And For Mains, a hardback book featuring recipes and stories from Gareth (Gaz) Smith, award-winning chef and owner of Dublin restaurants Michael’s and Little Mike’s, and Rick Higgins, a fourth-generation butcher who runs Higgins Family Butcher in Sutton on Dublin’s northside, is now available.

The book, priced €40, combines the recipes that Gaz is renowned for with stories from the Irish food scene, from the inside scoop on selecting the best Irish beef and the journey from the field to your plate, to the reality of crab fishing in the Dublin sea and the search for the capital’s best pints.

Ideal for those who enjoy great food and great produce as well as good banter, recipes have been adapted to ensure home cooks can recreate the dishes in their own kitchens without the need for expensive kit or hard-to-find ingredients.

With 63 recipes, choose from seafood classics or meat dishes to salads and sides. Readers will learn insider tricks like how to cook the perfect steak, the art of the reverse sear and a range of one pot wonders including one hour roast chicken.

Meanwhile, expert butcher Rick Higgins delivers the inside track on choosing the best cuts of meat and provides a butchery masterclass on how to French trim a rack of lamb, spatchcock a chicken and prepare a prime rib of beef.

The book was conceived over ‘pints and chats’ between Gaz and Rick, friends and business partners for many years, who wanted to share their knowledge and the stories and recipes they love.

Gaz said: “Our aim was to self-publish the book, meaning we got to write the book we have dreamed of without any outside intervention or curtailment. The friendship and professional admiration Rick and I share meant it was great craic along the way.”

“We didn’t cut any corners on the creation of this book,” Rick continued. “We just stuck to the same ethos we apply when choosing food for the restaurants and butcher shop. Only the best makes the cut.”

Journalist Nicola Brady, who regularly writes for The Irish Independent, Condé Nast Traveler, The Times, CNN and the Evening Standard, was drafted in to assist in writing the book, while food and lifestyle photographer Katie Quinn is responsible for the art direction, food styling and imagery.

Portrait photographer John Murray captured the essence of Gaz and Rick and their friendship as well as the many other characters featured in the book. Kristin Jensen from boutique Irish publishing house Nine Bean Rows joined the team as publisher, editor and proofreader just weeks before it went to print.

And For Mains is available now in store at Michaels Mount Merrion, Little Mikes and Higgins Family Butcher, Sutton. For online and corporate orders, see www.andformains.ie.

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