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Sunday 4 December 2016

Why Neven Maguire's on a mission to get fit with his cookbook full of healthy recipes

Neven Maguire
Neven Maguire

Top chef Neven Maguire is surrounded by luxurious food but says his new mission is to get fit.

The TV star has a sweet tooth so he has cut down on sugar and says exercise is key to dropping the pounds.

His 12th cookbook, The Nation's Favourite Healthy Food, focuses on quick, healthy meals that work for busy families.

"You've got to listen to your fans and being healthy is on trend," he said.

"It's about eating really good healthy food, but exercising is also really important. If people even go out for a jog or a walk you'll feel much better.

"So this is a journey I'm enjoying at the moment, I'm trying to get into better shape myself.

"My diet is where I fall down, and that's where I have to focus," he added.

Guest

Not one to rest on his laurels, Neven is currently shooting a TV series to accompany the new book, which will air on RTE next year.

"It's called the Healthy Home Chef and it's seven episodes; Sonia O'Sullivan will be my first guest," he said.

"The format is I'll do three recipes and the guest will cook their signature dish.

"We'll have a different guest every week and I have to say Sonia was fantastic.

"She made the most amazing fillet of hake with black pudding.

"We have to finalise a couple more guests but I'm hoping that Daithi O'Se will be signing on.

"He's an absolute gentleman and he's great craic," he added.

Neven has filmed 105 episodes of his various cooking shows for RTE over the years and his series are also showing on PBS in America.

"I never take the TV shows for granted, they are wonderful but I love being in my restaurant as well," he said.

The 40-year-old has three-year-old twins, Conor and Lucia with his wife Amelda and says he relies on his other half's opinion when it comes to trying out recipes.

"Amelda is involved in testing out all of the recipes at [the restaurant in] Blacklion," he said.

"She's really honest with her feedback and if something doesn't work out, we'll tweak it.

booming

"If she doesn't like something I don't take it to heart because she means well," he added.

Meanwhile, business is booming at his MacNean House and Restaurant in his home county of Cavan.

"Last week, we opened our restaurant diary for two years and we took 2,330 bookings in six days," he said.

"It's unbelievable, I'm so proud of that."

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