Scoil Pól welcomes Neven Maguire to the Charleville Park Hotel Scoil Pol welcome Neven MaGuire

On Thursday last, the 7th May, Principal Mike O Hara welcomed one of Irelands best known chef’s, Neven Maguire, to the Charleville Park Hotel. The event was a fundraising night for the Secondary School in Kilfinane where all funds raised will be used to offset the annual costs associated with travel and engagement in extracurricular activities in the school.
A large crowd of approximately three hundred and fifty people gathered on the night and were welcomed by the Parents Association and principal and availed of a complementary glass of wine at reception. A number of artisan food and industry stalls were available to the audience for browsing at, where a variety of food, beverages, condiments and specialities such as cheese, apple juices and oils could be tasted and/or purchased. Between 7 and 8pm Neven himself visited these stalls to sample and admire these artisan products and availed of these samples to include in his menu on the night. Many availed of this opportunity to have their photograph taken with the famous chef himself. 

At 8pm the cooking demonstration began. Nevens engaging and narrative style immediately captured the audience’s attention and from that moment, no detail was missed. Neven opened with a starter of locally produced Goats Cheese with Apple and Hazelnut Salad followed byPrawn Spring Rolls with Sauce Vierge, before moving to a main course of Breast of Duck with Sweet Potato Fondants, Creamed Savoy Cabbage and Honey and Ginger Sauce. Two lucky members of the audience were invited to the stage during this first half of the show where they were able to eat both courses. They were the envy of the crowd! Neven’s willingness to share his cooking tips was evident throughout the demonstration and the eager crowd paid rapt attention as even the humble cabbage was turned in to a mouth watering dish.
At the interval, more photographs were taken and Neven spent time sighing copies of his book that were available on the night. Having had their appetites whetted by Neven, the audience used their interval break to revisit the artisan stalls and further taste and purchase some of the excellent produce on show.
The second half of the demonstration was about deserts. Neven had every ones rapt attention as he produced a Warm Chocolate and Pecan Brownie with Coole Swan Fudge Sauce but it was the Warm Chocolate Bomb that sent hunger pains to the limit!! The very appreciative audience themselves melted as the warm chocolate infused with the ‘bomb’ and everyone shamelessly envied the lucky girl chosen from the crowd to taste this spectacular desert.
The Parents Association had assembled an extremely impressive array of hampers as raffle prizes, made up of food and goods produced locally in the Ballyhoura region, and also donated from those stalls present on the night. Neven himself contributes first prize in the raffle by very kindly donating a meal for two at his own Black Lion Restaurent at Mac Nean House in Leitrim. Principal Mike O Hara sincerely thanked Neven for his excellent demonstration throughout the night. The staff of the Charleville Park Hotel, under the stewardship of Triona Dore, was also thanked for their help and guidance in organising and running the event. Neven remained on for some time to complete all request for photographs and autographs from those gathered.
An excellent night was had by everyone and to close, Mike O Hara gratefully thanked all those who had supported the event in any way, and by extension, Scoil Pól Secondary School in Kilfinane.



Neven MaGuire