Coastal Nomad - Lori McCarthy

Lori McCarthy truly embodies what it means to be a coastal nomad and a Newfoundlander. Here in our province, we cherish resilience, resourcefulness, and making the most of what the land provides. We reached out to Lori to uncover some hidden gems across Newfoundland, learn about her favorite dishes to cook, gather tips for foraging, and discover the invaluable lessons she's learned from living here. As a skilled outdoorswoman and chef, Lori is dedicated to keeping Newfoundland's wild game and traditional foods a staple in our diet and culture. So, get ready to embrace the beauty of the Newfoundland landscape with Lori as our guide!


What is a place in Newfoundland you think more people should know about?

The Irish Loop in Newfoundland is indeed a treasure trove waiting to be explored. Its rugged coastline, quaint villages, and rich cultural heritage offer a glimpse into the soul of Newfoundland and its ties to Irish history. One of the underrated aspects of the Irish Loop is its unspoiled natural beauty. From the dramatic cliffs of St. Shotts to the serene beaches of St. Vincent, there's something for every nature lover to discover.

Aside from its stunning landscapes, the Irish Loop also boasts a vibrant community and a deep connection to its Irish roots. The people you meet along the way are warm, welcoming, and eager to share their stories and traditions. Whether you're interested in fishing, hunting, or simply immersing yourself in the local culture, you'll find plenty to see and do along the Irish Loop.

Exploring the Irish Loop isn't just about sightseeing—it's about connecting with the land and its people on a deeper level. It's about uncovering hidden gems and experiencing the true essence of Newfoundland. So next time you're planning a trip to Newfoundland, be sure to venture off the beaten path and discover the magic of the Irish Loop.


What is your favortie food to cook?

While I don't have a single favorite dish to cook, my passion lies in exploring the culinary treasures of Newfoundland, especially its wild edibles and traditional methods of food preservation. There's something truly special about foraging for wild game birds and learning the art of smoking fish, techniques deeply rooted in Newfoundland's cultural heritage.

What truly captivates me about Newfoundland and Labrador is its rich tapestry of cultures, each contributing unique flavors and culinary traditions to the region. From Indigenous practices to the influence of Irish, English, and French settlers, there's a wealth of culinary knowledge waiting to be discovered.

My dedication to Newfoundland goes beyond just culinary exploration. I spend countless hours immersing myself in its history, traditions, and landscapes, all in an effort to forge a deeper connection with the land and its people. For me, Newfoundland isn't just a place—it's a way of life, a source of inspiration, and a constant journey of discovery.


What do you have for people interested in foraging?

For those intrigued by the art of foraging, my advice is to seek others to forage with and to share in the fun. While books and online resources can offer valuable insights into identification and techniques, nothing compares to the wisdom gained from hands-on experience shared with others. Joining a foraging group or finding mentors can provide invaluable guidance and deepen your understanding of the land. Speaking to the generation before us and those that move to the province is such a great way to grow your knowledge.

When foraging, especially with the intention of consuming what you gather, safety and sustainability should be top priorities. Take the time to learn about sustainable foraging practices, respecting the delicate balance of ecosystems. Drawing inspiration from the stewardship practices of diverse cultures, including those with deep roots in Newfoundland, can offer valuable insights into responsible land care.

Remember, foraging isn't just about gathering food—it's about forming a reciprocal relationship with nature. As stewards of the land, it's our responsibility to ensure that our foraging practices contribute to the health and vitality of the ecosystems we rely on. Embrace a mindset of continuous learning and adaptation, always seeking ways to appreciate and take care and fill our curiosity.



What lesson has newfoundland taught you?

Expressing the depth of my learnings from the people of Newfoundland and my experiences in foraging is a challenging task. Through countless conversations and shared moments with locals, I've gained profound insights into the essence of Newfoundland's landscape, culture, and heritage. These experiences have instilled within me a profound appreciation for the richness of our surroundings and the resilience of those who have called this place home for generations.

Every foraging expedition, every story shared, has contributed to a deeper understanding of the intricate web of life that sustains us here. It's not just about gathering food; it's about uncovering the layers of history and tradition woven into the fabric of the land. From tales of survival in harsh environments to the vibrant traditions that have flourished against all odds, I've come to realize the stark difference between merely existing and truly thriving in this place.

Central to this journey has been the realization of the importance of community and belonging. In a place like Newfoundland, where isolation can be both physical and cultural, building connections and fostering a sense of belonging is essential. Whether you're a newcomer or a lifelong resident, forging bonds with others and embracing the collective spirit of community is vital for not just surviving, but thriving.

My dedication to sharing these lessons and teachings with others stems from a deep appreciation and dedication to honor the wisdom of those who have come before us and to inspire future generations to cherish and protect our cultural heritage. In every lesson taught and every story shared, I hope to ignite a similar passion for learning and stewardship, toward taking care of  Newfoundland's past and continuing to shape its future for generations to come.


Follow along with all of Lori's adventures on social media @foodcultureplace or explore even more on her YouTube channel East Coast Forager with Marsha Tulk. If you're interested in learning more about local wild food, you can grab a copy of her and Marsha Tulk's book "Food, Culture, Place" or apply for her residency. Don't miss Lori's TED Talk "How to Find a Sense of Belonging -- Wherever You Are" for more insights and inspiration!