A word from Lori:
I want to introduce you to Newfoundland & Labrador, where people, place and food culture run strong and deep. A place where we are looking ahead at the wild foods from the land and sea and realizing that they have only begun to scratch the surface of possibilities.
Our food-ways are stories, born out of necessity and growing to be told. These stories are to be shared, they embrace the past, hold strong in the present, and will grow into future.
Lori McCarthy is dedicated to the cultural foods of Newfoundland and Labrador through her company Cod Sounds and the Livyers Cultural Alliance.
Her core values embrace locally sourced regional cuisine and wild foods from the land and sea; this is reflected in her food experiences and workshops.
Lori has been listed as a hidden gem in National Geographic and has been written up in Costal Living as one of the 8 great excursions in North America. The Telegraph speaks about her in an article with Newfoundland being one of the most unlikely culinary destinations and check out what the National Post has to say.
MEET Alexandra Blagdon
My cousin and right arm since Cod Sounds began. From consulting, to the beach and the woods Alley joins me for workshops and excursions, making Cod Sounds go round throughout the year . Lori McCarthy
At 8 years old Alexandra Blagdon fell in love with cooking. Her culinary adventure started with apple and ham omelettes for her mother and mastering the easy bake oven. For the remainder of her elementary school life, she made all sorts of creations - which included a cheesecake business at one point that turned over zero profit but always made enough to provide another cheesecake. Little did she know this was the life of a chef at any age!
She attended Ballymaloe Cookery School in Ireland which focused on fresh produce and respect for all ingredients. With the luxury of having 100 acres of organic farm land came harvesting the vegetables and milking the cows. They truly embraced the farm to table mentality which inspires her to forage here in Newfoundland.
Shortly after culinary school, she headed back to Newfoundland to join the kitchen at The Reluctant Chef. There a 5-course tasting course menu changed bi-weekly and was redesigned to accommodate any food aversions. While working directly under the chef in a kitchen the size of a closet, she learned a wide variety of cuisines and skills that would follow her throughout her career.
After a year at The Reluctant Chef Alexandra moved to Tuscany, Italy to work at Villa Bordoni. Surrounded by olive trees and vineyards, Villa Bordoni focused on traditional Italian dishes with a modern twist. Throughout her stay she focused on making fresh pastas, picking fresh figs and lemons in the back yard, tasting the varieties of olive oil, and enjoying all things food and wine.
After experiencing the authenticity of food culture in Europe she couldn’t stop travelling and cooking in various countries. Creating guest experiences in Canada, Italy, France, New York, Croatia, etc. vowing not to stop until her tastebuds fall off!
Our cultures strong ties to it's fishing legacy bestows a deserved public honor on the men who braved the sea to bring home sustenance for their families. Those of us who grew up here, though, know that our mothers and grandmothers were equal partners in the hard work and deep local knowledge that ensured survival on this challenging, beautiful rock in the ocean. They gardened, picked berries, trapped little snowbirds in the spring, charmed warts with snails, stopped infection with poultices and taught the children which plants were spring tonic and which were deadly poison.
My mother is the inspiration for all that I do, and it is her stories, and the stories of my ancestors, that I tell around the fire while I am cooking the food she taught me to love. She's also taught me to take pleasure in the moment and find joy in simple things , values I incorporate into the Cod Sounds experience and strive to pass on to my own children. Sometimes I am lucky enough to have her join me around the fire to share these stories firsthand with my guests. They never fail to captivate me.