Meet Devon's Gourmet Gurus
PUBLISHED: 10:36 13 February 2020 | UPDATED: 10:36 13 February 2020
A company with its roots in Devon was one of a handful to be named as a Gourmet Guru for an international food celebration
On 10th February, across the globe, people celebrated World Pulses Day. It's a United Nations' annual initiative that was launched during the International Year of Pulses in 2016. One of the international Gourmet Gurus for World Pulses Day is Mindful Chef, a healthy recipe box company which was started in 2015 by three friends who met at school in Exeter.
Myles Hopper, Giles Humphries and Rob Grieg-Gran got the idea one summer after Rob helped out on a fishing boat which brought fish back to Lympstone to sell direct to customers from the shore. They thought of selling healthy-eating recipe boxes which used ethically and sustainably sourced ingredients. The business, which they named Mindful Chef, took off in a big way; successful crowdfunding bids and the support of names like Andy Murray and Victoria Pendleton has led to it becoming a team of 40, delivering over 3.5 million meals across the UK last year. It's also had an impact on a wider scale, both nationally and globally, with projects like a successful beach clean-up challenge and donating over a million school meals last year to children who live in some of the poorest countries in the world.
Speaking about being a Gourmet Guru for World Pulses Day, Myles says: "It's incredible for Mindful Chef to be recognised on the international stage as a leading voice within the food world. We think we have some of the very best chefs at Mindful HQ and it's a credit to them that we are invited to take part in these sorts of initiatives."
Pulses, which include dried beans, peas, and lentils, are grown in more than 170 countries and have been heralded as more sustainable crops, which help to decrease greenhouse gases, improve soil health and which use less water to grow. They are also healthy, nutritious and easy to use, which are all reasons why the United Nations took the step to promote them as a global food source.
Pulses have always been a key part of the Mindful Chef recipe boxes; unlike other box schemes, it's set out to be super-healthy, reducing sugar intake, having no refined carbs, so the recipes never contain pasta, bread or white rice. They are also completely gluten and dairy free.
"Pulses form an essential part of our balanced meals," says Myles. "Rather than bulk meals out with refined carbs like white pasta or bread we find innovating ways of using more vegetables and pulses in our recipes."
He says: "Not only are they a relatively cheap source of food but they're also a fantastic source of protein, fibre and vitamins. By incorporating more pulses into your diet you're more likely to increase the amount of protein, fibre, folate, zinc, iron and magnesium in your body.
"I think as more people transition towards incorporating more plant-based meals into their overall diet it's inevitable that pulses will get more popular. I would encourage people to do their research and find some tasty recipes, so they aren't always reverting to the same old bean salad.
"Be inventive! There are so many ways you can use pulses in cooking. From bean salads, soups, burgers or falafels, pulses can be used in a variety of ways to transform a dish into one that's not only delicious but incredibly healthy too."