Josh Harte explores his passion for food sustainability and innovation as he tours Europe with the music icon, meeting local food heroes working towards a more sustainable food future.
Hi Josh! Would you mind introducing yourself to our readers?
My name is Josh Harte and I am currently working as Ed Sheeran’s personal chef within the catering team of his Divide World Tour. I actually started working as a chef on Ed’s tour two years ago after University and working for a sustainable adventure travel company in Chile. I recently did a ‘stage’ at an amazing restaurant in Stockport called Where the Light Gets In, whose commitment to sustainability and zero-waste cooking really inspired me to start researching more into the eco-food sector.
And why are you so interested in food and sustainability?
This job has given me the opportunity to eat and cook all over the world, and to see how much work there is to be done in improving food sustainability.
So how do you ensure that you and Ed’s touring team eat well and sustainably while on the go?
As a catering team, we endeavour to buy organic produce wherever possible, which can be a challenge when buying in bulk and without the possibility of a trusted group of local suppliers to choose from. Ed himself eats mostly vegetarian with some seafood when we are by the ocean. All of the crew are provided with metal water bottles and we don’t purchase any drinks in plastic containers. Food waste is our biggest problem as a catering team, as at any moment we can be asked to prepare food for more people as the event requires, so we have to have enough stock available to meet this demand. However, we try to limit this as much as we can and our local assistants are able to take any raw food home that is leftover.
What’s the ‘Chef on Tour’ all about then?
This summer, as we tour throughout Europe, I will be meeting local food entrepreneurs and food activists who are invested in changing the way our food system works, to discover what drives them, where their passion stems from, and what challenges they face. These local ‘food heroes’ will share their unique stories in locally focused and sustainable restaurants, and I’ll be reporting back on what I’ve learned from them all!
As this will be a blog series, can we whet people’s appetite about what to expect??
Absolutely: in a nutshell, your reader’s can expect a series of articles which shed a different light on the people working towards a more sustainable food future. You’ll hear about food innovations, local food cultures and, obviously, a lot about the food that we’ll be eating!
Why are you working with EIT Food and how are they supporting you with promoting your food mission?
EIT Food is connecting me to inspiring members of the agrifood and agritech communities, through their vast network of key industry players, startups, research centres and universities from across Europe. Through these connections and conversations I am hoping to highlight the collective goals of this community and the interconnectivity of its network throughout Europe, as well as the personalities of the people driving the movement.
Keep up to date with all of Josh’s exploits in his regular Chef on Tour blog throughout the summer of 2019.