Masterchef

MasterChef Australia’s guest judge Maggie Beer on why she’ll never retire

‘I’m in rude health – I’m strong and fit for my age.’

She may be 73 and have more than 50 years' experience in the hospitality industry, but don't expect popular TV presenter and food author Maggie Beer to hang up her apron anytime soon.

"I'll never really retire," she tells TV WEEK. "I have a lot to do in life, so retirement isn't on the agenda.

"I can't imagine not being engaged in life, whatever path I take, until the very end."

Maggie has been sharing her recipes and food knowledge with the world for five decades. And despite the odd occasion when her busy work schedule leaves her feeling a little run down, Maggie admits she's in pretty good shape.

"I'm in 'rude health', as they say," she laughs. "I'm strong and fit for my age."

There is, however, one thing the grandmother-of-six has cut back on to keep her health in check.

"I now limit my glasses of wine to the weekends," Maggie laughs. "It makes me appreciate wine even more."

A regular guest judge on MasterChef Australia, Maggie returns for another season this week.

"That's my absolute go-to show," she says of the Logie-winning cooking competition.

"I love that these young people have put their lives on hold to follow something they're truly passionate about. I'm so often in awe of their abilities."

So, does Maggie have a favourite among this year's contestants?

"I'd never declare a favourite," she smiles. "However, there's an indefatigable nature in Jess [Liemantara, the 19-year-old Melbourne waitress]. She has such a positive energy; so capable, so young."

Maggie also has a soft spot for NSW social worker Hoda Kobeissi, 32.

"Her quiet, gentle nature and assurance with food from her culture really fascinates me," she says.

MasterChef Australia airs Monday to Thursday, and Sunday, 7:30pm, Network Ten.

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