Sunday 22 September 2019

'Money doesn't mean a lot unless the rest of your life is healthy and happy'

My Money

Neven Maguire
Neven Maguire

Neven Maguire is head chef and proprietor of MacNean House and Restaurant. He is presenting a new six-part series of Neven's Spanish Food Trails, starting on RTÉ One on Thursday, September 12.

What's the most important lesson about money your career as a chef and broadcaster has taught you?

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Loving what you do and hard work are the best way to get it. And it doesn't mean a lot unless the rest of your life is healthy and happy.

What's the most expensive meal you have ever had, and was it worth it?

Because I am a chef I do eat expensively now and again. I like to see what the best restaurants in the world are doing. You always come away with new ideas. One that sticks in my mind is Per Se in New York. The credit card melted but it was worth it.

What's the most expensive place you have ever visited?

I don't know really. Most of our holidays are in places like Thailand and Cambodia and Vietnam and they are not expensive and we love the food. Nearer to home, we love to go to Portugal but again it is not any more expensive than home. So I suppose it is somewhere like London.

What's the best advice you ever got about money?

See question one again. If you work hard and are lucky enough to do a job you love then hopefully enough money will follow.

What's the most expensive thing you have ever bought?

I am not a big spender. I love Ted Baker clothes and I probably spend too much at times. I have spent up to €50 each on plates that I loved but they last a long time and customers love them.

What was your worst job?

I have been a chef since I was a teenager. Thankfully I have never had a worst job.

What was your biggest financial mistake?

I have got this far without a disaster. Boring but true. I think things through and listen to advice. I have a good team and Amelda is very good on financial matters and I am naturally cautious.

What was your best financial killing?

I am looking forward to one!

Do you believe that you are better off than your parents?

I think most of my generation are. It is a different country from their time. There is a lot more money around. But they built the foundations for everything I have. They began MacNean House and Restaurant 30 years ago.

If you won the EuroMillions, what would you do with the money?

I don't even do the Lotto so it will never happen. I am not a gambler, even in a small way.

If you could design your own euro note, what image would you put on it?

A well-set table on the edge of MacNean lake with lots of local produce.

iTunes or Spotify?

iTunes. I love my music when I am driving.

What was the last thing you bought online?

Vanilla pods.

Would you buy property now?

I am lucky enough to have a restaurant, a cookery school and our family home. That is enough property for anyone. I am happy and content with what we have.

Do you ever haggle?

I am from Cavan.

What three things would you not be able to do without if you were tightening your belt?

The television licence, as I need to watch Manchester United; my Audi Q7, it is a great work horse and I love it; and family holidays.

Are you a materialistic person?

I have been fortunate to always have enough so I am much more a family, home and work person.

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