This winter, photographer Kristin Teig and I will lead a tour of Western Ireland integrating our two passions; food and photography. Each day will feature gastronomic and photographic adventures throughout one of Ireland’s most revered food regions.
It is here, in this land of picturesque villages, churning seas, tranquil rivers, and rolling fields that producers, chefs, and home cooks proudly embrace their surroundings; celebrating a bounty of natural resources and honoring ancient wisdom while at the same time looking forward to a food future that shines as bright as the electric blue water lapping Irish shores.
Over the course of a week, tour participants will meet some of Ireland’s most admired food producers, chefs, and home cooks who will offer a behind the scenes look at a nation in the midst of a culinary revolution.
As we taste our way through each day, Kristin will offer hands on photography instruction covering tools and techniques for food, travel and portrait photography. We’ll review the basics – ISO, shutter speed, aperture, composition – and apply what we’ve learned out on location as well as in a studio setting in the kitchen. Bringing a DSLR is highly recommended; however, those without one who are more interested in the culinary or book publishing aspect of this tour are welcome. In addition to technique, our conversations will focus on photographic seeing and creativity, and a few optional evening sessions will be available to those interested in more advanced photography topics and methods.
For guests interested in writing a cookbook, I will also host a few optional evening sessions to discuss the nuts and bolts of the process, from how to write a cookbook proposal to securing an agent, to recipe development and testing, finding your voice, working with a publisher, and how to organize an effective book tour to promote your work.
The indelible memories inspired by this one of a kind trip will be peppered with practical photographic skills that you can apply to any aspect of life, from trips of discovery like this one to intimate home dinners where an unforgettable meal is waiting to be documented as a nostalgic reminder that food is the elixir that enriches our connections to family, friends, and the world around us.
We would love to have you join us from December in Ireland! It’s absolutely magical here that time of year with festive holiday markets and good cheer brimming from every corner of the country.
Here’s a brief rundown of the schedule. For a more detailed agenda and pricing, please contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Sunday, December 14th
After a morning pickup from the Dublin airport, we will explore the food scene of Ireland’s beautiful capital city. The culinary and photographic opportunities are endless in Dublin and our journey will include stops at some of its most indelible places for incredible food and compelling imagery.
One of Ireland’s most celebrated chefs will provide our group with a rare opportunity to cook with him during a private, hands on demonstration that will kick off with a foraging excursion at his secret spot for edible goodies in the forest on the edge of the city. During the demonstration, Kristin will show you how she works with natural light to create enticing food imagery.
We will visit a bustling marketplace to sample local products and stop by an ancient pub for a lesson in beer tasting from one of the city’s most beloved brew masters before we head west to settle in for our week of exploration and discovery.
We will stay throughout our tour in County Mayo, nestled in the heart of one of Western Ireland’s most venerated regions for food, photography, and outdoor adventure. Our trip will take full advantage of all three; providing the more active in our group the option to indulge in some of Ireland’s prime hiking, fishing, beach walking, and kayaking opportunities.
Monday, December 15th
Today we will head to one of Ireland’s most lauded cities for food and drink that will afford us rich culinary and photographic adventures: Galway! As we sample fresh briny oysters and indulge in bubbly spirits throughout the course of the day, we will explore the city’s local food haunts.
There will be a lesson in cheese making from Ireland’s most famous cheesemonger, who has long supported Ireland’s burgeoning cheese making scene along with a personal food tour from Galway’s most dynamic young chef, whose international profile never sways him to leave one of Ireland’s loveliest and most welcoming cities.
During an optional evening session we’ll continue to touch on photography basics, discuss storytelling through photography, and Kristin will share her experiences working for editorial clients.
Tuesday, December 16th
Our time will be spent on the ocean today with some of the loveliest food producers and chefs that Ireland has to offer (and that is really saying something)! We will travel to Sligo in Northwestern Ireland where the nutritional benefits of seaweed have been revered for centuries.
Our first adventure will be in the company of one of the world’s most renowned seaweed experts who, fortunately for us, lives in Sligo! She will take us on a guided tour along the Irish coast where over 600 varieties of seaweed are waiting to be discovered. Our eyes will be opened to the many virtues of seaweed from both a culinary and beauty plan perspective as we nibble our way through the ocean’s garden.
Our lunch will be at a seaside cafe a short journey from Sligo where the chef will prepare for us a seafood feast worthy of remembrance. For the more adventurous in our group who are sated from our morning walk and midday meal, there will be the optional opportunity to do a little afternoon fishing, kayaking, or hiking along the ocean. For those who prefer retail therapy, the quaint boutiques of Sligo are waiting for you.
Next, we will venture to the planet’s only organic seaweed baths where we will learn from the world class triathlete who owns the baths about the rejuvenating power of seaweed, before taking a dip in the baths to experience it for ourselves.
Right next door to the baths is one of the most inviting cafes in all of Ireland where we will enjoy a relaxing dinner on the ocean after a cooking demo with one of the cafe’s owners. And don’t worry, seaweed along with spirits for toasting to a day well lived will be involved!
Wednesday, December 17th
What better way to spend the day than to meet with a Connemara lamb farmer who is fortunate enough to live in the former gatehouse of the Guinness family with his own family?
We will share a warm and inviting meal in their cozy home before learning about the unique Connemara lamb, the only food product in Ireland that holds coveted PGI status.
Following our visit, we will drive to an ancient beach side village along the ocean that will kick off a drive from sea to sky lauded as one of Ireland’s most picturesque.
We will stop by an ornate abbey that on a sunny day stands reflected in the lake alongside it. There will be the opportunity to either explore this working abbey or hike through its wooded grounds before a stop at a manor house where we will enjoy a welcoming cocktail to usher in the evening’s dinner in a village where we will enjoy a festive night of Irish music (because really, what’s a trip to Ireland without the music)?
Thrusday, December 18th
Today we will spend our day exploring County Clare, a region of Ireland fixed prominently in many dreams of Ireland. We will stop by the breathtaking Cliffs of Moher, visit a famed fish smoker and learn all about the process, and stop by her husband’s microbrewery up the road, one of the first microbreweries in Ireland.
Our lunch will be in a cafe along the ocean where the chef is celebrated for his commitment to using local products and supporting local producers. We will not only enjoy his recipes but will take part in a professional photo shoot between Kristin and the chef. Kristin will talk about her process as the collaboration unfolds.
No visit to County Clare is complete without a stop in Doolin, a village clinging to the ocean renowned for its lively music (some say some of the best in all of Ireland).
Feeling festive, we will head back to County Mayo where the optional nightly topic will be all about how to write a cookbook from A to Z. We will discuss everything from writing a cookbook proposal, securing a literary agent, and recipe testing and developing to working with a publisher, hiring and working with a photographer, and planning a tour to promote your book while preparing a meal together inspired by the recipes from my own cookbooks, Come In We’re Closed: An Invitation to Staff Meals at the World’s Best Restaurants and North: The New Nordic Cuisine of Iceland.
Friday, December 19th
Today we will journey to Achill Island, one of Ireland’s most picturesque places to meet with a sea salt maker, explore the nooks and crannies of this very special place, and have lunch at a cozy restaurant proudly serving the region’s local delicacies.
Our final full dinner of the tour will be prepared by a former sous chef from wd-50 in New York who will be in the country to prepare our evening meal.
There will be time in the afternoon for last minute outdoor adventures or to nestle in beside the fire to learn from the chef his cooking tricks, tips, and techniques. For the cooking lovers, feel free to dive in to help prepare our farewell feast that will of course include spirits to accompany our merry making.
For those interested, Kristin will conclude the workshop with a review of our guest’s images from the week, which will include tips and Q&A.
Friday, December 20th
Today will conclude our tour with a morning ride back to Dublin that includes a champagne toast to new friendships and new memories that will forever be filtered through the magical light of Ireland!
Looking forward to seeing you this fall in County Mayo!