Inspired by a true lifelong love story with food, Leon Aarts is passionate about the power of sharing a meal to make a positive difference at scale in the world.
He is a chef, visionary humanitarian, philanthropist and inspirational speaker, committed to helping transform lives for the better.
“No one to bed hungry, there is always enough
food to share.” Leon Aarts
Leon's TEDx Maastricht - the power of sharing a meal
WATCH Leon's TEDx Maastricht talk about the power of sharing a meal with insights from the Calais Refugee Camp.
Leon’s top achievements, besides being a proud dad of two, are:
- Feeding Londoners during the pandemic and beyond - In September 2022, Leon was awarded the BBC Radio London’s Make a Difference Award - The Fundraiser category for leading a volunteer team to feed up to 5,000 Londoners every day in lockdown during the pandemic through the charity he founded, With Compassion. Under Leon’s leadership through With Compassion and The Felix Project's Felix’s Kitchen, 3 Million plus were cooked and redistributed from 2020 to 2023. Watch a video here.
- Supporting refugees - Providing daily nourishment for up to 10,000 refugees in ‘the Jungle’ refugee camp in France through his charity, Calais Kitchens, and then becoming a TEDx speaker sharing his experience.
- Entrepreneur - Becoming highly successful and accomplished in the hospitality space and food sector - owning a fine dining restaurant, being an executive chef at celebrity owned restaurant Le Garage, the equivalent of the British, ‘The Ivy’, and launching a fine food business, TFC Express, worth £3.5M which grew to be #1 in the niche market.
- Sur+ - Curently I am launchin a new business called Sur+. Saving some of the 3 Million tons of food which is current surplus on farmas in the UK. This perfectly good, nutrtious and delicious food will be made in to great foods. Saving much of the surplus, reducing our impact on the environment and ensuring that farmers get paid properly. www.surplus.cool
Leon on National Television
WATCH Leon in action with Miriam Margoyles OBE, writer, actress, political activist and television personality on Miriam's Dickensian Christmas (screened on Channel 4, December 2022) as he creates a Christmas dinner from surplus food. (Credit: Channel 4)