Experience No.037 in Australian Traveller’s 100 Greatest Australian Gourmet Experiences
Every great movement has its church and holy lands. And one of the great cathedrals of Australian food is two hours up the road from Adelaide at Maggie Beer’s Farm Shop.
Set in an unassuming part of the world-renowned Barossa Valley, the Farm Shop is the epicentre of a movement that has been three decades in the making. For food pilgrims to see the place where it all started is reward enough, but to watch the master at work is simply divine. If you’re lucky, Maggie may just step into the kitchen from The Cook and the Chef and take the 2pm verjuice cooking demonstration.
“Maggie Beer’s influence in the Australian food scene cannot be underestimated” – Michael Ryan
The Farm Shop can be found on the original grounds of the Pheasant Farm that Maggie established with husband Colin Beer in 1978 and is therefore very low key. A grant to study game bird breeding in Europe led to the Pheasant Farm, then the Pheasant Farm Restaurant, a massive success that won restaurant of the year in 1991.
In 1984 Maggie started up her produce business selling her signature pâté. This has now been joined by verjuice as the two quintessential Maggie Beer foods to experience.
But the real great experience is to sit on the Farm Shop’s deck watching the pond and sipping on a glass of Pheasant Farm Wine, enjoying one of the picnic boxes stuffed with this glorious food. A simple and effective way to commune with one’s own food god.
Where: Samuel Rd, Nuriootpa SA, (08) 8562 4477, www.maggiebeer.com.au
Did you know: Maggie Beer left school at 14 and has not only never been formally trained, but her only paid cooking job came in her 20s in Scotland. It ended badly when she blew the budget.