Chefs see a more contemporary, local Irish cuisine going well beyond meat and potatoes

This image shows a recipe for creamy seafood chowder, from Imen McDonnell's “The Farmette Cookbook: Recipes and Adventures from My Life on an Irish Farm.” (Imen McDonnell via AP)

(AP) — Even in Ireland many people have thought of their cuisine as basically stews, meat pies and potatoes. But contemporary chefs and a renewed focus on local producers have changed minds.

Jp McMahon opened his Galway restaurant, Ainar (ah-NYEER), with innovative recipes that rely on traditional cooking methods like curing, pickling and smoking.

Cookbook author Imen McDonnell says people have shown more interest these days in the seafood around Ireland. Her creamy seafood chowder includes mussels, smoked fish and a bounty of root vegetables. It pairs well with a staple of Irish cuisine, homemade soda bread.