Meet the Chefs | Mindful Chef

Fitness

It started 6 years ago with Chef Louisa in her home kitchen. Fast forward to today and our 10-strong team has crafted thousands of mindful recipes to make healthy eating easy.

To celebrate our new office – and the faces behind the food – here’s our chef team takeover! From recipe creation, through to testing and photography, our test kitchen is a hive of activity.

Don’t forget to rate your recipes in your account every week – it helps us continue to improve and keep on delivering dish after dish you’ll love.

Chef James – Head Development Chef

“I oversee it all, making sure the team has everything they need to create the amazing dishes they do on a daily basis, as well as developing new healthy recipes myself.”

Tell us something we don’t know about you?

I’m ex-military and have travelled all over the world. Everywhere I go I explore food markets and try to do a local cookery course or see a local chef in action.

Favourite recipe? 

Smoked salmon with jersey royals, tenderstem broccoli & fennel remoulade. Great dish for the family to share in the summer sun.

Top tip to make healthy eating easy? 

Always have basics in the cupboard like herbs, spices, chopped tomatoes, stock cubes and avoid pre-made sauces as they tend to have a high sugar/salt content.

Favourite cuisine? 

I’d say anything Asian as I love the flavour mix of heat, fragrant, sweet & salty, You can’t go wrong with a Pad Thai, especially on the streets of Thailand where they make it while you watch.

What ingredient could you never live without? 

Garlic, I would happily have it on everything, it makes every dish pop.

What’s the best thing about your job? 

The creativity as you are developing new dishes on a daily basis, it really gives you that freedom to explore and play with new ingredients.

What’s coming up this year we can all look forward to? 

That’s the good thing about Mindful Chef, we are constantly developing new dishes so you always have something to look forward to all year.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten? 

A friend once made lasagne with ketchup as he said he had no chopped tomatoes. (Don’t try this at home).

Chef Louisa – Head of Vegan Recipe Development

“I explore new food trends and seek out delicious ingredients from a whole range of cuisines, then experiment with these ingredients to create new recipes – often a healthy vegan spin on a classic dish.”

Tell us something we don’t know about you?

I was the first employee at Mindful Chef nearly five and a half years ago, shortly followed by my pup Toby, the office rascal!

Favourite recipe?

My ultimate comfort food is a creamy tofu noodle soup – for the base of this I’d combine a Thai curry paste with coconut milk, a spoonful of peanut butter, a sprinkle of fresh coriander and a squeeze of lime – which to me is unbeatable.

Top tip to make healthy eating easy? 

When it comes to cooking simple healthy dishes, I’d recommend having a larder full of flavour-packed ingredients for when you’re in a hurry like spice pastes, miso and pestos, as well as a range of nut butters, for added protein and fats.

Favourite cuisine? 

I adore Southeast Asian dishes – the sweet, sour, salty and spicy combination in fresh fragrant salads, stir-fried noodles and coconut curries.

What ingredient could you never live without? 

Tamari, it’s the ultimate flavour boost. Salty and rich in umami, it’s so versatile and can be added to virtually any cuisine – from a lentil bolognese, to a satay sauce or even in the gravy to accompany a Sunday roast.

What’s the best thing about your job? 

Experimenting with so many different flavour combinations and new ingredients is really exciting. Plus I love helping people learn how to cook vegan food which is simple to whip up but is still really tasty.

What’s coming up this year we can all look forward to? 

You’ll find a range of exciting new plant-based proteins popping up on the MC vegan menu – this area of product development is exploding at the moment so there’s always something new to try.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten? 

I don’t think it counts as weird but I’ve enjoyed experimenting with lesser known foraged ingredients this year.

Chef Pollie – Development chef

“I develop new recipes for Mindful Chef on a daily basis, coming up with new and exciting recipe ideas, ensuring they’re healthy, taste good – and look good.”

What’s your favourite recipe?

Ginger chicken & coconut broth with vegetable noodles – so delicious and comforting to eat!

What’s your top tip to make healthy eating easy?

Planning ahead is key: 

  • Make healthy snacks at the weekends or in the evenings so they are ready for when you feel hungry. 
  • Batch cook if you can, even if you just cook double at dinner time and have the second half for lunch the next day. 
  • Always have a full fruit bowl.
  • Use pastes, pestos, harissa etc for instant flavour. You can’t beat pesto-roasted broccoli, so healthy and delicious.

Favourite cuisine? 

Vietnamese. 

What ingredient could you never live without?

Garlic. Whatever the cuisine, garlic improves the flavour of the dish (most of the time!)

What’s the best thing about your job? 

The thought that MC customers are enjoying cooking up our healthy recipes at home, whilst hopefully learning some new skills along the way.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten? 

Brain – The opportunity was there to try it at cookery school, so I did….. but never again!

Tanya  – Development Chef – Recipe Improvement

“I love helping people learn to cook and making healthy eating easy.  I monitor customer feedback, test out new and old recipes – we’re always improving them every time!”

Tell us something we don’t know about you, or your job at Mindful Chef?

I lived in Cape Town for 5 years which I absolutely loved.

Favourite recipe?

Hot-smoked salmon poke bowl & miso-tahini dressing.

Top tip to make healthy eating easy? 

Make a plan beforehand so you don’t make choices when you’re super hungry!

Favourite cuisine? 

Asian.

What ingredient could you never live without? 

Tahini – my sister lived in Israel for 5 years and converted me!!

What’s coming up this year we can all look forward to? 

Our amazing prawns- I know some people have seen them already but they are the best!

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten? 

Shark.

Susie – Recipe and Ingredients Administrator

“I help look after the weekly magazine, checking recipes, ingredients and stock. I love working at Mindful Chef, everyone has great energy and is so much fun.” 

Tell us something we don’t know about you, or your job 

I can fit forty grapes inside my mouth (with seeds).

Top tip to make healthy eating easy? 

Preparation- with Mindful Chef we’ve got your dinners covered, but take a couple of hours on a Sunday to plan your lunches for the week ahead and get some food in the fridge. Oh, and eat ALL the colours of the rainbow.

Favourite cuisine? 

Asian (Vietnamese specifically).

What ingredient could you never live without? 

Fish sauce (not sure why just love the stuff).

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten? 

A worm.

Katy – Ingredients & Recipe Coordinator

“From new and exciting ingredients for you to try at home to making sure all the upcoming recipes are ready to go on the menu, I’m the one checking the ingredients are right and in season, recipes are within our nutritional guidelines and this weekly magazine is correct too!” 

Favourite Mindful Chef recipe

Coconut fish pie with sweet potato mash – a Mindful twist on a classic, can’t beat it!

Top tip to make healthy eating easy

Herbs and spices are your friends.

Favourite cuisine

Vietnamese or Thai – those fresh flavours.

Favourite ingredient

Peanut butter! It’s so versatile.

What’s coming up this year we can all look forward to? 

We’ve got some really cool flavoured meats and fish coming on the menu plus loads of new vegan dishes too including flavoured tempehs.

Weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?

A sea urchin…an interesting flavour…

Samantha – New Product Development Manager

“I work with manufacturers to produce foods that meet our strict Mindful Chef standards and taste good – just like you’ve made them at home. I’m so excited about the new vegan products we’ve got coming up.”

Top tip to make healthy eating easy? 

Always have healthy snacks available to avoid the biscuits/crisps.

Your favourite cuisine?

Indian.

What ingredient could you never live without? 

Onions – in everything!

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten? 

Zebu meat cooked in a hole I dug in the ground in the spiny forest of Madagascar.

Thea – New Product Development Manager

“I develop the new smoothies, broths, soups and other new and exciting frozen ranges, working closely with our suppliers and making sure these products look and taste amazing (there is lots of tasting, which is the best part of the job!).

Favourite recipe? 

Jackfruit & seaweed cakes with dill dip, because I love the umami flavour of the dulse seaweed flakes in this dish!

Top tip to make healthy eating easy? 

Use lots of fresh herbs to add flavour, rather than too much salt. Why not try freezing any leftover herbs, as these are great added to soups and sauces.

Favourite cuisine? 

Southeast Asian.

What ingredient could you never live without? 

Lemon, to balance and brighten dishes. I always start my day with a hot lemon and Manuka honey tea too.

What’s the best thing about your job? 

Learning about new ingredients and getting to taste them.

What’s coming up this year we can all look forward to? 

New frozen breakfasts and – hello – desserts.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten? 

One of the weirdest is dried insects. Despite these being high in protein and an emerging food trend, I just can’t get my head around it!

Caroline – Development Chef: Recipe Improvement

“I analyse customer feedback on recipes. Testing and improving them, wherever we can.

Tell us something we don’t know about you

Having trained in naturopathic cooking techniques, I bring knowledge of how to pair foods for nutrient boosting properties and healthy cooking tips.

Favourite recipe? 

Red lentil dahl with coley, coconut & spinach.

Top tip to make healthy eating easy? 

Wash but don’t always peel your carrots and potatoes. The skin contains valuable fibre and a concentration of nutrients lie under the skin so you are boosting your health and saving yourself time in one!

Favourite cuisine? 

Middle Eastern

What ingredient could you never live without?

Ginger. It always lifts a dish and is so good for you!

What’s the best thing about your job? 

Being part of a company that passionately wants to make healthy eating easy.

What’s coming up this year we can all look forward to? 

Dishes that are specially created to boost your mood and your gut health.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten? 

Banana on a pizza, sitting on a beach in the pouring rain. It was all wrong, but somehow it all worked!


Yet to try healthy eating made easy? Get £10 off your first two healthy recipe boxes by entering code BLOG20 at checkout. Mindful Chef healthy recipe boxes provide you with the tools to cook delicious nutritious meals, in under 30 minutes. Each box contains recipe instructions, pre-portioned ingredients and fresh produce sourced from award-winning British farms.

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