Neven grew up in Blacklion on the site of the restaurant which was then run by his parents as the MacNean Bistro. It was also the family home. His early interest in food was greatly encouraged by his mother, Vera. Neven studied catering at the nearby Fermanagh College in Enniskillen. He then trained in in some of the world’s top restaurants including Arzac, San Sebastian, Spain (3 Michelin Stars) and Restaurant Léa Linster, Luxembourg (1 Michelin Star). He took over as Head Chef/Owner of MacNean House & Restaurant in 2001.
Neven began his television career on the weekly live cookery slot of RTE’s popular ‘Open House’ afternoon show, presented by Mary Kennedy and Marty Whelan; both of whom have remained firm friends. Since then, he has presented numerous cookery shows on RTE featuring top chefs and restaurants from both Ireland and abroad. He has played an important role in highlighting the best of Irish produce and works closely with Bord Bia to promote Quality Assured Irish produce. Neven’s Christmas specials on RTE have become an annual fixture. He also enjoys a weekly chat about food on RTE’s Lyric FM with Marty Whelan.
Neven writes a weekly column in Ireland’s Farmers Journal and produces a monthly podcast which is available to listen to here.
He opened his own highly successful cookery school beside MacNean Restaurant in 2014, which has been one of his lifelong ambitions. He has always enjoyed passing on his skills to interested cooks at all levels.
Neven lives with his wife Amelda and their twin son and daughter, Connor and Lucia, just a short distance from the restaurant in Blacklion.