Leading Edinburgh chefs Mark Greenaway (@ 12 Picardy Place) and Paul Wedgwood (http:///www.braeheadfoods.co.uk/" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer">Wedgwood restaurant](http://wedgwoodtherestaurant.co.uk/)) recently gave students of Queen Margaret College a taste of gourmet cooking seasoned with a new range of ingredients foraged locally from the bottom of the sea.
The chefs showed how ground and milled seaweeds from new supplier the Forage Rangers added depth, colour and complexity to their dishes, in addition to a host of nutritional benefits.
The seasonings put through their paces at Edinburgh New Town Cookery School included emerald-green Sea Lettuce, smoky-flavoured dulse, Celtic Kombu or Laminaria (the sweet umami taste found in miso soup), Pepper Dulse and the tri-coloured Shony Flakes.
The green, brown and red seaweeds are hand-harvested in local Celtic waters when the tides are lowest (at full or new moon), dried and milled within 24 hours of picking and sealed in pouches to lock in taste and flavour and keep out moisture.
Greenaway's creations included a smoky Pea & Dulse Soup and Pan-fried Hake on a Herb Crust of Sea Lettuce & Parsley.
Wedgwood wowed the students with a West Coast Shellfish Sundae of langoustine, lobster and scallop ice-cream and a lobster risotto. He used Celtic Kombu to flavour the ice-cream, and dulse to spice up the smoked egg-white foam, dusting the whole dish with bacon and seaweed flakes.
"I'm passionate about foraged foods. Up until now I've stayed on the land for these gems, but thanks to Fiona and Xa, the Forage Rangers, I've now got my sea legs!" said Wedgwood.
"Each sea spice we've used so far is so different and full of flavour. They are easy to use in all sorts of dishes, so natural and very healthy, with what we can do with sea spices and the feedback has been fantastic."
The seaweeds will be available to chefs through [Braehead Foodsand through the Forage Rangers' own website, www.seaspice.co.uk, from January 2012.