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Couple launch plant-based cooking company in Hampstead

PUBLISHED: 10:00 08 March 2015

Ayshe and Mark Jenkinson. Picture: Dieter Perry.

Ayshe and Mark Jenkinson. Picture: Dieter Perry.

Dieter Perry

A couple who left their careers as academics to set up a food company aimed at encouraging people to eat more fruit and veg are hoping to open their own specialist store.

Mark and Ayshé Jenkinson have seen their home cooking firm Pulse go from strength to strength since launching it in Hampstead earlier this month.

The couple, who left their jobs as theatre performance lecturers to set up the company, specialise in producing healthy, flavoursome plant-based meals suitable for all the family.

They run a popular stall selling their produce at the weekly Saturday food market at Hampstead Community Centre, in Hampstead High Street.

Mrs Jenkinson, 41, who lives in Islington with her husband, said: “A whole load of parents in Hampstead have been ordering food from us.

“Our idea is to help people include more vegetables in their diet. What we are working towards is a permanent base where you will be able to come in and eat food and take food out.

“There will also be access to information and on some afternoons there will be cooking workshops.”

Two years ago, Mr and Mrs Jenkinson decided to give up meat and live solely on a plant-based diet after reading a book exploring the chronic illnesses associated with the consumption of meat and dairy products.

They became passionate about the colourful and tasty dishes which can be created without the need for animal produce, and from cooking veggie dishes at home for curious family members, the couple’s passion evolved into Pulse.

All the company’s dishes are cooked by Mr and Mrs Jenkinson at their home kitchen in advance of the Hampstead food market each week.

One of their most popular dishes is fruity chick pea stew, which Mrs Jenkinson describes as “like a curry but it’s got a nice balance of spices and dried fruits”.

Mr Jenkinson, 50, said: “Our philosophy has always been ‘a tasty dish is a tasty dish whether it’s made with meats or not’. Using herbs and spices, we believe, can make a plant-based dish that even meat-eaters find satisfying.

“In Britain, people are confused about spices and herbs and what to do with them. We find you can create something which is great.

“We are not evangelical about getting people to stop eating meat but no-one ever said don’t eat more vegetables.”

Since giving up meat, the couple have seen huge health benefits.

“My cholesterol went down and my weight went down,” said Mr Jenkinson. “As a result all those weight problems dissipated.”

Mrs Jenkinson added: “I sleep better, I live normal everyday life but my skin is better and I feel better.”

To find out more about Pulse or to order some of their dishes, email pulsehomecooking@gmail.com

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