Whether Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter, foraging for wild food never goes out of season. Our fields, woods, hedgerows and parks are rich with delicious wild food, hiding in plain sight to those who know what to look for, in both rural and urban areas. Unsurprisingly, locally foraged foods have been an important part of Myrtle Allen’s menu at Ballymaloe House for over 40 years.
This one day course can literally be life changing as it teaches you how to identify and enjoy nature’s treasures: free ingredients that are fresher, tastier and much more nutritious than virtually anything you will ever find in the shops. This course is suitable for professional chefs, home cooks, keen foragers or anyone wanting to learn about sourcing and cooking with wild food for sheer pleasure.
Feeback from previous students on this course
“Darina is a wealth of knowledge and she shares it openly and willingly on this really great course. I learned a huge amount, we were well taken care of, the food was gorgeous, the demonstrations were great and the staff were terrific. It was my first experience of the Cookery School and I'm sure it will not be the last!”
“I had the most fabulous time on the foraging experience. It has given me such great insight and loads of great ideas. I'll definitely be back again for another course.”
“It’s hard to put into words how much we enjoyed the day. It surpassed all expectations. Darina and the team went over and above and it would be impossible to find fault.”
What you’ll learn about
- How to identify dozens of edible wild plants, flowers, seaweeds and shellfish in season, foraged from hedgerows, fields and the nearest beach. A walk in the countryside will never be the same again. Where you previously saw weeds, you’ll now see something to eat
- How to prepare and cook the wild food that’s been gathered, while maintaining the benefits of the vitamins, minerals and trace elements that are lacking in so many processed foods. Depending on the season, this could include delicious soups and tasty salads featuring nettles, seaweed, samphire, strand cabbage, wild garlic and purslane
- Take a walk with Darina, an enthusiastic and experienced forager, to search for wild food in the countryside. Before even leaving the front steps of the Cookery School, your eyes will be opened see five edible wild plants, reinforcing how much natural abundance is available to those who know what to look for
- A foraging session on the beach, learning about the shellfish and seaweed that can be found on Irish sea shores.
- Two demonstration sessions, showing how to cook the food you’ve foraged, with overhead mirrors and two monitors showing close-up handiwork. Teachers share a wealth of knowledge through their expert tips and techniques. Students can ask questions and have the opportunity to taste the dishes prepared at the end of the sessions
Good to know
- Lunch is included; eat alongside fellow students, our teachers and gardeners
- Bring your own wellies and waterproof coat if its wet weather
- A pack of the recipes will be provided for your ongoing reference
- There’s plenty to do and explore in the area
Terms and Conditions
All bookings for a course or event at Ballymaloe Cookery School are subject to our standard Terms and Conditions.