A Galway-based seaweed harvester has won a prestigious food award.
Sinead O’Brien from Mungo Murphy’s Seaweed, Aille, Barna, was honoured last week at the annual EirGrid Euro-Toques Food Awards.
The awards are voted on by the members of Euro-Toques Ireland, a community of cooks and chefs who subscribe to the highest standards in sourcing ingredients and culinary excellence.
Sinead set up Mungo Murphy’s Seaweed Co. with her partner Kevin Moore Murphy in December 2013. The idea for the business came from a “terrible” story she wrote about a periwinkle farmer called Mungo Murphy who lived in a cottage by the sea who subsisted on and bathed in seaweed.
Sinead then realised that she habitually bathed in and ate seaweed, ever since spending her summer holidays as a teenager collecting seaweed in Ros a Mhíl to feed her mother’s abalone farm. Mungo Murphy’s Seaweed Co. began selling their fresh edible seaweeds last year.
“I think that our customers in Ireland and abroad like the story of Mungo Murphy and the fact that our seaweed products come from Connemara, in the ‘West of Ireland’ which gives them peace of mind as to the quality and safety of the produce as the seaweed comes from a pristine, clean environment,” said Sinead.
Speaking about the awards, Euro-Toques Ireland Commissioner General Wade Murphy said the artisan sector in Ireland has grown so much in the last ten years, there’s almost nothing Irish artisans don’t produce at this stage. “This year’s awards have really shown where the standard is at in this country and I expect to see even more new producers and new products this time next year.”