Maggie Beer Brings the Barossa to Sydney
5.2 min read
Maggie Beer is loved by so many home cooks, actually she is pretty much loved all throughout this country - she makes cooking so accessible to everybody and has such a confidence in her cooking.
I first met Maggie about 20 years ago when she came to dine at Salt.
While our food is quite different, I feel Maggie and I share a common goal to champion great Australian produce and create meaningful moments through sharing food.
So when the idea of a collaboration at glass brasserie wine bar came about, partnering with Maggie who has such a warm persona and is so passionate about cooking was a no brainer.
I love the idea of collaborating with like-minded cooks and chefs who can bring something really special to the table.
Maggie has a unique style inspired by the Mediterranean and just knows how to get the best out her ingredients. Her food is simple and uncomplicated, but so flavoursome.
I couldn’t think of a better person for this collaboration and am so glad to be able to welcome Maggie into the kitchen of our flagship restaurant glass brasserie at Hilton Sydney.
Being winter, Maggie is the expert in producing exceptional winter classics using the best seasonal ingredients, we knew our diners would embrace her hearty, country cooking.
Our glass wine bar lunch menu features a series of delicious signature and seasonal dishes packed full of fresh, quality produce from around NSW such as our Beef & Guinness pie served with mash and braised lentils, as well as Maggie’s home state, South Australia.
Of course there’s chook on the menu, but not just any chook, a well brought up chook! We use Inglewood Organic Chicken but if we were in the Barossa it would be her daughter Saskia Beer’s.
Saskia has an amazing sustainable farm in the Barossa. If you’re heading to SA anytime soon I highly recommend paying a visit.
In fact, our Appetite for Excellence finalists recently went to Saskia’s farm while on the Produce Tour in SA earlier this month.
One of the highlights was a masterclass from Saskia breaking down a whole pig and making sausages from scratch before cooking them for lunch. It was an amazing experience for our young chefs.
One of the dishes on the glass menu is Maggie's Mustard pear stuffed chicken breast with parsnip, pears and jus, made with pears from her orchard (of which she has 2000 trees) in the Barossa.
The chook is stuffed under the skin with dried mustard pears, which Maggie makes and is a very hand on process.
Unfortunately, there is very little currency in fresh fruit in Australia so Maggie dries most of the fruit that comes from her apricot, peach and pear trees. She also makes cider out of her apples and pears – which I’ve tried and is delicious!
Until 28th September we’ve also got her Seville marmalade glazed pork belly with verjuice, potato puree and cavolo nero on the menu as well as her healthy Cumin roasted sweet potato and black barley salad with tahini and Persian feta.
If you’ve got a sweet-tooth you have to try Maggie’s signature Verjuice custard with bergamot-braised raisin clusters - it’s silky, delicate and truly spectacular.
My kitchen team and I absolutely loved working with Maggie in the kitchen at glass and learning how to make her dishes… I definitely learned a thing or two about patience!
You can dine on Maggie’s amazing dishes and experience a bit of the Barossa here in Sydney at the glass wine bar for lunch until 31 August.
A little note from Maggie: “Being able to work alongside Luke and his team at one of Sydney’s notable restaurants is a real privilege. I am extremely passionate about local produce, so I’m thrilled to be able to bring a bit of the Barossa with me as part of this collaboration. My only hope is that Sydney gets as much joy out of eating these dishes as I did in making them.”