The language of love
The Australian Women's Weekly|April 2020
He calls himself The Crazy Bull but his passion for food and family has made him a TV favourite. Tiffany Dunk meets Miguel Maestre and Sascha, the woman who tamed him.
Tiffany Dunk

Some 20 years ago, Sascha Newport was arriving for work at an upscale cocktail bar in Edinburgh, Scotland, when the new Spanish doorman – whose swarthy good looks had already caused excited commentary among the female staff – swung into action.

“Beautiful eyes, beautiful,” he murmured to the 21-year-old Australian waitress in his heavily accented English, gallantly holding the door as a blushing Sascha scurried inside.

Thrilled, Sasha told a workmate about the encounter.

“Oh the bouncer?” her friend scoffed. “He told me I had beautiful eyes too!”

That bouncer was Miguel Maestre who, at 20 years old, had recently arrived in the city without a lick of English to his name. His roommate had given him pointers to communicate in a rudimentary fashion with the staff and clientele of the bar, which he hoped would lead to a job in the kitchen.

“It was a really cool place, like the Ivy in London, really exclusive,” he tells The Weekly today. “When I first met Sascha I couldn’t speak one word of English but we clicked.”

At the time, Sasha had hit pause on a round-the-world trip in order to work and save money for the last leg. Miguel, meanwhile, had just arrived from his hometown of Murcia, Spain, to chase his dreams of working in the world’s best restaurants.

His love of cooking had come young watching his parents side by side preparing meals for their huge extended family. “You would see them at the sink together, my dad cleaning calamari, my mother cooking,” he says. “Some of the best memories I have in my life are those beautiful ones. I think the kitchen is the only place that I belong.”

Both transplanted from homes far away, the pair quickly gravitated towards each other. And despite the language barrier a whirlwind romance blossomed.

“We laugh because on our first date I must have been just talking, talking and he would have had no idea what I was saying,” Sascha, now 41, says of the unlikely start of their relationship. “I can’t remember how we really made sense. But we used to have so much fun and oh, his gorgeous smile. He’d turn up to my house and would cook for me, little dates.”

“I used to have an English book,” Miguel, 40, admits. “So it would say in English, ‘what is your favourite drink?’ And then I would ask it. Then the next thing will be, ‘Tell me about your mum and dad?’ So we would sit down and have these very broken conversations. Sascha was really outgoing, and even if I couldn’t understand what she was saying and she couldn’t understand what I was saying, we had fun.”

It was, quips Sascha, “the language of love” and it’s the tongue they still speak in today, two decades and two children later, albeit with Miguel far more fluent in English.

And it’s this language which he credits with all of his success and good fortune in life. Most recently, it saw him crowned King of the Jungle. In January, Miguel’s emotional declarations of devotion to his wife and kids (Claudia, eight, and Morgan, five) from the set of I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here! won him a legion of fans and the title to boot. “People say, ‘Behind every great man is a great woman’ and I think that’s wrong,” Miguel says of the strength he draws from his wife. “I think that in front of every great man is a great woman, leading the way.”

Taming the bull

It’s a relationship that could have ended swiftly. After initially dating for three months, Sascha was ready to leave Edinburgh and travel to America. “Miguel said, ‘I am moving to Australia and I said, ‘no you’re not, we’re just having fun, that’s it!’,” she laughs of her horrified reaction.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM THE AUSTRALIAN WOMEN'S WEEKLYView All

Role model royals

As we celebrate William and Kate’s 10th wedding anniversary, Juliet Rieden asks: can the close-knit Cambridge five steady the royal ship with their duty, dignity and family values?

10+ mins read
The Australian Women's Weekly
April 2021

TOGETHER FOR CHANGE

As allegations of sexual assault and harassment swirl around our federal Parliament, Samantha Trenoweth sits down with some of the most powerful women in the land to consider the issues that have shaken the nation.

10+ mins read
The Australian Women's Weekly
April 2021

Remember the time

APRIL 1823: The first Sydney Royal Easter Show

1 min read
The Australian Women's Weekly
April 2021

“Finding my power” -Toni Pearen

Facing her demons (and a few snakes) in the jungle led to a personal and professional renaissance for Toni Pearen. Jenny Brown meets the former pop princess as she steps into a brave new life.

9 mins read
The Australian Women's Weekly
April 2021

“I was lost before Lauren”

It may seem a charmed life, but MasterChef Australia judge Jock Zonfrillo has had serious lows with the highs. He tells Sue Smethurst how love saved him.

9 mins read
The Australian Women's Weekly
April 2021

Ray of hope

Nobody would consider the parents of children with cancer lucky, but for two families who were included in a ground-breaking Australian program to fight childhood cancers, lucky is exactly how they feel. Genevieve Gannon meets those families.

10+ mins read
The Australian Women's Weekly
April 2021

My story: My journey out of darkness

When screenwriter Kristen Dunphy checked herself into a psychiatric ward, her world was unbearably dark, but with pen and paper in hand, she found the glimmer of hope that carried her home.

6 mins read
The Australian Women's Weekly
April 2021

In the name of my daughter

When her 20-year-old daughter was brutally murdered in a Queensland hostel, Rosie Ayliffe needed answers. What she uncovered compelled her to launch a campaign to expose the dangers backpackers face in Australia, she tells Juliet Rieden.

10+ mins read
The Australian Women's Weekly
April 2021

Best friends forever

A trip down memory lane makes the perfect birthday gift for a much loved childhood friend.

3 mins read
The Australian Women's Weekly
April 2021

How To Max Your Morning Rituals

In our quest for the best possible wake-up and start to our day, we need a multisensory approach that draws us out of slumber and kickstarts our body clock. Here, Russell Jones, author of Sense, shares simple ways to feel good.

4 mins read
The Australian Women's Weekly
April 2021
RELATED STORIES

Break Away From Android and iOS: 7 Free Open-Source Mobile OSes

Silicon Valley has long preached that technology, not truth, will set you free. The jury is still out on that. For instance, although smartphones have dramatically changed our world, they come with some serious drawbacks. Centralized app stores mean that useful apps can vanish in a heartbeat, while apps themselves use the sensors on these devices to monitor much of our lives. Perhaps worst of all, most of these devices cost plenty, yet they aren’t expected to function for more than a few years.

10+ mins read
PC Magazine
April 2021

The National Interest: Jonathan Chait

Schooling the Left Biden’s first big break with his allies is over classroom reopenings.

5 mins read
New York magazine
March 29 - April 11, 2021

General hospital

Jordan (then-Vinessa Antoine, l.) and Anna (Finola Hughes) became friendly while working together to bring down the Jerome mob organization.

3 mins read
Soap Opera Digest
February 08, 2021

general hospital

WHAT WILL HAPPEN Sam overhears an important phone call. Olivia looks to Tracy for answers. Jason warns Britt about Cyrus.

3 mins read
Soap Opera Digest
January 25, 2021

general hospital

WHAT WILL HAPPEN • Willow and Michael discuss their relationship. • Nina is compassionate. • Carly is furious with Julian.

3 mins read
Soap Opera Digest
December 14, 2020

MENDING THEIR RIFT?

LEFT REELING BY A SCANDAL, MEGHAN MARKLE’S FORMER BFF GETS A SECOND CHANCE.

2 mins read
Star
December 14, 2020

Surroundings

Artists Miguel Peidro and Jesus Navarro both turn to the outside world for their painting inspirations.

3 mins read
American Art Collector
October - November 2020

general hospital

WHAT WILL HAPPEN • Willow is honest with Michael. • Nina gets a lead on her missing child. • Monica counsels Ned on his relationship with Brook Lynn.

3 mins read
Soap Opera Digest
November 23, 2020

general hospital

COKE CLASSIC Cyrus tasks Brando with making sure Carly doesn’t interrupt his dinner date with Sasha and claims to Sasha that the only thing he wants in exchange for keeping her flush in cocaine is her friendship. Nina barges past Brando to warn Cyrus not to hurt Sasha; meanwhile, Sasha and Brando get acquainted. Carly shares her concern about Sasha’s drug use with Jason, prompting Sonny to voice his regret to Jason over how he once plied Karen with narcotics. Cyrus brings Sasha back to his place, where she does more coke and collapses. Cyrus panics, and Brando rushes in to try to revive Sasha.

3 mins read
Soap Opera Digest
December 07, 2020

Sascha Nastasi - Rules To Chill By

The 17-year-old actress is the incredibly wise, super honest pal we all need in our lives.

4 mins read
Girls' Life magazine
December / January 2021