50 Pheasant Farm Road, Nuriootpa, South Australia
08 0562 4477
There’s no one more quintessentially South Australian than Maggie Beer. The culinary superstar has been at the fore front of the state’s cooking scene since 1973, supporting and building the reputation of the beautiful local produce.
‘Organic’ has been the ethos for Maggie since the very beginning, in more ways than one. She didn’t plan to fall into a career in food, but rather found herself living in the Barossa surrounded by wonderful, seasonal produce. Along with husband Colin, they started to breed pheasants and then selling them to the locals in the Barossa Valley. The general lack of knowledge around preparing the birds saw Maggie branch into the kitchen, trying her hand at cooking the pheasants and quail, pickling the quail eggs, making pâté and learning how to use every bit of the birds.
From there, they expanded into a farm shop, selling fresh birds with instructions on how to cook them, and offering roasted pheasant and stuffed quails as picnic food, before going out on a limb and opening the Pheasant Farm Restaurant. Today the Pheasant Farm Restaurant is once more a farm shop, bringing her culinary experience full circle.
As to be expected, the emphasis at the Farm Shop is on superior seasonal produce. A lifetime in the valley has shown the cook how to identify the rhythm of the seasons, how to recognise when to pick fruit and vegetables so that they are at their best, and how to maximise the potential of what can be grown in the wild. This continues to be the inspiration and starting point for any product that’s introduced in the range.
There’s no head chef at the Farm Shop. Instead, the leadership role is divided between key staff members, with Maggie overseeing the bigger picture of running the Farm Shop and the Export Kitchen.
The Barossa is home to such a rich diversity of produce that it has encouraged an ever-growing tapestry of food-based ventures. Therefore, the team are able to find almost everything they need from local suppliers, only venturing outside the state when they can’t find the perfect partners.
Stop by the Tanunda outpost to pick up everything you need for a beautiful day in the Barossa. Most of the picnic baskets on offer are framed around their variety of pâtés with accompaniments to suit them. Try the original Pheasant Farm pâté, served with caramelised onion or freekah salad and wood-oven bread. There’s also a range of daily specials, and a chicken and tarragaon pastry parcel served with fresh salad greens.
Running with the ‘local is lovely’ theme, coffee comes from Barossa Coffee Roasters, teas from Barossa producer Scullery Made and Jersey milk from Kernich of Greenock. The store also features its own range of wines and cider for an afternoon pick-me-up.
As the only place in Australia where you have the chance to see and try just about every product in the range, you’d be silly not to take the time to visit Maggie and her team in the beautiful Barossa.