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Monday 5 December 2016

Foodies face wait for Neven's restaurant - weekends are booked up until 2017

dining

Neven Maguire
Neven Maguire
Neven Maguire with his wife Amelda and their twins

Foodies will face a very long wait to tuck into Neven Maguire's cuisine - weekend sittings at his restaurant are booked up for the next two years.

The award-winning TV chef, who also runs a cookery school next to his MacNean House and Restaurant, said demand for tables is at its highest level since he took over the business from his parents in 2001.

Despite the remote location of the restaurant in Blacklion, Co Cavan weekend sittings are now virtual- ly booked up until the end of 2017.

The 42-year-old Cavan man, who runs the firm with his wife Amelda, said that business could not be better.

"The restaurant is really flying and we've had a fantastic year. Over a six-day period a few months ago, we took 2,330 bookings," he said.

"Weekend sittings are now virtually booked up for the next two years, but I do stress we always get a lot of cancellations, so tables will always become available."

Maguire, who employs 14 chefs among his 55-strong workforce, insists he is not taking his success for granted.

"I've definitely noticed that there's more money around this year and that has been reflected in the orders and the quality of wine that diners are going for at the restaurant," he said.

"We've established ourselves as a restaurant destination, but things can change very quickly in this business, so we've got to keep working hard to maintain our standards."

The affable cook, who returns with the latest series of RTE's Home Chef later next month, also said he has no plans to expand his business, despite receiving offers to open restaurants in more celebrated international locations including London and Paris.

Meanwhile, the father-of-two will spend most of tomorrow in his kitchen, where he will prepare Christmas dinner with locally-sourced turkey and goose for 22 guests, including his three-year-old twins, Connor and Lucia.

"Christmas is going to be great fun this year, particularly with the twins at the age they're at," he said.

"I've even started teaching the twins how to cook a few simple dishes and they're already showing a great interest in it."

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