JP McMahon’s new book explores the adventures of Irish food in Aniar

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Michelin starred local chef and restaurateur JP McMahon has released a new book, An Alphabet of Aniar: Notes for a New Irish Cuisine.

The book, which is available now for €25, is intended as a companion to his previous larger book, The Irish Cook Book (Phaidon 2020).

While The Irish Cook Book focussed on the entire history of food in Ireland, McMahon’s new book discusses some of his philosophy and findings from the last twelve years at his Aniar restaurant through the framework of the alphabet.

JP McMahon describes An Alphabet of Aniar: Notes for a New Irish Cuisine as a true labour of love.

“It highlights the adventures of Irish food in the restaurant as well as demonstrating the ways in which it has showcased wild and foraged food, old techniques of preservation, and connected the restaurant to the history of food on the island of Island,” he said.

Aniar began as a project to explore the possibilities of the Irish larder; to make sense of them and attempt to produce a new Irish cuisine.

The book’s content spans the entire alphabet, from the benefits and versatility of Alexanders, also known as horse parsley, that have grown along Ireland’s hedgerows for thousands of years, right through to Zero Waste, a concept that McMahon describes as a process by which he and his team seek to connect his restaurants to the outside ecology of Ireland’s landscapes and seas.

The book also features stunning photography by Galway-based photographer Anita Murphy with styling by Zania Koppe.

Located in Galway’s West End, Aniar (which is the Irish word for west) was awarded its first Michelin star in 2013 which it has retained every year since.

All ingredients bar two (white flour and sugar) in the kitchen are from Ireland with most of them sourced from the west of the country.

The restaurant’s ethos has also spawned the launch of The Aniar Cookery School which offers cooking courses for adults and children.

Signed copies of An Alphabet of Aniar: Notes for a New Irish Cuisine by JP McMahon, are available now, €25 from www.aniarrestaurant.ie