Neven Maguire is Head Chef and Owner of MacNean House and Restaurant in Blacklion, Co. Cavan. Neven’s parents, Joe and Vera, opened the restaurant in 1989. Neven took over in 2001 and runs it with his wife, Amelda.

Neven is also a well know television personality having now made 15 series of his food programmes for RTE in the course of which he has cooked, met outstanding chefs and producers all over Ireland and much of Europe. He has published 13 Cookery Books and has been named ‘Best Chef in Ireland’ at numerous awards and is widely recognised for his dedication to promoting Irish food across the world.

Neven opened a successful cookery school adjoining the restaurant in 2014 and personally delivers courses for cooks of all skills levels in state of the art custom built facilities.

Here he shares his recipe for lemon and sultana scones with The Impartial Reporter.

Neven's lemon and sultana scones

Serves 12-18 (depending on size)


· 450g self raising flour

· 1 tsp of baking powder

· 1 pinch of salt

· 50g caster sugar

· 110g salted butter, diced

· 1 egg lightly beaten

· 225ml milk (you may need a little more)

· 120g of sultana’s

· Zest of 1 lemon

· 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon milk, to glaze


· Pre heat the oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4

· Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl and stir in the sugar

· Using your fingertips, lightly work in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

· Add the egg and milk to moisten, add the sultanas and lemon zest.

· Mix well until it has a soft doughy texture- but not be too moist. If needed add another little milk

· Gather the dough into a ball and turn it out on to a floured surface, then roll lightly with a rolling pin to 2.5cm thick.

· Line two baking trays with parchment paper

· Cut the dough out with a round cutter and place onto the lined trays

· Brush the tops with the beaten egg wash

· Bake for 15-20 minutes or until browned

· Once cooked, leave to cool on a wire cooling rack

Neven’s Tip: When cutting the dough, place on a tray and pop them in the freezer, allow to freeze and then when required cook from frozen for 16-20 minutes at 180°C/Gas Mark 4.