At the core of Neven's philosophy is a dedication to using only the finest local seasonal ingredients.
In the first episode of his new series, chef Neven Maguire departs on his food trail by boat. Boarding the luxury hotel barge, The Shannon Princess, he sails from Lough Ree to Athlone and on to Clonmacnoise and while on board, Neven shows us his recipe for Pork Rogan Josh with Rice and Cucumber Rahita. Neven's next destination is Clonmel, Co. Tipperary where he meets young butchers learning their craft at the James Whelan Butcher Academy. He also chats to the Academy's owner and artisan butcher Pat Whelan about the importance of using every part of the animal, and how this sustainable approach led Pat to produce award winning Beef Dripping. Finally, Neven heads to County Limerick and the 1826 Adare restaurant where chef Wade Murphy shares a mouth-watering recipe for Rump of Lamb with Sheep Cheese Polenta Chips, Cavalo Nero and Salsa Verde.
Tonight, Neven follows a food trail inspired by seafood. Curious to learn about sustainable fishing, Neven heads out to sea with the Murphy family of Shellfish De La Mer, Dinish Island, Co Cork. Using traditional pot-fishing methods, the Murphy family fish for brown crab and show Neven how it's done. Back at the harbour, Neven is taught how to dress a crab fresh from his haul. In every successful chef's kitchen are a good set of knives, which leads Neven to Ballylickey to meet master cutler Rory Conner. Specialising in hand crafted knives, Rory makes a unique oyster knife especially for Neven. Staying in County Cork, Neven's final stop is Blairscove House and Restaurant where Head Chef Ronald Klotzer shares a tempting recipe for Grilled Turbot on the bone with Sea Beet and Dijon Mustard Hollandaise.
Wexford, Limerick and Lough Ree
Continuing his Irish Food Trail, Neven heads to County Wexford where he meets blackcurrant producer Des Jeffares. Des is keen to show Neven the inventive ways in which blackcurrants can be used and introduces him to a delicious savoury dish - Roasted Lamb Shanks with Blackcurrant Sauce. Neven then heads to Limerick's Georgian Quarter to meet Tim Harris, Head Chef at No. 1 Pery Square. Tim prepares a dish to reflect the city's historic food roots as a celebrated hub for pork and bacon. Staying in Limerick, Neven is transported back in time when he visits Miss Marple's Vintage Tea Rooms which are inspired by the food and decor of the 1930s and '40s. Owner Colette O'Farrell shows Neven how to make 'Queen of Puddings' a traditional dessert designed to use up leftover ingredients. Finally, Neven travels back to Lough Ree where he bakes a Rustic Pear Tart in the galley of the Shannon Princess.
This week Neven's Irish Food Trail leads him to West Cork and Glenilen Farm, home of artisan dairy producers the Kingston family. Neven is invited into the farm kitchen by Valerie Kingston who shares an appetising cheesecake recipe. He travels on to Cork City and the Hayfield Manor Hotel where he meets Head Chef Mark Staples. Mark shows Neven a handy technique for cooking duck using every element of an oven-ready bird. Back on board the Shannon Princess, Neven prepares two warm salads - Bacon and Blue Cheese Salad and Warm Chorizo and Chickpea Salad, and a Mediterranean Monkfish Stew.
On tonight's programme, Neven's food trail leads him first to Abbeyleix, Co. Laois where he meets Helen Gee of G's Gourmet Jams. Helen shares a simple yet scrumptious recipe for raspberry jam, which takes less than half an hour to make - perfect for all home chefs. Neven travels on to Bennettsbridge in Kilkenny to meet one of Ireland's most renowned potters, Nicholas Mosse. Nicholas shows Neven the art of 'throwing' Irish clay on his potter's wheel, firing up the kiln and his distinctive sponge-decorating techniques. Neven's final stop is Kilkenny City and the Michelin Star Campagne restaurant. Head Chef Gareth Byrne specialises in the Classic French style of cooking and shows Neven how to make Chicken Pithivier, an en croute dish. Back on board the Shannon Princess Neven cooks his delicious Irish Stew.
Neven's first destination tonight is the spectacular Powerscourt Estate in Co. Wicklow where he meets Pamela Walsh and Brett Stephenson of Wicklow Way Wines, Ireland's first fruit wine producers. He continues on to the winery to discover how Irish strawberries, blackberries and wild elderberries are used to create an innovative and uniquely Irish wine. Then Neven ventures into the great outdoors in Kilkenny and joins mushroom expert Bill O'Dea on a woodland foraging trip in the Castlecomer Discovery Park. Bill shows Neven his tips for finding a treasure trove of flavoursome wild mushrooms. Neven's final stop is County Longford and the Viewmount Hotel. Head Chef Gary O'Hanlon describes his style of cooking as "Irish ingredients with elegance" and teaches Neven how to make a dish using Finnebrogue venison. On board the Shannon Princess, Neven prepares Vegetable Curry with Fragrant Rice.
In this final programme of Neven's Irish Food Trails, Neven heads to Dublin to meet an artisan food producer who combines ancient Mexican cooking techniques with traditional Irish ingredients. Philip Martin of Blanco Nino uses Irish GM-free corn to manufacture Mexican tortillas, and shows Neven how to create a Mexican tortilla dish. From Dublin, Neven travels to County Kilkenny and the Jerpoint Glass Studio where he tries the art of glass blowing to create his own wine glass. Neven's next destination is County Limerick and the Mustard Seed Country House Hotel where Chef Angel Pirev shares a recipe for succulent beef sirloin. And it's back on board the Shannon Princess for the last time to prepare his delicious homemade Viennetta ice-cream.