Jim & Lee wants to show how we can support our health and wellbeing with nutrition and sustainability in mind, while raising awareness of food related health effects. They deliver Secret Dinner Clubs, Pop-ups, Community events, Cooking workshops, collaborations and more, working not only with the public, but also schools, colleges and deprived community groups.
Jim: My name is James Lawrence, also known as “Jim”, I am 25 years old, locally grown and am half of Dr Legumes. My passion for food began as a child growing up with parents running their own food businesses. My mother being Indian had an overwhelming sense of hospitality. And my dad has great talent for singing to his customers as well as cooking for them. When leaving school at 17 after completing my A-levels, I took the opportunity over university to open my own business, with the intentions of learning how to create, trade and sell a business. When being at the driving seat of my career, I learnt that creativity, passion and purpose is what will drive my success. After successfully selling my business I carried on my career in the catering industry but as an employee, working with Rocksalt as a Head Waiter. This was rewarding as I was able to learn the skills of hospitality and how to communicate a product and service. At this point in my life my dads health became challenged by cancer (stage 4 non-hodkins lymphoma), and I moved back home to be his carer. Whilst living with my dad I read into how he could support his health and lifestyle whilst fighting with cancer, and was overwhelmed with information on how much food can effect our bodies both physically and mentally. We both changed our lifestyles to accommodate this with interest and immediately we felt the difference. My dads cancer was cleared into remission and I was now exited to learn the purposeful perspective of food for health and nutrition.
Lee: My name is Lee, I am 32 years old, currently residing in Folkestone and one half of Dr Legumes. I have been working as a chef for the past 13years. My interest for cooking came from spending a lot of time by my mum’s side watching her cook and bake. From a young age I was always involved in some sort of food preparation. My grandfather, on my dads side, was also a chef. He was of Indian heritage, so bold spices & flavours have always played a part in holding me and my tastes. I was born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa. My upbringing and the influences, from here, played a very important part in developing my passion for food. Cape Town is a cultural melting pot, we have many African, South East Asian, European and Middle Eastern influences within our food culture. This gave me a solid base to work from and further explore food. Cape Town is a spectacular place to find inspiration and one of my goals with Dr Legumes, is to cook using “Fynbos”. Fynbos is a flower kingdom that is indigenous to South Africa, it is well known for it’s medicinal properties. I have always looked at food as another creative outlet I could express myself through. My other interests rooted in Art are based around Fashion and Textile Design. I recently graduated from university with a BA in Fashion and Textiles. This is an ongoing passion for me, my hope is to one day co-join the two, fashion and food. My foundation in fashion is similar to the ethos I share with regard to food. Sustainability and Eco-friendly practises are the two elements I would most like to focus on moving forward.
Southern fried seitan, Saffron mayo, root fries
Dr Legumes ? When we created Dr Legumes we wanted to share with our Community this nutritional perspective of food. We thought a Pop-up event, in the form of a Secret Dinner Club would be an interesting and inquisitive approach for the public. When labelling a business it is possible for people to make preconceptions, but when people are not so sure what to expect, there is room to be surprised. We release our Secret Dinner Club Taster Menus on the evening of the event. Our menus are illustrated, with a written description on the reverse. This places importance on the products we use rather than the preconceived idea attached to dining out.
Local and sustainable ? Our menu is never the same at Dr Legumes. We love to use a multitude of local and exotic flavours from around the world to create new dishes, and then showcase them. At our Space Gallery Pop-up late 2016, we collaborated with local artist, Sam Capell, to deliver a menu using local ingredients only, such as Sandgate figs, wild rock samphire, foraged wild mushrooms and young green walnuts. When sourcing our produce we try always to keep sustainability in mind. This is because resources to create some food products create more damage than support. And it is important that we raise this awareness so that we can promote a sustainable community, creating more support than harm.
Polenta chips, homemade ketchup
Community ? As our company is expanding, so is our reach of purposeful engagement within the community. We currently support schools and community groups with cooking workshops and educational projects. And now with our Dr Legumes Restaurant plans, we aim to share more community based projects with Folkestone, using our facilities to run cooking classes, demonstrations and events.
Folkestone in 10 years ? As Dr Legumes we have just one end goal…”not to need a Dr Legumes”. Meaning as an influential food business, we aim to influence enough other businesses to share a health conscious approach to food so there are many options within the community. This said, in 10 years time, what we would love to see is Folkestone thriving with a food and art based community driven by a holistic, sustainable and health conscious perspective.
Pop up at Smokehouse
A shop to buy good food: Roots and Fruits & folkestone food assembly
A hidden place in Folkestone: The mirrored artwork at the end of the Leas, right by the Martello Tower.
A personality of Folkestone: My favourite Folkestonite for their character is Daniel Sangussupi for his unconditional support, kindness and love for folkestone & Chalky – Like the Old High street,Chalky has been a fixture of Folkestone’s landscape for decades.
Something you would only see in Folkestone: The countless artworks in and around the towns streets, from giant murals to casted sculptures all individually representing folkestone.
Something very funny in folkestone: A giant slide located at the back of the quaterhouse “Payers Park” where you can transport yourself from the top car park down to tontine street in seconds, a great laugh if you haven’t tried it.
Best walk: Down the old high street and through the harbour where the characters of the historic cobbler paths and new artistic companies coexist & Walking from Sunny Sands Beach to the Warren via the beach, at low tide.
The best Bar in Folkestone: Family for it holds the best reputation for atmosphere.
Best fish and chips in folkestone: The smokehouse in the Harbour.
Best ice cream in folkestone: La casa del gelato on Cheriton place, out of this world!
Best coffee shop: Steep street coffee shop now with their vegan chocolate shop attached.
Best artist in Folkestone: Jeremy from Family for his stunning use of materials and creativity.
Best Gallery in folkestone: For its multidimensional use of space is Space gallery.