In 1973, Maggie Beer and husband Colin settled in the Barossa Valley, with the intention of breeding game birds and growing grapes. The establishment of their farm led to the now legendary Pheasant Farm Restaurant. The restaurant became highly acclaimed and was, in 1991, awarded the Remy Martin Cognac - Australian Gourmet Traveller Restaurant of the Year award.
With the closure of the restaurant in 1993, Maggie was free to pursue new directions, and in 1996 the Export Kitchen in Tanunda was opened. These days, her career spans farming, food production, as well as television presenting and food writing. Maggie's appearance on the hit ABC programme The Cook & The Chef cemented her place as one of Australia's most well known food personalities, and her line of products is arguably the most highly esteemed and much loved range for Australian gourmets.
Of all the accolades given to Maggie, being chosen as Senior Australian of the Year in 2010, and then South Australian of the Year 2011, have been two enormous highlights of a truly busy life. In addition to these achievements, Maggie was thrilled to be appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for her service to tourism and hospitality on Australia Day in 2012. On September 19th 2013, Maggie was absolutely thrilled to receive a Doctor of Business honoris causa from Macquarie University, presented by Vice Chancellor Professor Bruce Dowton in a graduation ceremony for the Faculty of Human Sciences and Faculty of Business and Economics.
Her appearances on television have been numerous, with the most notable being her involvement with Channel 10‘s Masterchef, setting new ratings records for the episodes she featured in. The Lifestyle Channel have also shone the spotlight on Maggie with a Christmas Special devoted to seasonal menus and celebration. On that theme, Maggie also returned to the ABC in 2012 to share her family Christmas in the Barossa.
A good food life for all, and all that encompasses, is what drives Maggie. As part of this philosophy, Maggie is proud to be the South Australian Ambassador for the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation, whose inspirational programme can truly change lives.
Maggie's hope for every Australian to have a good food life leads her to work on many levels, with the hope of encouraging everyone (young, old and in between!) to enjoy quality, seasonal cooking every day.