Mm.. mmm.. mmmmm… meeting Maggie Beer!

January 27, 2011 at 12:35 pm 2 comments

Evening y’all! I’ve got so much to tell you about the amazing time that Mr L, Nanna G, Pa and I have been having in the Barossa Valley, (South Australia) these past 36 hours, and I’ll do that over the next couple of days, but tonight, I just need to focus on one thing because I’m so excited and I’m afraid I’ll ramble, so here ’tis… We met Maggie Beer today! Yes, that’s right, Maggie Beer!

Maggie Beer and me, at her farm shop in the Barossa Valley, South Australia

Maggie Beer and me, at her farm shop in the Barossa Valley, South Australia

“Well, where were you to meet Maggie and how did it come about?” I hear you ask… Long story short, we were touring around the Barossa today in a 1962, 8 seater Daimler with the exceptionally knowledgable (and very entertaining) John Baldwin this afternoon, having a (hopefully not, but possibly so) once in a lifetime experience.

The four of us with John's beautiful 1962 Daimler

The four of us with John's beautiful 1962 Daimler

Of course, it comes to light as we’re on our way to Maggie’s farm shop (the last stop of the day after hours of wine tasting) that John knows pretty well everyone in the community. He gives us a terrific overview of the history that saw Maggie and her husband Col get to the successful position they’re in today. The secret? Well, hard work kids, combined with raw talent and clever minds. Maggie is the uber-talented cook and Col brings fierce business accumen. In fact, John refers to them both as “machines” – a term of wonder and endearment.

"The more everyone learns about food, the more pleasureable eating will be." Maggie Beer

"The more everyone learns about food, the more pleasureable eating will be." Maggie Beer

We establish that John knows Maggie and John pretty well. John’s passengers (us) are kind of star-struck by proxy. We don’t really have any hope that we’ll get to meet Maggie, but I’m thinking to myself that I’ll ask John how I could find a way to meet her.

Plaques along the wall in Maggie's Farm Shop

Plaques along the wall in Maggie's Farm Shop

You see the last time we were here (in November 2010), I was so full of hope that we’d meet Maggie, only to find out that we’d missed her by a couple of hours. We were told she was usually there in the mornings on Saturdays, and I had it in mind that there was no way she’d be there today. We discussed with John that since she was awarded with Senior Australian of the year in 2010, she’s been travelling a lot and were really just looking forward to having a coffee and checking out the farm shop.

Maggie and Col Beer

Maggie and Col Beer

So we arrived at the Farm Shop and were told that sadly, we’d missed the coffees – they’d had to close the machine down. We didn’t really know why, but resolved we’d go back into Lyndoch for a coffee instead once we were done at the shop. As Nanna G and Pa were cruising around the shop, I ducked into the loo. As I was exiting, Maggie was entering! She flashes me her dazzling smile and says hello and I kind of stammer and grin. (My brain is shouting OH MY GOODNESS GRACIOUS ME – THAT’S MAGGIE!”)

So I start hyperventillating and run out to find Mr L. I tell him I’ve just seen Maggie and he raises his figurative eyebrow (can’t raise his actual eyebrow) and questions me about whether it’s Maggie herself or her body double, who ran the verjuice class the last time we were at the shop. NO! I say. It’s absolutely Maggie!

Maggie's farm shop kitchen - where The Cook and the Chef was filmed

Maggie's farm shop kitchen - where The Cook and the Chef was filmed

I dash through the doors to the shop and find Nanna G and Pa. I tell them I’ve just seen Maggie. Nanna G’s eyes light up! “Where?” she asks. I tell her she’s gone into the toilet. I declare I’m going to find John to ask him if he could possibly introduce us! (Please introduce us, please introduce us, please introduce us… Shhhh… brain!)

I find John. Explain the situation. We laugh about the concept of ambushing her as she comes out of the toilet, but agree that’s probably not the done thing (though I think he can tell I will ambush if need be!) and the three of us exit through the front door to give her some space.

The fantastic John Baldwin of Barossa Daimler Tours, next to a quince tree

The fantastic John Baldwin of Barossa Daimler Tours, next to a quince tree

We very casually re-enter the two sets of doors to the shop, picking up Nanna G and Pa on the way. In the interim, Nanna G has also said hello to Maggie and we’re both looking a bit like bright eyed, excitable school girls!

John casually walks over and says hello to Maggie, they exchange friend-like pleasantries (cos they’re friends n stuff) and he then turns to our direction so that he can introduce Nanna G, Pa, Mr L and me.

Maggie and I shake hands and I tell her what a tremendous pleasure it is to meet her. I’m kind of star-struck for real now and stumble over my words a bit, but she’s just so charming and down to earth and very warm, so despite my blundering I don’t feel like too much of a twit! 

It sounds as though she’s had a tough afternoon with a blown pipe taking down the server at the shop and causing all sorts of other issues. The air conditioning is off (I hadn’t noticed – I was clearly too excited!) and all sorts of other things were going wrong, but she was incredibly gracious and very happy to give us a few minutes of her time and stop for a photo. What a woman!

So Maggie – thank you for absolutely topping off a day that was already magical! I’m not sure that I’ll sleep tonight, but it was such a delight to meet you! :):):):):)  And thank you too John – what a brilliant day. 🙂

I know - I've repeated the photo, but I'm excited - Maggie Beer and me!

I know - I've repeated the photo, but I'm excited - Maggie Beer and me!

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Entry filed under: Adelaide, australia, Beers, Grattitude, Travelling. Tags: , , , .

Madhur Jaffrey’s Anglo-Indian sausage patties Barossa Valley tour, January 2011, part 1(a)

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Amada  |  January 28, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    Quality related information! I have been looking for something like this for quite a while now. Thank you!

    Reply
  • […] Beer herself. I know I’ve already written about it – so I won’t reproduce that post, but you can read about that exciting encounter here. What I will do is reproduce the photo – cos I’m a bit of a skite about this particular […]

    Reply

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