Food Talks: Magic Beans Review

In January 2024 we started an insightful new series of monthly panel events on food around topics that are close to our hearts at Cookery School.  Our first Conversations Around The Cookery School Table was all about British beans and pulses – called Magic Beans – Have You Got Your Finger on the Pulse.

The evening was an incredible insight into how and why we can and should be growing and eating these fantastic foods that can sustain us and the planet. We talked food horticulture, farming, history, culture, science and of course recipes.

Hodmedods split flamingo peas

Food being prepared for Magic of Beans Event

On January 29th 2024 from 6pm we began by enjoying a menu of dishes that really showcased the versatility of our legume friends, including the below bean burger with aioli and sweet chilli sauce. The food was so good we had to send everyone the recipes!

Organic Prosecco got the evening off to a great start as our attendees and panellists had a chance to chat before the panel began.

Prosecco at Magic of Beans Event

Hannah Wilding from Bold Bean Co and Lisa Didier from BeanMeals

Our fascinating panel of expert speakers were – Hannah Wilding, Marketing Manager of Bold Bean Co; Hélèna Dove, Head of the Kitchen Garden at Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, Lisa Didier, from the University of Oxford’s BeanMeals Project and Nick Saltmarsh, Co-founder & Director of Hodmedod’s the BBC Food & Farming Award winning independent company working with British farms to source a range of top quality ingredients (including beans and pulses) and delicious foods.

Networking at Magic of Beans Event

One of our attendees Emma Osborne of CitizenKind said

Last week I went to an event all about BEANS!

These protein powerhouses are set to light 2024 plates alight with their versatility and affordability.

Even better, we can grow them in this country and with brands like Hodmedod’s and Bold Bean Co making it easier to access heritage British legumes like their new collaboration- jarred Queen Carlin Peas, even staunch bean haters will have their commitment challenged! Nutty and nutritious, they can be used wherever you use chickpeas, which are best grown in other countries.

We have some incredible produce grown in UK – let’s enjoy them!

Food security is going to play a bigger and bigger role in the future of food.”


Audience at our Magic of Beans Event

Audience at our Magic of Beans Event

What a treat for a Monday. 🫘 said  Corrine Toyn RD.  “As you can tell from my  company’s name Chickpea Marketing, we’re BIG fans of beans, so we were super excited about this.

We heard from a brilliant panel including Hannah Wilding, Helena Dove, Lisa Didier and Nick Saltmarsh about the magic of beans and the important role they will play as a sustainable source of protein and fibre in years to come.

We also had an opportunity to taste some delicious recipes

A fantastic event meeting some brilliant people  filled with plenty of bean-spo!

This was the last dish of the evening – a ‘prebiotic salad’ made with Chickpeas. Yum!”

Bean salad

Our founder Ros had told us how this Mixed Pulse salad was a favourite of gut health specialist Tim Spector when he visited Cookery School – find out more & get the recipe.

We learnt from the panellists how pulses are an incredibly sustainable ingredient and are good for the planet, especially when compared with animal sources of protein. They require less water, less land, and less or no fertiliser. Legumes have another amazing ability that helps the earth – they take nitrogen from the air and turn it into fertility in the soil.

A huge thank you to all of them and to everyone who came along to our debut event.

Next up with Conversations Around The Cookery School Table will be  CHOCOLATE: THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY on Monday March 25th.