Tom Hunt, 36 was named as one of the UK’s most inspiring environmentalists at the WWF Earth Hour Hero awards, in front of an esteemed audience of MPs, climate experts, and international media.
The WWF competition, run in conjunction with People’s Postcode Lottery, invited people to nominate themselves, or others, if their actions are going above and beyond to help protect the planet.
Tom was presented with the commendation for his initiative in the Workplace Hero category by Olympic gold medalist Andrew Triggs Hodge*.
As the eco-friendly chef behind the award-winning Poco restaurants in London and Bristol, Tom operates his kitchens following a commitment to place people and the planet at the same level as profit. He believes the ethics of how we grow, source, harvest and/or kill our food is as important as than the way it tastes.
However, it’s the 20 million tonnes of annual food wastage that exists within our society Tom finds inexcusable, and so he co-founded the Forgotten Feast, which creates pop up restaurants that create menus using unwanted food. This wastage can take the form of fresh fish discarded into the sea, unusual cuts of meat unused through lack of demand, and the massive fruit and vegetable wastage right down the line from grower to supplier.
Tom sources all fresh produce within 100 miles of the restaurant, working and buying directly from community and individual farmers, as well as small artisan producers, whilst Tom and his team recycle and compost everything.
Naomi Hicks of WWF, said: “The inspiring stories we hear about in the Earth Hour Hero awards shows how it’s possible for all of us to help protect our amazing planet.
“The standard of submissions this year was our best ever, and for Tom to be named as runner up demonstrates outstanding levels of commitment, passion and care for future generations. He is an example to all of us that we can do so much more to ensure our children’s children have the opportunity to experience this amazing planet.”
Tom added: “It’s an incredible privilege to be amongst such inspiring people, all making a personal difference to help halt climate change. It has made me even more determined to do my bit and I’d urge all chefs out there to do the same and find mouth-watering ways of cutting down the UK’s eye-watering food waste”.
Readers inspired by Tom’s achievements can get involved in WWF’s Earth Hour – the world’s largest demonstration of support for action on climate change, by signing up and switching off their lights at 8:30pm on Saturday March 25.
Millions around the world will be coming together to show support for action to protect our amazing planet, and anyone can join in by simply signing up at wwf.org.uk/2017earthhour.