Seaweed walk with the Wild Kitchen

by Alison, 19/06/2014

We met Oonagh O'Dwyer from the Wild Kitchen at the Burren Slow Food Festival. We went on her foraging walk and loved it (click here to read about it). On the second day of the festival we happened to run into Oonagh again and she surprised us by inviting us on one of her seaweed foraging walks. She had a photographer, coming to meet her the following weekend and she thought we would enjoy meeting him.

Cedric Arnold is a photographer based in Bangkok. He was meeting Oonagh as part of a feature he is shooting. The piece is a travel food diary through the west coast of Ireland promoting the small, sustainable, artisan businesses that are sprouting along the coast. Just listening to his travels so far made me hungry.

As someone interested in photography it was an education to watch him work. It demonstrated to me how even in a setting you have never been to before you need hold the sense of the image you are seeking in your head. On the one hand to capture moments of spontaneity and on the other give clear directions to produce the image you want.

I would like to say thank you to Oonagh for her generous invitation and also for introducing us to all the amazing food on the rocks outside our new front door. The walk took place about 5minuntes from our new home. It seems these rocks contain a beautiful array of seaweeds and sea life. We found sea grass, sea lettuce, dillisk, pepper dulse, kombu (forest kelp), kombu royale (sugar kelp), nori and wakame. Not to mention crab, periwinkles and mussels

People talk about eating food with minimal processing and reducing food miles. Well it doesn't come much more raw, natural or local then this. It's funny, seaweed has always seemed exotic to me. I associated it with sushi, something I only tasted when I went to college. Yet here it is lying on the sea shore waiting to be found and if you follow Oonagh's example you can incorporate it into anything from soups and salads to crisps and crackers.

Another thing that struck me was the colours and the beautiful shapes of the sea-weeds. At first glance the sea-shore looked dull and grey but look a little closer and there are plenty of chances to eat the rainbow.

So for now we have been left to our own devices but I have the feeling that once Ollie comes back we will be in touch with the Wild Kitchen once again.


  1. Cant wait to be introduced to a whole new culinary world. You are so right about the colours.

  2. We will have to organise a walk with Oonagh next time you are down.

  3. Thank you Alison the photos and words, beautiful. We are so lucky.
    Hope you are enjoying BarrtrĂ¡, and hope to bump into you again soon.

    Oonagh at

    1. Glad you like them Oonagh. Maybe we will bump into you at the community garden one of these days. I keep meaning to go up there. Can't believe i havent been yet.