Thursday 23 November 2017

My cultural life: Neven Maguire

Chef Neven Maguire
Chef Neven Maguire
Montgolfier Plates
A Taste of my Life by Raymond Blanc
The Shawshank Redemption

Neven Maguire began cooking at 12 years of age alongside his mother, Vera, in the kitchen of the MacNean House and Restaurant in Blacklion, Co Cavan, which he now runs. He also runs a cookery school. 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 regularly appears on telly, and is married to Amelda and is a doting dad to four-year-old twins Connor and Lucia. Neven Maguire's Complete Family Cookbook with 300 life-saving recipes for super busy parents is out now, published by Gill.

Film: The Shawshank Redemption

I have always liked The Shawshank Redemption. I have watched it countless times. I think it is a very clever engaging story. Being a chef I don't keep anything like normal hours so I am quite likely to put on a DVD at 1am to chill out for a while before going to bed, and this is one I go back to. I don't have to wait until the end, or I can fast forward, so it works late at night. I also like Tom Hanks and Forrest Gump would be another I go back to again and again.

TV: Winning Streak


Again, I hardly ever see television at the time the programme is actually on. And that goes for my own programme too. With me it is not so much the programme as the presenter and I always enjoy watching Marty Whelan (above with Sinead Kennedy). Whether on Winning Streak or whatever, he has a wonderful rapport with people. They love him and it shows. And he enjoys them too. Marty just is Mr Entertainment and he is never dull. I always come out laughing after our Friday sessions on Lyric.

Book: A Taste of My Life

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A Taste of my Life by Raymond Blanc

This will sound terrible but I really only read cookery books or books about food. A particular favourite would be A Taste of My Life by Raymond Blanc (above) which came out in 2008. He is French but has been in Oxfordshire for a long time, and his Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons with two Michelin stars is a fantastic restaurant and one for a very special treat. Raymond is self-taught - he was once a waiter but got fired - but he has passed on his skills to many top class chefs, including Heston Blumenthal.

Design: Montgolfier Plates

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Montgolfier Plates

My accountant Kieran McGovern will go pale when he reads this and so will Amelda. They can never understand why I have to spend so much on plates and cutlery that I love… Montgolfier (above) or Jars plates. When I go to Continental Chef Supplies or G&G Goodfellows in Baker Street I melt the credit card. But I do think it matters to eat good food on good plates with good cutlery when people are enjoying a night out. I just believe that presentation enhances food.

Gig: U2

Definitely that was U2 when I saw them in Dublin at the 3Arena. I got a phone call from Eoin O'Flynn in Flogas asking would we like to go. In truth I was not a great U2 fan but it sounded like a good night out. I am a fan now. They were amazing. Now I understand what all the fuss is about. Best live band I ever saw.

Sunday Independent

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