Neven Maguire is head chef at the MacNean House and Bistro in Blacklion, Co. Cavan and was the resident chef on RTE’s Open House. He has also hosted his own television programme on RTE called Cooking With Neven Maguire. Neven began cooking at the age of 12 alongside his mother Vera, a qualified hotel manager. His career has since rocketed to success, having racked up a host of a ccolades including Euro Toque Bailey's Young Chef of the Year, Bushmills Chef of the Year 2000 & 2001, Bridgestone Guide top 100 each year since the book’s inception and the Janus Award for Excellence in Catering 2001 . Presented by HCIMA, this is the most prestigious award specific to Northern Ireland . Neven is the only chef from the republic ever to win. Neven was voted ‘Best Chef Outside Dublin’ in the Bushmills ‘Dining in Ireland Guide’ . This award has added significance as it is voted on by the industry itself: all of the restaurants and chefs in the Bushmills guide. Neven’s immense popularity with the Irish viewing public has now been backed up by this overwhelming seal of approval from his culinary peers. Yet another, equally significant vote of confidence was to follow when Neven was selected to represent Ireland in the World Cuisine Competition in Lyon . Taking place in January 2001, this competition, known as The Bocuse D’Or, is by far the most prestigious of its kind and can quite accurately be described as the World Cup for international chefs. An appropriate stage for Neven’s unique talent. Appearing on Open House as a guest chef in January 1999, Neven made such as huge impression that he was invited back twice over the remainder of the first season, taking over the mantle of the programme’s regular chef in September 1999. In his first book, Neven Cooks, Neven’s focus remained on making all of his dishes accessible to the public. He uses ingredients that are readily available in any local supermarket and makes even the most mouth-watering dishes fun and simple to prepare. Breaking away from the traditional stereotyped image of the temperamental chef, Neven's exuberance, personality and good humour are a breath of fresh air. Neven’s own restaurant MacNean’s Bistro, in Co Cavan, won best Restaurant in Ulster in Aug 2002. Neven also won a gold medal for Excellence in Further Education, awarded by Tony Blair in the House of Commons, the first Irish recipient of this award.