Remember a couple months back when Jamie won the Barossa Valley Farmers Market cake baking contest?
“Maggie Beer is here,” Jamie said excitedly as we walked around the Farmers Market prior to the judging. “Do you want to take a photo for the blog?”
“Not really,” I responded. “I don’t have much in common with her.”
It was literally a month later when reality unexpectedly slapped me up the side of the head. Jamie wasn’t asking if I wanted a photo of myself with Maggie Beer, I realized. She was asking if I wanted to take a photo of her with Maggie Beer.
I was so embarrassed. I felt terrible that I had denied her a chance to have her photo taken with this Australian icon so I immediately found her out in the garden and apologized for my stupidity. (Probably not the first nor the last time I do something stupid that requires an apology.)
Who, you may ask, is Maggie Beer?
The best way I can describe her is to say that she is Australia’s answer to Martha Stewart.
Maggie is an Australian and Barossa Valley legend — a chef, food author, restaurateur, entrepreneur, and television celebrity. She produces a range of gourmet foods, including Pheasant Farm Pate, quince paste, verjuice, and gourmet ice creams. She is one of the judges on The Great Australian Bake-Off and is a regular guest on MasterChef Australia. And twenty years ago she was one of the driving forces behind the creation of the weekly Barossa Valley Farmers Market.
You know, the one where Jamie won the cake baking contest.
Three and a half months have passed since Jamie’s win. Last Friday night we attended the opening of a new exhibition at Wonderground, a terrific art gallery located in a beautifully-refurbished stone cottage sitting atop a hill in the middle of a vineyard about a mile down a dirt road in the middle of nowhere. It’s owned by our friends Renee and Kirsty.
So there we were, sipping fine wine and nibbling delicious hors d’oeuvres with the Barossa Valley’s movers and shakers when Maggie Beer suddenly swept into the room.
I looked at Jamie.
She looked back at me.
She reached into her purse, pulled out her cell phone, switched it to camera mode, and handed it to me.
I walked over to the esteemed Ms Beer and introduced myself, explained my extreme stupidity at the Farmers Market, and told her that the winner of her cake baking contest would love nothing more than finally having a photo of the two of them together.
Maggie was gracious indeed. “I need to have my photo taken with someone else in the next room right now,” she replied. “But please come with us and I’d be happy to do a photo with your wife.”
So that’s exactly what we did.
In case the significance of this photo has escaped you, please allow me to review: This is a photo of Jamie, the winner of the Barossa Valley Farmers Market 20th anniversary cake baking contest, with Maggie Beer, one of the founders of the Farmers Market, and one of the judges of The Great Australian Bake-Off.
If you’re a baker, it just doesn’t get any better than that.
I’m so relieved that Jamie got her photo with this Barossa Valley icon. I’m just embarrassed that it didn’t happen back when it should have.
Polly Dundon says
Great story, Jim. Quite a few years ago when visiting the Farmers Market with our Sydney family, my very handsome son-in-law, Alex, came back to us, very excited that THE Maggie Beer had said hello to him. My thought was “Clever Maggie” , I would have done the same if I spotted this gorgeous man. 🙌🥰
Better late than never♥️. I could also say that about your proposal. Sometimes we just need to be kicked in the head my dear friend:)
Yeah. I know.
Jamie will be on our TV’s before we know it with her own baking show
She is far too modest to be interested in a TV career. After reading your comment i asked her if she would be interested in a TV baking career. “No, no way,” was her answer.
Still cheering for Jamie’s victory! Hooray!!! Sweet story, great photo, forever beautiful Jamie!
What a darling photo of you and Maggie! Never heard of her, but learn something new all the time. How exciting!!!!!