“I’m lucky. I love what I do.”
– Neven Maguire
Neven Maguire is one of Ireland’s best loved chefs. The restaurateur and media personality is well known for his award-winning MacNean House & Restaurant. He has published 12 cookbooks and is currently filming his 8th series of ‘Home Chef’ for RTE.
Chef Neven Maguire
Neven began cooking at 12 years of age alongside his mother, Vera, in the kitchen of the MacNean House and Restaurant (then known as the MacNean Bistro), which was originally run by his parents in Blacklion. In 1992, he studied catering in Fermanagh College, Enniskillen, and won the prestigious Student of the Year Award. Even then his vision was clear – to share his passion for good food with diners who appreciated quality, imagination and the best of Irish produce.
While in his 20s, Neven was named Eurotoques ‘Young Chef of the Year 1999’, won numerous ‘Chef of the Year Awards’ and represented Ireland in the ‘Bocuse d’Or World Cuisine Competition’ in Lyon, France. Later that same year, he was presented with a special Gold Medal Award by Charles, Prince of Wales, in London’s House of Commons for high achievement in his career. He has been winning awards ever since and was most recently inducted into prestigious Food & Wine Magazine Awards 2015 ‘Hall of Fame’ for his years of commitment and dedication to the Irish food industry.
Having been trained and then tutored in professional cooking, Neven went on to work at some of the world’s top restaurants including Arzac, San Sebastian, Spain (3 Michelin Stars) and Restaurant Léa Linster, Luxembourg (2 Michelin Stars). He took over as Head Chef/Owner of MacNean House & Restaurant in 2001, in the small rural village of Blacklion, creating one of the country’s most popular dining destinations.
At the core of Neven’s philosophy is a commitment to using only the finest local seasonal ingredients and he works closely with Bord Bia to promote Quality Assured Irish produce.
Neven is credited with raising awareness around Ireland’s high quality food producers, both nationally and internationally, and was presented with Ireland’s ‘Producer Champion Award’ at the Blas na hEireann national food awards.
Neven is also committed to helping young chefs to develop their careers in food and he regularly hosts trainees for work experience at his restaurant. Neven travels with his chefs to experience the best of European food and has placed his chefs for stages in other leading restaurants in Ireland, the UK and further afield.
TV and Recipe Books
Neven began his TV career at 21, demonstrating the best of home cooking with a Maguire twist for the viewers of RTÉ 1’s hugely popular flagship afternoon show, ‘Open House’. He was the resident chef for seven years before going on to host his own TV series with RTÉ 1. ‘Home Chef’ has gained RTE’s largest ever audience for a cookery programme and it is also broadcast in the US (on PBS) and the UK (UKTV Food).
Neven is now working on his 8th series for the national broadcaster. The latest series, which focuses on healthy eating, is set to broadcast from January 2016 and will feature recipes from Neven’s new book ‘The Nation’s Favourite Healthy Food’. This is Neven’s twelfth book and is already another best-seller for the chef.
An Ambassador for Ireland’s ‘First 1,000 Days’ campaign, Neven is a huge advocate for educating mothers and mothers-to–be on the importance of good nutrition and healthy eating – for themselves, their families and, particularly, for their babies. Neven believes that getting the right nutrition for babies and toddlers can ensure a lifetime of good health.
As a doting dad himself to twins Connor and Lucia, he launched his first children’s recipe book ‘Neven Maguire’s Complete Baby and Toddler Cookbook’ in early 2015 which immediately flew to number one on the bestseller list.
To purchase a signed copy of Neven’s books, just click here.
Neven writes a weekly recipe column in the Irish Farmers Journal and is a regular contributor to RTÉ Radio 1’s ‘Marian Finucane Show’ and RTÉ Lyric FM’s ‘Marty in the Morning’.
Neven and MacNean House & Restaurant have received many prestigious awards. The highlights include:
Hotel & Catering Review Gold Medal Award for ‘Best Wine Experience’ 2015
Food and Wine Magazine Restaurant of the Year Awards 2015 ‘Hall of Fame Award’
The Nation’s Favourite Food – Fast! received Avonmore Cookbook of the Year Award at Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards 2014
Irish Food Producers’ Champion 2014 at Blas na hÉireann National Irish Food Awards
Irish Restaurant Awards
‘Best Chef’ 2014
‘Best Celebrity Chef’ 2010, 2009
‘Best Ulster Restaurant’ 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010
‘Best Ulster Chef’ 2015, 2013, 2012, 2010
‘Best Ulster Customer Service’ 2010
‘Best Restaurant’ 2009
Food & Wine Awards
‘Ulster Best Restaurant’ Award 2012, 2009, 2008, 2004, 2003, 2002
‘Ulster Best Chef’ Award 2012, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2004
‘Restaurant of the Year’ Award 2008
Trip Advisor’s Traveller’s Choice Awards 2013 Top 10 Fine Dining Restaurants in Europe: Ireland’s only venue to be included.
Knighthood, Commanderie des fins Goustiers du Duche d’Alencon 2012
Georgina Campbell Award for Outstanding contribution to the Hospitality Industry 2012
Shortlisted for Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards 2010
Georgina Campbell’s Restaurant of the Year Award 2007
Represented Ireland in the Bocuse d’Or World Cuisine Competition in Lyon, France 2001
Gold Medal Award Winner 2001 (Presented by Prince Charles in the House of Commons for high achievement in his career, while still in his 20’s)
Bushmills Chef of the Year 1999 and 2000
Eurotoque Young Chef of the Year 1999
‘Complete Baby and Toddler Cookbook’ has also just won the prestigious ‘Best Family Cookbook’ Award at the Boots Maternity & Infant Awards 2015
Nominated in the Blog Awards Ireland 2015 for his blog
Target Lung Cancer Campaign
Help me support Target Lung Cancer Campaign
I am very happy to be an Ambassador with St. James’s Hospital for its Target Lung Cancer appeal, as this is a cause very close to my heart. We lost our mum, Vera, to lung cancer three years ago and I am very keen to support such a great campaign that raises funds for lung cancer research and patient care.
I believe it’s so important to raise much needed funds for the Target Lung Cancer’s fundraising appeal, as it is the only campaign in Ireland dedicated to patient support and lung cancer research. The first phase of the appeal is to accelerate the research work of the team, and we are hoping to raise €250,000 now.
I would like to take the opportunity to ask for your support in any way you can, because without your help, this research simply can’t go ahead. All donations would be greatly appreciated, no matter how big or small. These can be made through www.supportstjames.ie.
For more information, see my blog post here
Junior MasterChef with the NCBI
Young Chefs are in Inspiration
I recently had the incredible honour of judging a Junior MasterChef competition with the National Council for the Blind in Ireland (NCBI). All seven young contestants were blind or visually impaired and to see their commitment and talent for cooking was amazing!
Here are some pictures of the young chefs in action or read more here
The NCBI is a national sight loss charity and helps over 18,500 people who are visually impaired. They are constantly fundraising for help support those who are visually impaired and their families. For more information or to donate see www.ncbi.ie
The Neven Maguire Blog
Nominated in the Blog Awards Ireland 2015, stay up-to-date with latest news and recipes from Neven on his blog page.