Fit for a chef: Chef Neven Maguire on his Cook with Neven Maguire range at Dunnes Stores
The chef and Dunnes Stores Simply Better brand ambassador reveals the inspiration for his cookware range - and the must-have item that always sells out
They say necessity is the mother of all invention and Neven Maguire, one of Ireland’s best known chefs and owner of MacNean House and Restaurant, is well positioned to identify the kitchen essentials we all need.
Neven, who also runs his own cookery school, had long wanted to launch his own cookware range after being asked for years to recommend the best pots, pans and knives. He saw an opportunity and went on to launch the Cook with Neven range with Dunnes Stores.
“We started with pots, pans, knives and utensils and now we’ve added crockery and oven-to-tableware,” Neven says. “We’re always extending it and one thing we look for is newness.” The range is full of little everyday essentials that are practical, functional and look great too. The knives are made of Japanese steel, the pots are tri-ply, made of three layers of steel – “It’s one of the fastest kind of methods to cook and works on all cooking formats,” Neven says – while the elegant bakeware is made of heavy gauge steel. Clever, practical products include the ingenious garlic crusher, which is always selling out, and silicone-headed utensils that are kinder to pots and pans.
“We wanted quality, we wanted it to be affordable for people and we wanted it to be practical,” Neven notes. “You have to think with the pots and pans; are they easy to clean? Do they work with electric, with induction and with gas? Can they go into the dishwasher? That’s what people want when they are cooking, they want to know that it will work and that it’s easy to clean, that’s what is really important.”
Neven puts the success of the range down in part to timing, as so many of us have gotten back into the kitchen in the last year or two. “During the first Covid lockdown I was doing videos every day showcasing the cookware and more and more people were cooking at home and reconnecting with food. ‘What’s for dinner?’ was the main event of the day.”
The collection was born out of Neven’s experience as a chef – both professionally and in his own family kitchen, cooking for children Connor and Lucia and wife Amelda. Each piece is put through its paces to ensure that any home cook can rely on them and, perhaps more importantly, will use them regularly.
“We thought of all the details of design and we test each product for six to nine months before we actually launch it. It’s a big range and the feedback has been phenomenal.
“I’m very proud of the range and I think the quality is excellent and it’s affordable for people. There’s no gimmicks about it, it’s a practical cook range. It looks lovely, but it’s functional and that’s what people want.”
In partnership with Dunnes Stores