August 15, 2013



It really is not often that I am lost for words. But yesterday, yesterday was different. Whilst the words didn’t disappear for THAT long, I certainly caught a fright when all of a sudden I was rendered speechless.

Let’s start at the beginning…

Last week, (I am pretty excited to say) I was invited (as the only food blogger in the country) to come along to the Woman’s Day magazine test kitchen to join Margaret Fulton (pause, catch your breath, start again), TO JOIN MARGARET FULTON, while she cooked up some retro recipes from her iconic book, ‘The Margaret Fulton Cookbook'(written while she was Food Editor at Woman’s Day.)

Margaret was coming back to the test kitchen to whip up 3 old favourites (beef stroganoff; or as she calls it “the way to a man or woman’s heart”, Salmon Mousse and “The Famous Beatles Cake”) and I, ME, PHOODIE, was going to join her! This month, Woman’s Day is celebrating it’s milestone 65th birthday, and what better way to honour that than by having this living legend back ‘home’ for a visit!

The past week I have been excitedly jotting down questions for Margaret, planning an outfit, an eyeshadow colour, trying to think of what I could POSSIBLY give to this lady who has given SO much to me. It’s all been a bit of a blur, but finally, the night before, everything came together. I knew I would be bringing along my grandmother’s copy of ‘The Margaret Fulton Cookbook’ for her to sign for my little girl, and I decided that I would give her the cookbook that my old school put together which is LOADED with family recipes from members of the school community (including my family) and illustrated by me. To me, apart from essentially being a food bible, an encyclopaedia, and a reference point when it comes to cooking ANYTHING,  Margaret’s book radiates warmth, happy energy and most of all great love. The book I gave her, ‘Cuisine du Coeur’ is based on all the same principles.

So, the day finally arrived. The morning went by in a mad rush and next thing I knew I was standing outside the famous ’54 Park Street.’ As the lift doors opened onto the foyer outside the Woman’s Day test kitchen, I took a deep breath. I didn’t realise that the moment I stepped out I would be face to face with the woman who has been beside me in the kitchen since I started cooking with my grandmother, aged 3. But she was. She smiled straight at me and that’s when it happened. The ‘speechlessness’. The swelling eyes. She is so beautiful and just emanates the warmest of glows. After some laughter (at me) about my reaction to coming face to face with her, we all made our way to the kitchen.

The energy in the kitchen while Margaret was cooking was electrifying, buzzing. The love of food by those watching, as well as our adoration of Margaret was visible on every single person’s face. Quick witted, charming and just a delight, Margaret talked us through the 3 dishes, and as casual and relaxed as ever, she explained everything to the channel 10 cameras as she cracked little jokes at each turn.

I’ve always known that Margaret was ahead of her time. Haven’t we all? I mean that’s one of the things that I think everyone loves and respects her so much for. She was such a pioneer, introducing Aussies for the first time to a huge array of unfamiliar ingredients, cuisines, recipes and techniques. She was also one of the first people in the industry to be a cook AND a journalist. Back then, people either cooked OR wrote about it. But Margaret did both.

Margaret told me how she is pleased that everyone (including kids, which she is thrilled about!) seems to be getting back into the kitchen and enjoying cooking the way it should be enjoyed. With the rise of shows like Masterchef and My Kitchen Rules, it appears that the entire nation is behind this large scale movement of ‘let’s love for cooking.’ She said it’s great to see that lots and lots of people are starting to realise that preparing delicious and nutritious food for those you love, for your families and children and dear friends is one of the greatest gifts you can give them.

The 65th Birthday issue of Woman’s day is on sale now and includes a special 32 page collector’s magazine. Fiona Connolly, Editor had this to say about it;

“Our special 65th birthday book within Monday’s issue of Woman’s Day includes a wide range of stories from the 1950s to now. We have gone back to where it all began and focused on the ordinary Australians with extraordinary stories who have featured over the past decades in Woman’s Day. Flipping through the pages will bring back some very fond memories; from incredible stories of growing up in the Aussie bush, to Margaret Fulton’s iconic recipes and her groundbreaking influence on Australian cuisine.”

Last night my husband was keen to hear how the day went, and after I told him do you know the first thing he said? “I wonder what Margaret’s up to this weekend? Perhaps she can come over and render you speechless once more!” He’s not used to me having nothing to say!





















Woman's Day Cover - June 17, 1957


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1 Eva { 08.15.13 at 8:03 am }

Such a lovely post, Phoodie you should be so proud of yourself for having the opportunity to meet with this legendary lady :).
I love it when you meet someone you’ve looked up to and they meet all your expectations!!

2 phoodie { 08.15.13 at 8:16 am }

Thans so much!!! She was truly, truly awesome :)

3 Zoe { 08.16.13 at 3:38 am }

Love this post Mars. What an awesome opportunity to meet Margaret and spend the day cooking with her. I’m sure she would have loved spending the day with you too! :)

4 phoodie { 08.16.13 at 3:43 am }

Was amazing Zab!! AMAZING. XXX

5 laurasmess { 08.19.13 at 11:43 pm }

Oh my gosh! Phoodie, this is such a special post. Margaret Fulton is such a beautiful inspiration… like you said, millions of Australians have grown up with her as a food and cooking mentor. I am so glad that Woman’s Day included her in their monumental 65th Birthday celebrations!! Oh, and Phoodie… you’re gorgeous! I am a relatively new follower of your gorgeous blog but I love the heart, passion and energy that you invest into all that you post. You were definitely a worthy choice to meet the lovely Margaret. Hugs! xx

6 phoodie { 01.20.14 at 7:16 am }

Laurasmess, again, I only JUST saw your comment now! Thanks so much for your kind and very thoughtful words!!! I hope you’ve been enjoying the blog over the past months sine you wrote this! :) Phoodie

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