Mungo Murphy Seaweed has worked with us at Ashford Castle since 2016. The company was named after a fictional farmer Mungo Murphy, the brainchild of a team of passionate individuals who are specialists in all things algae.

How did the partnership with Ashford Castle start?

After winning a Eurotoque Food Award for our seaweeds in 2015, we came to the attention of Executive Head Chef Philippe Farineau. Philipe was impressed with our produce and started supplying his kitchen with our fresh seaweed, abalone (for special occasions), and sea urchins.

How is your produce used in our restaurants/bars?

Chef Phillipe Farineau incorporates our seaweed into quiches and curries. Our sea urchin roe will most likely be served raw. Our ingredients are particularly sought after when Ashford's kitchen is looking for interesting (or weird!) ingredients to offer guests.

What three words would you use to describe your product?

Local, sustainable, and tasty

Tell us about the history of your business?

Mungo Murphy’s Seaweed Co. stemmed from my mother’s abalone farm in Rossaveal, Co. Galway. As the abalone takes at least three years to reach market size, we decided to incorporate seaweed, sea cucumber, and sea urchins into our farm. We also developed a range of simple seaweed bath products to introduce people to seaweed who may not be familiar with eating it yet.

What is the proudest/most memorable moment in your partnership with the Ashford Estate?

One of the most memorable and proudest moments for us was being invited to a Eurotoque garden party at Ashford Castle’s kitchen garden. It was such a privilege to be invited alongside a selection of some of Ireland’s best food producers. It was a hot sunny day in May and I will never forget driving down the avenue from the gates to the Castle and being in awe of all of the bluebells in flower lining the driveway. The food was amazing and so was the company present. It was a very special day!

How is your location/connection with your local area reflected in your product?

Our aquaculture farm is located beside the sea in Rossaveal and so our location naturally has a close relationship with the sea and its bounty.

What plans do you have to develop your product/your partnership with Ashford?

We have developed a range of seaweed seasoning for foodservice and are excited to see them in use in the Ashford Castle kitchens. We are currently developing consumer packaging so that people can take a bit of Connemara home with them to cook with.

Describe a typical day in creating your product - what is the farm-to-table story?

Every day is different depending on whether we have a farm tour or if it’s a packing day or both. But I suppose the consistent thread in the farm-to-table story is that we end up getting wet, whether by rainfall or seawater as we harvest our seaweed locally to feed to our abalone, sea cucumber, and urchins or to supply as food. Every day we have to check the farm to make sure that the water is flowing and the animals have enough seaweed to eat. Once those tasks are taken care of then we can produce our dried seaweed products in our farm kitchen on site. And then if orders need to go out we have to make sure those are packed in the right time frame to be delivered the next day for optimum freshness.