­ing on her 48-year mar­riage, the larger-than-life Masterchef guest judge de­scribes her hus­band Colin, 72, as her great­est bless­ing.

“It’s crazy to think about how quickly we got en­gaged! Ev­ery­one thought we were nuts, but we didn’t – we’re risk tak­ers,” chuck­les Mag­gie, 73, re­call­ing the mo­ment they met in the Vic­to­rian ski fields all those years ago.

“I rang Kooroora Chalet in Mount Buller and asked if they had any jobs, and they said they needed some­one in the kitchen, so I threw my job in and was there within the week.

“Colin had his com­mer­cial pi­lot’s li­cence, but with a lull in the in­dus­try for sev­eral years he was at Kooroora pulling beers. Our con­nec­tion was im­me­di­ate, and we’ve never sep­a­rated.”

MIS­FITS TO­GETHER

From the mo­ment Woman’s Day is wel­comed into their gor­geous sanc­tu­ary in South Aus­tralia’s Barossa Val­ley, it’s im­me­di­ately clear the lov­ing cou­ple en­joy noth­ing more than be­ing in each other’s com­pany. “My brother-in-law says Colin and I are two mis­fits who found each other,” Mag­gie chuck­les. “We’re a team – but tha that doesn’t mean we don’t arg ar­gue. We’re very dif­fer­ent and we’re both stub­born!” B But the en­dear­ing pair will alw al­ways agree on their love of ag a good laugh and their zest for life. “Hu­mour can di dif­fuse all sorts of is­sues, an and Colin makes me laugh ev ev­ery day – he has this be beau­ti­ful wit,” says the eff ef­fer­ves­cent cook. It hasn’t al­ways been sm smooth sail­ing for the pair, w who have en­dured their fa fair share of mis­for­tunes a along the way. “Like many fam­i­lies, w we’ve had plenty of s strug­gles over the years,” says Mag­gie. “We’ve had fire, flood, pesti­lence, ill­ness in the fam­ily and fi­nan­cial dif­fi­cul­ties, but that’s just part of life.”

FAM­ILY FARM

When it comes to her long list of achieve­ments, noth­ing makes Mag­gie more proud than her fam­ily. Daugh­ters Saskia, 44, and Elli, 42, were brought up on their mum’s farm, and they’ve fol­lowed in her foodie foot­steps with their own ven­tures.

“They needed their own iden­tity and that’s one of the rea­sons they never wanted to come into our busi­ness,” ex­plains Mag­gie, who’s ex­tremely close to her six grand­chil­dren – aged three to 21 – to whom she is af­fec­tion­ately ely known as “Nonna”.

“I know they’re very proud d but they hate it when other peo­ple want my at­ten­tion when they’re with me,” she chuck­les.

Mag­gie’s bound­less pas­sion n ex­tends right through to ev­ery ry as­pect of her life, and yet for all her ca­reer achieve­ments she cred­its Colin as the back­bone of their widespan­ning food em­pire.

“It’s been a slow burn. It wasn’t 20 years to be­come an overnight suc­cess – it was more like 40! And so the older I get the busier I get,” she quips.

“Colin has been so in­te­gral l in our busi­ness and I never would have done it with­out him. The fact that he gave me free li­cence on my vi­sion and sup­ported all my ideas, as I do his – that’s why we make a great team,” says Mag­gie, ad­mit­ting she wouldn’t be the house­hold name she is to­day had it not been for Colin’s sup­port.

“Hav­ing a good mar­riage is my great­est achieve­ment, be­cause hav­ing a good mar­riage means I have a good part­ner­ship.

“This year is 40 years in the busi­ness and we’ve tack­led an aw­ful lot to­gether – and we couldn’t have done it with­out each other. He be­lieved in me far be­fore I be­lieved in my­self! my­self!”

‘Colin be­lieved in me far be­fore I be­lieved in my­self!’

Colin and Mag­gie got en­gaged four months af­ter meet­ing – how ro­man­tic!

The Masterchef team at Mag­gie’s farm in South Aus­tralia.The cou­ple have been to­gether for 48 years.With daugh­ters Saskia (left) and Elli, who are also food­ies.

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