Maggie Beer Love story
The beloved cook says the secret ingredient to her success is her husband
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.”
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.”
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 couple have been together for 48 years. With daughters Saskia (left) and Elli, who are also foodies.