Interview with Neven Maguire
On the much anticipated run up to our Cookery Demonstration Evening with Neven Maguire we catch up with the Award Winning Chef, Restaurateur, Author, Teacher and Media Personality to find out what he has going on at the moment and how he manages to pack so much in. We also ask Neven for tips to get children and teenagers interested in cooking!
1. Neven we’re very excited about your upcoming Cookery Demonstration Evening in Leopardstown Racecourse in aid of The Down Syndrome Centre – can you explain, for anyone who has never attended an event like this before, what to expect from the evening?
N: It is a very informal evening. My brother Kenneth has a great set up for demos that I use. Everyone can see exactly what I am doing. I love dealing with questions and sometimes people from the audience come up and give me some help.
2. You have a new Cook Book coming out this Autumn – could you tell us a bit about it and will it be available to buy at the Cookery Demonstration?
N: It is just out and I am delighted with the reaction. it is called “NEVEN MAGUIRE’S HOME ECONOMICS FOR LIFE”, and it does just what it says on the tin. I will have copies with me and will be happy to sign for people who are there or for friends if they are giving the book as a gift.
3. ‘Neven’s Spanish Food Trails’ is currently on RTE – do you enjoy the process of making TV shows and meeting food producers and cooks around Ireland and abroad?
N: It is a fantastic privilege to be able to spend time with people who are passionate about they produce. I always say you should begin with good ingredients and at the moment in Ireland we are spoiled for choice. And as well as for the TV I visit great producers with the Simply Better team. You never stop learning in this job and I love it.
4. The Neven Maguire Cookery School opened in 2014 and provides hands on classes for people of all abilities. The themes of your classes sound fantastic and very practical and include ‘Entertainment Made Easy’, ‘Cooking for Friends and Family’, a two day ‘Home Chef’ Class, and an extremely popular ‘Parent and Child’ Class
Cooking with Children is such a lovely bonding experience. How do you get children interested in cooking / what kind of recipes should you start off with? What is your personal experience with your own children?
N: I began to get interested in cooking from watching my mother, Vera. With our twins we want them to have respect for what they eat. From early days they ate much the same food as we do. It is way too early to know if they will get interested in it more as they grow older. We won’t push them into it. They will set their own pace.
5. Cooking is such a super skill to develop and for the majority of parents, if their child leaves home and moves into their own place, there is great peace of mind to know that your child can cook a few dishes and won’t be living on beans on toast (everyday!). What advice would you give to parents of teenagers who are learning to cook from scratch?
That is really what my current book is about. If you can learn just a few recipes from it you will be well able to feed yourself and friends.
6. Between running your award winning MacNean House & Restaurant, teaching at your Cookery School, publishing a wide range of successful Cook Books, and filming multiple TV series how do you manage such a busy schedule and what do you do for work / life balance?
N: It helps a lot to enjoy what you do. And I have a great team around me. As the children grow Amelda and I are very careful to get good family time. We have mealtime together and do the school runs. We take short holiday breaks. And you don’t always have to answer the phone ! The years will fly by.
Neven Maguire’s second Cookery Demonstration Evening for The Down Syndrome Centre takes place on Wednesday 13th October 2019 in the Pavillion, Leopardstown Racecourse. Tickets cost €25