Gourmet 'knighthood' for top chef Neven Maguire
TV chef Neven Maguire, right, whose MacNean House restaurant has won a string of top awards, is to become the first Irish chef to receive a 'knighthood'.
The 38-year-old will be honoured later this week in a colourful ceremony, organised by the 'Commanderie des Fins Goustiers du Duche d'Alencon'.
The elite French food guardians, whose base is in Alencon in Normandie, have signalled out Neven's support of Irish artisan producers as worthy of their highest honour.
And next Thursday, eight French 'knights' will travel to Teagasc's headquarters in Ashtown, north Dublin, and don traditional robes and headgear before inducting Mr Maguire into their elite fold in a ceremony full of tradition and pomp.
The fraternity will expect Neven to kneel before them before they tap both his shoulders with a big brass fork and giant griddle.
Mr Maguire, who runs the award-winning MacNean House and Restaurant in Blacklion, Co Cavan, said yesterday he was "truly honoured" to become the first chef invited into their select fold.