Create the perfect Festive Favourites with Neven Maguire’s TV Christmas Special

Award-winning chef Neven Maguire’s highly anticipated ‘Home Chef’ Christmas Special will be broadcast on RTÉ 1, Monday, December 9th at 8.30 pm.

A must-view for all Christmas cooks, this special programme will feature Neven demonstrating his favourite festive recipes, including a delicious prawn cocktail, traditional glazed ham, mouth-watering turkey breast in buttermilk, and a sinful chocolate sensation dessert!

Having fulfilled a long-held dream opening his first cookery school, the Neven Maguire Cookery School, in Blacklion, Co. Cavan, Neven has also just finished filming his sixth series for RTÉ television which will be broadcast early 2014. Titled ‘Home Chef’ the series has also been picked up by America’s PBS (Public Broadcasting Service) and has been broadcasting across the states since November. ‘Home Chef’ is also broadcast in the UK.

His eleventh cook book, The Nation’s Favourite Food, is also out now to excellent review.



About Neven Maguire:

Award-winning chef, Neven Maguire, is proprietor/Head Chef of MacNean House & Restaurant in Blacklion in Co. Cavan. Neven began cooking at 12 years of age in the kitchen of the restaurant which was then run by his parents. Neven took over MacNean House & Restaurant in 2001 and it is now one of Ireland’s top restaurants, consistently winning awards for both its cuisine and service. Neven is regarded as one of Ireland’s most talented and innovative chefs and is credited with raising the awareness of many top quality Irish food producers and of cooking with seasonal produce.


Destination store invests €100,000 into Christmas Experience

Destination and activity store, Rathwood, has invested €100,000 into its popular Christmas experience this festive season. Following the increasing success of its ‘Santa Train’, with 40,000 tickets sold this year, Rathwood has tripled its workforce for the Christmas season, this year recruiting a record 100 elves.

Rathwood has invested €100,000 into providing a new Santa’s Train, employing additional Elves and extra props and Christmas gifts for children. Located on the Carlow/Wicklow border, Rathwood is planning further investment for 2014 launching Ireland’s first Elf Village.

“Christmas is always a very special time at Rathwood and we have invested €100,000 into making this years’ experience even more special with lots of surprises and special gifts for children” said James Keogh, MD of Rathwood, a family business founded in 1994.

“We have seen numbers visiting our store and restaurant and booking our Santa Train grow hugely over the years, particularly among adults. It’s very popular for the whole family, with grandparents coming along now too. We always get great feedback and people trying to book next year’s tickets as early as January!”

Rathwood is an award-winning destination store that houses a dedicated Christmas store, hand crafted furniture, boutiques, an extensive garden centre, Rathwood Restaurant, a falconry attraction as well as its Rathwood train.

For more see


Neven Maguire opens first Cookery School

Award-winning chef Neven Maguire has fulfilled a long-held dream opening his first cookery school, the Neven Maguire Cookery School, in Blacklion, Co. Cavan. With Neven continually investing in MacNean House & Restaurant, employing a team of 50, the opening marks another significant investment into Blacklion.

The state-of-the-art cookery school will feature a range of exciting cookery classes for all skill levels, and tours of Neven’s extensive vegetable and herb collections by resident gardener, Kevin Ashley.

“I meet so many talented and interested cooks at demonstrations all around the country and I have always wished to spend that little bit more time helping them to get to the next stage. From my early days in Fermanagh College I have always enjoyed teaching and am really looking forward to being able to spend time with people who are as passionate about food as I am” said Neven.

The Neven Maguire Cookery School, adjoining Neven’s MacNean House & Restaurant, will begin a range of classes from February 1st 2014.  Classes include both hands-on learning and demonstrations by Neven and his team. Class themes for early 2014 include ‘Entertainment Made Easy’, ‘Mastering Meat’, ‘Breakfast Masterclass’ and specialist classes on vegetarian dishes and fish, with a focus on shellfish.

With many couples taking cooking classes together, the Neven Maguire Cookery School has also announced two special ‘Valentine’s Cooking’ classes taking place February 14th and 15th. Neven is also offering his new Chef’s Table option – an exclusive intimate dining experience in the school. This perfect celebration for special occasions, anniversaries, corporate events and birthdays, can cater for a minimum of ten and a maximum of 20 and serves the celebrated MacNean Restaurant Tasting Menu with accompanying wines, all cooked and presented by Neven and his team.

Neven is currently filming his sixth series for RTÉ television which will be broadcast early 2014. Titled ‘Home Chef’ the series has just been picked up by America’s PBS (Public Broadcasting Service) and will be shown there from November. ‘Home Chef’ is also broadcast in the UK.

His eleventh cook book, The Nation’s Favourite Food, was released by Gill & Macmillan in October 2013. MacNean House & Restaurant has been chosen as the only Irish restaurant included in the top ten of the prestigious TripAdvisor Traveller’s Choice 2013 list for Fine Dining Restaurants in Europe.

The perfect Christmas gift, vouchers for the Neven Maguire Cookery School are now available. See / 071 9853022.


Dublin Design Firm Win Top Digital App Design Awards

Vermillion Design awarded prestigious national award for Digital App Designs

Dublin-based Vermillion Design have been awarded two prestigious national awards for Digitial App Designs at the recent Annual Institute of Designers of Ireland awards.

The awards celebrate and recognise the very best of Irish design and showcase the excellence of the Irish design industry. Vermillion Design received the Digital App Design awards for their work on singer-songwriter Pierce Turners ‘Snow’ app and ‘Books of Dublin’, an app that showcases a selection of rare manuscripts and historic books in Marsh’s Library and the Edmund Worth Library.

Using cutting edge technology and the outstanding design skills of the creative team at Vermillion Design consisting of Conor O’Riordan, Kevin Dunne, Fiona Byrne and Creative Director Anne Brady, the Dublin firm has firmly established themselves as leaders in providers of digital design. The design and distribution of smartphone and tablet apps is now a €14 billion world market.

Speaking at the awards ceremony, Vermillion’s managing director Anne Brady expressed her pleasure at her company’s outstanding success.

“We are very excited to receive this honour and to share our success with our many clients both here and in the UK. These awards reflect the quality of both our creative design work and our clients’ work. It was a pleasure to work with Pierce Turner is a talent of huge originality on his ‘Snow’ app. The Books of Dublin app reveals some hidden treasures and features video of many of Dublin’s leading scholars discussing their favourite books from Marsh’s Library and the Edward Worth Library”

The first prize award-winning app ‘Snow’ explores the fascinating world of singer-songwriter Pierce Turner and the making of his enigmatic album ‘Songs for a Very Small Orchestra’, concentrating on the writing and production of his much-acclaimed song Snow. Turner, who divides his time between New York and his native County Wexford, is one of the world’s most original and creative forces within the musical world.

The second award taken by Vermillion was for an app entitled Books of Dublin. This app showcases a selection of rare books from two of Dublin’s most renowned antiquarian libraries, and includes commentaries from leading academic specialists.

“This prestigious award for Vermillion Design further demonstrates the impact of design in the area of new media. It proves beyond doubt how creative design skills can add value and indeed change the dynamics within the exciting and constantly developing field of digital communications and marketing” said Andrew Bradley, President of Institute of Designers in Ireland.

Founded by Anne Brady in 1999, Vermillion Design has built an undisputable reputation in Ireland and internationally as leading providers of creative solutions in branding, literature design, 2D, 3D environments and digital media.Both apps, ‘Snow’ and ‘Books of Dublin’ are available for free download to iPad on the iTunes store.


Festive Fun at Dunboyne Castle Hotel’s Christmas Fair

Dunboyne Castle Hotel & Spa is gearing up to celebrate this holiday season in style. Free festive fun for the whole family, the hotel will host its renowned Christmas Fair from noon to 5 pm on Sunday, December 1st, featuring an array of attractions, handcrafted gifts and a free visit from Santa with a complimentary gift for each child! Entertainment will also be provided by the local Children’s Choir.

This festive fair includes a number of artisan stalls and locally made Christmas gifts from hand poured candles, crochet creations, festive decorations, baby gifts and knits, fashion accessories, handcrafted jewellery and Christmas cakes.

Dunboyne Castle Hotel & Spa will also host its ‘pop up’ Christmas shop featuring perfect gifts from treatments at its luxurious Seoid Spa to delicious dining at its award-winning restaurant, ‘The Ivy’. To really impress, specially packaged Christmas vouchers are available for the hotel’s upcoming exclusive events including an intimate night of laughter and memories with “An Evening with Gay Byrne” on January 23rd, a special presentation of expert gardening tips from Ireland’s best loved personality, Dermot O’Neill, on March 13th, and TV Chef Neven Maguire’s renowned cookery demonstration on May 7th.


Dunboyne Castle Hotel & Spa, Dunboyne, Co. Meath

Carlow County Development Host Christmas Photography Competition

As part of the first ever ‘Christmas in Carlow’ event, Carlow County Development Partnership is hosting an amateur photographic competition for all amateur photographers across the county.

The theme of the competition is ‘Movement in Carlow’ and photographers are being asked to submit one photograph each with this theme before Monday November 25, 2013.

The competition comprises of two categories, over and under 18. With a cash prize of €200 for each category which is kindly being sponsored by Bagenalstown and Carlow Credit Unions, plus an hour’s free tuition with David Andrew Photographer for each winner, this is a wonderful opportunity for budding photographers out there.

Entry is free and in addition, the top 10 photographs will be framed and exhibited in the George Bernard Shaw Room in Carlow Library for a week before Christmas.

Entries must include the following information: Name; Address; Age; and a description of the image (in no more than 30 words). One image per entrant and only entries received to the above e-mail address will be considered. Entries that do not include the requested detail will not be considered.

If you or your clients/members would like to enter, photographs can be sent to by this Monday, November 25th.


Lynda Booth, founder of Dublin Cookery School, launches first cook book

Lynda Booth, founder of Dublin Cookery School, launches first cook book

Lynda Booth, founder of the award-winning Dublin Cookery School*, has realised a long-held dream with the launch of her first book titled ‘From Lynda’s Table’.

This beautiful presentation of over 140 recipes is full of Lynda’s culinary memories and depicts her personal journey through food spanning nearly two decades. She joined with friend and fashion designer Liz Quin and photographer Joanne Conway to style the food photography, resulting in a fresh looking cookery book where the food literally leaps off the page.

Lynda’s dedication, drive and enthusiasm for food has seen her travel and work with some of the world’s best restaurateurs and chefs, from the Four Seasons in Canada to the acclaimed Relais Chateaux Hotels in Italy. Her bold approach to Raymond Blanc landed her a job as pastry chef at his Michelin two starred restaurant “Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons” in Oxford. Lynda includes in the book the delicious ‘Robert de Niro’s Chocolate Hazlenut Cake’ she created for the actor’s birthday celebrations in Vancouver where he was joined by fellow Oscar-winner Sean Penn.

Lynda is a teacher at heart and is always bringing new ideas and ingredients to the school and to her new book that will stretch the cook’s repertoire. Suitable for beginners and experienced cooks, ‘From Lynda’s Table’ challenges the reader to try new things and is a ‘must have’ for every kitchen.

“My book is aimed at the type of adventurous spirit who loves to keep learning and extending their skills. It gives an understanding of technique and a confidence in using a whole array of ingredients. My hope is that when you open the fridge door, you will be flooded by new possibility. I have put my heart and soul, as well as my best recipes, into this book” said Lynda Booth.

The book’s contents are devised into five easy-to-follow themes all with Lynda’s unique explanation of her inspiration. The engagingly written stories give a fascinating background to Lynda’s approach to cooking. Beginning with ‘Foundations’, a fresh take on important basics (from breads to salads, stocks and pastry), Lynda takes the home cook on a journey inspired by her travels and food heroes.

‘Going West’ sees Lynda’s range of recipes inspired by holidays in the West of Ireland and features lobster, pizzas, barbeques and dishes to ‘feed a mob’. ‘Branching Out’ challenges the reader to try new things and push the boat out with ingredients such as quinoa, spelt and saffron as well as the opportunity to explore the versatility of sauces. In ‘Going East’ Lynda presents an array of dishes inspired by world-cuisine from Thailand and India. She has hosted classes by David Thompson and Atul Kochhar, leading chefs in Thai and Indian cuisine. In the book she draws not just on their recipes but on their tips and wisdom to get to the heart of their cooking style.

The book concludes with ‘Sweet Endings’ where Lynda, showing her passion for desserts, features a selection of mouth-watering recipes and techniques. Watch out for her show-stopping passion fruit brulée tart!

A must-have for all passionate cooks, ‘From Lynda’s Table’ (DCS Publishing) is available now priced €24.99 from all good book stores and signed copies from



Chef Brian McDermott, The No Salt Chef, launches first exclusive range of kitchenware

Chef Brian McDermott, The No Salt Chef, has launched an exclusive new range of Kitchenware in collaboration with Moville Pottery. The No Salt Chef from Moville, Inishowen teamed up with the successful local pottery studio to create a special collection of useable and practical kitchenware ideal for everyday use.

The new range was officially launched at a special evening in the Moville Pottery Centre on Friday, November 15th. Founded in 1976 by Lowry Wasson and Brian McLaughlin and situated in the heart of the beautiful Inishowen Peninsula, Co. Donegal, Moville Pottery are long established manufacturers of fine handthrown stoneware pottery.  The classical and clean look of ‘The Brian McDermott Range’ was created by Brian McDermott and the skilled craftsmen at Moville Pottery.

“I am absolutely thrilled to have collaborated with Moville Pottery for what is the first in my range of practical and stylish kitchenware. The Moville Pottery studio is located just at the bottom of our garden in Inishowen and I have been a long-time user of their pieces. It seemed ideal to team up with them to create a range of kitchenware that is stylish, useable and practical for everyday use. ” said Brian McDermott, The No Salt Chef

“We were delighted when Brian approached us about the collaboration. He was deeply involved in all the design aspects and it was important to him that all pieces were practical and usable for use in the everyday kitchen. Brian’s practical and knowledgeable input make this a collection perfect for the everyday cook” said Lowry Wasson, Founder and Managing Director of Moville Pottery.

The robust range of pottery is stylish and practical designed specifically for everyday use and is chip-resistant and oven-proof. Available in the collection are mixing bowls, pasta dishes, dinner plates, Hors D’Oeuvres sets, oil jars, soup/cereal bowls, mugs and jugs with plans to extend the range of products.

Brian has recently launched his state-of-the art Brian McDermott Cookery School where he incorporates his ‘No Salt’ philosophy into all his classes. Brian is the author of his first and very successful cookery book ‘Reunite with Food’ and he has become a regular guest chef on popular Today Show with RTÉ TV. He continues to present his own weekly cookery slot on BBC radio and is a regular contributor to many Irish press titles. ‘The Brian McDermott Range’ of Moville Pottery will be available from McElhinneys Store in Ballybofey, The Co-Op in Dunlow, other selected retail outlets across Donegal and also online at  with prices starting from €15.00 R.R.P. /



Waterford’s Chia bia wins ‘Best Exporter’ at National Enterprise Awards

Waterford’s Chia bia wins ‘Best Exporter’ at National Enterprise Awards

Ray Owens and Barrie Rogers, founders of Chia bia, were presented with their award as ‘Best Exporter’ by Minister of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton at the National Enterprise Awards Ceremony in Dublin Castle on Thursday, November 7th.

Waterford-based health food company Chia bia, Ireland’s largest supplier of chia seeds, has become the first business in Waterford to take home a top accolade at the prestigious National Enterprise Awards 2013 in 21 years. The company which employs a team of six from its Tramore, Co. Waterford base, was recognised for its achievements within the Irish Export Market.

From launching in 100 health stores in February 2010, Chia bia now supplies to almost 1,250 outlets across the UK and Ireland. The company recently signed a new distribution deal which will see its range of products listed in Tesco’s 142 stores across Ireland. In the UK, Chia bia is available from Selfridges, Holland & Barrett and is listed with all major health distributors and an increasing number of independent health food stores. Chia bia supplies directly to customers in the Middle East and also to Sobeys – a major distributor throughout Canada.

“The UK market now accounts for almost half our business and 15 per cent of our sales are from the Middle East and Eastern European markets. We are rapidly progressing our market share in Canada and have expansion plans for Northern European markets also.” said Ray Owens, co-founder of Chia bia with Barrie Rogers.

“We are so proud to receive this award from the National Enterprise Awards. It is a real testament to the dedication and hard work of our team”

Anike Tyrell, CEO of the Waterford County Enterprise Board said “Chia Bia is clearly leading the field when it comes to growing export markets for health-related products. By 2016, the company will be trading in at least eight international markets. By looking beyond the domestic opportunities, Barrie Rogers, Ray Owens and their hard-working team are helping to lead our county’s economic recovery, through export growth”

Chia bia was established by Ray Owens and Barrie Rogers in 2009 and now employs six people from its base in Tramore, Co Waterford. The National Enterprise Awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of the 30,000 micro-enterprises who received support from


Scarf Swap for South East Simon at Jerpoint Glass

Scarf Swap for South East Simon at Jerpoint Glass

Bring a scarf and buy a scarf at South East Simon fundraiser

The Leadbetter ladies from Jerpoint Glass in Co Kilkenny will host a novel event to raise funds for the South East Simon Community through two special Scarf Swop Coffee Mornings this month.

The fundraising Scarf Sales will be held on Friday October 25th and Saturday October 26th at Jerpoint Glass studios in Stoneyford, Co Kilkenny. The event will run from 10am until 1pm each day and complimentary tea, coffee and treats will be offered.

Along with the two-day Scarf Swop, the Leadbetters will also present glass-blowing demonstrations on both days and families are welcome to bring children who will enjoy free bandana painting on Saturday, October 26th.

Scarf-loving men and women are asked to come along and bring an unwanted scarf that they would like to donate for the sale in aid of the South East Simon Community, which provides vital services tothose at risk of homelessness. The Scarf Swap will raise much-needed funds for the charity that offers vital drop-in facilities, residential opportunities and advice throughout the South East region.

Kathleen Leadbetter is a lover of scarves and the Scarf Swap idea was born when she began thinking about how Jerpoint Glass could help the charity in a practical, but fun way.

“Everybody has a scarf that they don’t want anymore. Scarves are an understated and versatile accessory that both men and women wear. We hope to have a variety of donated scarves for men and women on sale over the fundraising weekend, that will help raise funds for the South East Simon Community,” said Kathleen.

Each year South East Simon needs to raise €600,000 to continue to deliver vital services in the South East. In 2012, the South East Simon Community supported over 250 adults and almost 170 children with housing, tenancy sustainment supports, resettlement supports and after-care projects. They also offer life skills training and well-being programmes aimed at providing information on personal development and teaching clients to become more independent.

Joe Simpson of South East Simon said he was delighted that the Leadbetters were hosting the event and hoped that it would be well-supported.

“Demand for the services we provide continues to rise. We are very grateful to Jerpoint Glass for organising this event on the charity’s behalf. I hope that people will attend the Scarf Swap Coffee mornings and help support the vital and necessary services we provide to those most in need,” said Joe

Scarves can be donated at drop off points in Supervalu in Thomastown and Loughboy Co. Kilkenny, St Canices’ Credit Union and also in the Centra Store in Bennettsbridge.

The Scarf Swap coffee mornings will be held at Jerpoint Glass Studio, Stoneyford from 10 am until 1pm on Friday 25th and Saturday 26th October with complimentary tea, coffee and treats for all, plus bandana painting for children on Saturday. /