Head chef and owner of Michael’s—a Dublin, Ireland eatery focused on providing customers with fresh, sustainable seafood “directly from the boats”—is on a mission to get kids eating more seafood. Known to his patrons simply as Gaz, the restaurateur didn’t grow up eating seafood, nor did he always have the fondness for seafood that he does now.
“I didn’t appreciate the seafood Ireland had until we moved to Austria—it was only when living in landlocked Austria that I realized how lucky we are,” he said.
Upon his return to Ireland, he said he started noticing how many kids wouldn’t try fish.
“I used to go to the tables and try to convince (or bribe) them to try seafood and if they didn’t like it, I would cook them whatever they wanted … it worked.” And eventually, he says kids progressed from pleading for nuggets to coming in and asking, “what’s best today the squid or the mussels.”
And it was the younger generation’s newfound interest in seafood, that got Gaz geared up to launch his Seafood September menu—a special seafood-based menu, free to kids 12 and under.
As for his culinary skills, he says they were “barren” in the early days.
“It was turkey twizzlers and chip sandwiches,” says the chef who’s been featured in Food & Wine magazine not once, but twice. “I definitely did it the hard way, going from better restaurant to better restaurant,” he said. “My Chart House days were the turning point for my love of seafood … I was very lucky to work with the Chart House gang and seeing the fresh seafood for the first time was eye opening.”
And, says Gaz, it’s been a strong theme in his cooking ever since.
To learn more about Gaz, Seafood September and get the recipe for the amazing seafood dish seen here, read the article in its entirety on the Seafood Nutrition Website. And if you make the dish, be sure to drop Gaz a line and let him know … it truly is divine!