Neven Maguire
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Neven Maguire

Neven Maguire
Born (1974-12-01) 1 December 1974 (age 45)
EducationEnniskillen Campus CAFRE[1]
Culinary career

Neven Maguire is an Irish celebrity chef and television personality from Blacklion, County Cavan, Ireland. He is also the head chef and proprietor of the MacNean House and Restaurant.

Maguire has published and launched several cookbooks and features regularly on television and radio in his native country. He writes a weekly column in the Irish Farmers Journal.


Neven Maguire was born to Joe and Vera Maguire.[1] He began cooking at the age of twelve in the kitchen of his family restaurant, MacNean's in Blacklion, County Cavan.[1] The restaurant, purchased by Joe in 1969, was to be greatly affected by The Troubles, being bombed twice and shutting down for more than a decade between 1976 and 1989.[1] Maguire exited school following his Junior Certificate at the age of sixteen to pursue his love of cookery.[1] He took over the business as Head Chef and Proprietor in 2003.[2]

Neven attended Enniskillen College of Food.[1] Upon graduating from college, he worked in several Michelin starred restaurants in Europe. He commenced his overseas career in Berlin.[1] Neven also worked in Roscoff Restaurant, Belfast, Northern Ireland (1 Michelin Star), The Grand Hotel Restaurant, Berlin, Germany (2 Michelin Stars), Lea Linster Restaurant, Luxembourg (2 Michelin Stars) and Arzac Restaurant, San Sebastian, Spain (3 Michelin Stars).

Neven is married to Amelda.[3] He is a father to twins born on 8 February 2012.[4] Amelda went downhill and nearly died during labour after her heart failed.[5]

Media work

Maguire is a regular contributor to The Marian Finucane Show on RTÉ Radio 1 and also writes a weekly column and recipe in the Irish Farmers Journal. He has contributed recipes to the Mayo Advertiser.[6] In 2009, he performed at the National Ploughing Championships in County Kildare at a stand sponsored by the newspaper.[7][8] He has made television appearances on Tubridy Tonight, The Late Late Show, Nationwide, Podge and Rodge and The Restaurant.

Neven was Resident Chef on Open House television series from 1998 until 2004. He has also featured in a number of other television programmes including 10 of the Best; Neven Cooks, a 6-part series which is broadcast in South Africa, Australia and on Food Network; Cook with Love, a documentary on his participation in the World Cooking Competition in Lyon in 2002 and Neven's Food from the Sun.[9] Maguire is currently featured on the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) television network, Create TV where he hosts a cooking show entitled Neven Maguire: Home Chef.


Neven has published several books:

  • Food from the Sun (ISBN 9780007285136) HarperCollins[1]
  • Neven's Real Food for Families (ISBN 9780717142613)
  • Home Chef (ISBN 9780007300839)[10]
  • Neven Maguire's Cookery Collection (ISBN 9781842232569)
  • Cooking for Family and Friends (ISBN 9781842232156)
  • Neven Cooks (ISBN 9781842231296)

He has also launched a cookbook for those with Parkinson's disease for the Parkinson's Association of Ireland.[11][12]


Maguire was involved in a controversy in August 2009 when he appeared alongside the bikini-wearing model Georgia Salpa and a plate of food on the cover of Food & Wine magazine.[13] A national radio debate on Liveline saw feminists object to the treatment of Georgia Salpa and the magazine's publisher apologised and admitted it had been an error which had occurred whilst she had been absent from work.[14] One female caller suggested the photos were "evidence of a pernicious heteronormativity", whilst another complained that "women are here to please men and we're supposed to have these perfect bodies".[14] Another caller also expressed disappointment: "I really don't see what this [bikini model] has to do with the pic [sic]. And I'm really disappointed with the women that they partake in this as well".[13] Callers also expressed fears that the photos would lead to rape and the sexualisation of children.[14]

John Masterson, writing in the Irish Independent, accused Liveline of "manufacturing" the fight, called the radio show a "kangaroo-court" and questioned why football manager Giovanni Trapattoni ("who had one more model than Neven in the same paper") was not equally guilty according to the feminists.[15] However, Catherine O'Mahony, writing in The Sunday Business Post, praised the apology given by the magazine publisher as the whole affair was "pretty embarrassing for everyone connected with it".[16][17] Model Nadia Forde furthered the controversy by saying "I don't think any chef would make it into a newspaper on his own", causing upset in the Irish cooking community and leading chef Derry Clarke to respond with the remark: "We [chefs] don't need models to make the papers. I have been in plenty of papers without the help of models".[13] Neven Maguire remained tightlipped on the issue.[14] He was not paid for his involvement in the photo shoot and five other chefs were also present to be photographed.[15]


  • Hotel & Catering Review Gold Medal Award for Fine Dining (2008)
  • Food & Wine's 'Ulster Best Restaurant' Award 2009,[18] 2008, 2004, 2003, 2002
  • Food & Wine's 'Restaurant of the Year' Award 2008
  • Food & Wine's 'Ulster Best Chef' Award 2009,[18] 2008, 2007, 2004
  • Georgina Campbell's Restaurant of the Year Award 2007
  • Special Award for Culinary Achievements and Tourism Promotion from Cavan County Council 2007
  • Georgina Campbell's Natural Food Award 2006
  • Jameson Chef of the Year 2004
  • Represented Ireland in the Bocuse d'Or World Cuisine Competition in Lyon, France 2001
  • Gold Medal Award Winner 2001
  • Bushmills Chef of the Year 1999 and 2000
  • Eurotoque Young Chef of the Year 199[19]
  • Best Student in the UK and Ireland 1997



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Tom Doorley (22 November 2008). "Blacklion's day in the sun". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2009. 'THE RECESSION MUST be biting," a fellow diner said to be me as we sat down in MacNean House and Restaurant in Blacklion, Co Cavan. "Neven's waiting list is down to six months." [...] Neven has been cooking since the age of 12 when he started to help his mother Vera in the kitchen. Vera and her husband, the late Joe Maguire, bought the restaurant in 1969. This was unfortunate timing. The Northern troubles erupted and Blacklion suffered two bomb attacks, both which destroyed the front of the premises. The Maguires struggled on until 1976. Then they closed the restaurant and switched to the bed and breakfast business, for which there was considerable demand because of the swelling numbers of customs officials and Gardaí. By 1989, the restaurant was open again. Vera had kept her hand in by running a catering business, and Joe took over the front of house role. Neven, now aged 16, was so convinced that he wanted to cook that he left school after the Junior Cert and headed over the border to Fermanagh College in Enniskillen. His first overseas post was at a grand hotel in Berlin. "The chef took me over to this huge fridge and showed me the beef and the lamb. And he told me it was all Irish because Irish is best. It was a very proud moment for me," he recalls.
  2. ^ Lorna Nolan (21 February 2009). "Recipe for success". Evening Herald. Retrieved 2009.
  3. ^ "Neven Maguire, Guest Critic". RTÉ. Retrieved 2009.
  4. ^ "Neven and wife welcome twins". RTÉ Ten. Raidió Teilifís Éireann. 8 February 2012. Retrieved 2012.
  5. ^ "Chef Neven relives terrifying week". RTÉ Ten. Raidió Teilifís Éireann. 19 February 2012. Retrieved 2012.
  6. ^ "Some appetising delicacies from". Mayo Advertiser. 25 September 2009. Retrieved 2009.
  7. ^ Aideen Sheehan (21 September 2009). "Ministers challenged to meet 150,000 angry farmers at festival". Irish Independent. Retrieved 2009.
  8. ^ Maeve McGovern (9 September 2009). "Athy gears up for the National Ploughing Championships". Leinster Leader. Archived from the original on 17 February 2013. Retrieved 2009.
  9. ^ Lorna Nolan (21 February 2009). "Recipe for success". 'Evening Herald'. Retrieved 2009.
  10. ^ "'Borders' books by Neven Maguire". Retrieved 2009.[permanent dead link]
  11. ^ Joanne McCarthy (20 September 2009). "Cookbook for Parkinson's patients launched". Irish Health. Retrieved 2009.
  12. ^ Eilish O'Regan (28 September 2009). "Diet book for sufferers of Parkinson's". Irish Independent. Retrieved 2009.
  13. ^ a b c Lisa Marie Berry (13 August 2009). "Chef Derry stirs up bikini-babe picture storm". Evening Herald. Retrieved 2009.
  14. ^ a b c d Eilis O'Hanlon (16 August 2009). "Storm in a D-cup on the talkshow that time forgot". Irish Independent. Retrieved 2009.
  15. ^ a b John Masterson (16 August 2009). "Chef was right to refuse Joe's kangaroo-court summons". Irish Independent. Retrieved 2009.
  16. ^ Catherine O'Mahony (16 August 2009). "MEDIA WORLD". The Sunday Business Post. Archived from the original on 20 September 2009. Retrieved 2009.
  17. ^ Catherine O'Mahony (16 August 2009). "MEDIA WORLD". The Sunday Business Post. Retrieved 2009.[permanent dead link]
  18. ^ a b Sarah Caden (17 May 2009). "Lewis and Maguire scoop up at awards". Irish Independent. Retrieved 2009.
  19. ^ Marie-Claire Digby (11 April 2009). "Pressure Cookers". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2009. The clock is ticking, the judges are circling, pots are simmering on stoves. Work stations have become battle stations. It's the final of the Baileys/Euro-Toques young chef of the year. [...] Neven Maguire of MacNean House and Restaurant is being characteristically friendly, and reminiscing about his win in this competition, and how much it meant to him: "one of the best days of my life," he says, with conviction, and a great dollop of charm.
  20. ^ "'MacNean Restaurant Awards'". Archived from the original on 5 September 2009. Retrieved 2009.

External links

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