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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

READ THIS: Home Chef by Neven Maguire

Oh Neven Maguire, where were you when Peachy Deegan was starving in Cork at UCC? Were you hiding with Jimmy Neary from Sligo? Of everything we are at Whom You Know and everything Peachy Deegan is, there is probably nothing that she is more excited about than being Irish, except maybe crabcakes at Swifty's and The Peachy Deegan. And you know we love fabulous cuisine. Peachy's problem in Cork was a combination of her limited cooking skills but more so that the UCC dining hall was nowhere near as good as the one at Boston College...what college kid has time to cook?  Whom You Know was pleased to meet Neven Maguire earlier this year at a Northern Ireland tourism event at Grand Central, and we are so pleased to tell you about his book: Home Chef.

If you have not been to Ireland in recent years, let us enlighten you by saying the cuisine is hot. It is not corned beef and cabbage: that is American on St. Patrick's Day. It is not potatoes 101 ways.  It is much, much more, and you need to read this book to find out.  A perfect gift for the holidays for anyone with tastebuds, Home Chef will make you want to go to Cavan pronto.  We think he should open a restaurant in Manhattan too.  The desserts are particularly good; of course Irish chocolate is better than American chocolate...

Determined to raise the standards of home cooking, Neven Maguire transfers his expertise from the restaurant to the kitchen, offering expert advice to the novice and experienced cook alike. In his straightforward and friendly way, Neven coaches the reader through essential kitchen skills, reinforcing the fundamentals such as basic equipment and cooking terminology, before moving on to demystify more advanced techniques like preparing meat and fish, mastering knife-skills, and completing perfect garnishes.

Accompanying Neven′s in-depth knowledge are impeccable recipes derived from his own highly-regarded and award-winning menu, adapted for the home cook. With recipes ranging from easy to advanced, there are ideas here for everyone, along with ways to use your newly-acquired skills and techniques with Neven′s insightful hints and tips. For those who feel particularly confident, many of the dishes can be taken a step further, with extra suggestions for achieving advanced results, but always in Neven′s accessible style.

With its clean, user-friendly design, stunning food photography and Neven′s endless encouragement, this book shows how to achieve faultless results with just a little bit of know-how and will give every cook new-found confidence in their own ability.


- Carrot, Ginger & Coconut Soup with Buttered Croutons

- Avocado Spring Roll with Red Pepper Polenta & Chilli Jam

- Baked Ryefield Goats Cheese with Pecan Crust, Oven-dried Tomatoes & Red Pepper Dressing

- Crab & Scallop Ravioli with Seared Sea Scallops, Asparagus & Sweetcorn Veloute

- Fillet of Wild Seabass with Borlotti Beans, Truffle Ravioli and Baby Leeks

- Smoked Belly of Pork with Parma-wrapped Prawns & Butternut Squash Puree

- Trio of Thornhill Duck comprised of Confit Leg, Sauteed Breast & Spring Roll

- Braised Shoulder of Lamb with Crispy Polenta, Barley & Rosemary Jus

- Winter Berry Crumble with Vanilla & Rum Pannacotta

- Chocolate Mousse Delice


Still in his thirties, award-winning chef Neven Maguire began cooking at 12 years of age in the kitchen of the family restaurant, MacNean’s in Blacklion, Co. Cavan. In 2003, Neven took over the business as Head Chef and Proprietor of the greatly expanded MacNean House & Restaurant.

Neven’s new TV series ‘Neven’s Food from the Sun’ will be broadcast on RTE February 2009 and the accompanying book, Neven’s 5th, is available now in all good book stores.

Neven has also been appointed by an Tanaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Mary Coughlan T. D. to the Advisory Board for Safe-Food, the cross border Food Safety Promotion Board.

After graduating from college, Neven gained experience in Michelin starred restaurants across Europe, including:

Roscoff Restaurant, Belfast, Northern Ireland
(1 Michelin Star)

The Grand Hotel Restaurant, Berlin, Germany
(2 Michelin Stars)

Lea Linster Restaurant, Luxembourg
(2 Michelin Stars)

Arzac Restaurant, San Sebastian, Spain
(3 Michelin Stars)

Neven contributes a regular feature to RTE Radio 1’s Marian Finucane show and writes a weekly column and recipe feature in the Irish Farmers Journal. He has also made TV appearances on Tubridy Tonight, the Late Late Show, Nationwide, Podge & Rodge and The Restaurant. His new series ‘Neven’s Food from the Sun’ will be broadcast on RTE early 2009.

Neven was Resident Chef on RTE’s ‘Open House’ TV series from 1998 until the programme finished in 2004. He has also featured in a number of other high profile TV programmes including:

‘10 of the Best’
An Irish programme featuring 10 of Ireland’s top Chefs

‘Neven Cooks’
A 6-part series broadcast in South Africa, Australia and on the BBC’s Food Network

‘Cooking With Love’
A documentary of Neven’s 2002 participation in the World Cooking Competition in Lyon, France


MacNean House & Restaurant, Blacklion, Co. Cavan was originally opened as MacNean’s Bistro in 1989 by Neven’s parents, Joe and Vera Maguire. The Bistro was named after the spectacular MacNean Lakes nearby. A true family concern, Joe and Vera involved all 9 of their children in cooking and working at the restaurant.

Neven Maguire took over the restaurant in 2003. He re-opened MacNean’s Bistro as MacNean House & Restaurant in 2007, doubling its seating capacity, developing 10 luxurious guest-rooms and offering extended menu’s of his award-winning dishes and a large selection of wines from all over the world.

Neven and his wife, Amelda, took inspiration for the new décor and recipes from extensive travel and research in London, Paris, Australia, New Zealand and Thailand. The restaurant's new menu reflects Neven's continued advocacy of local and artisan producers and insistence on high quality, seasonal and traceable produce.

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