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Cardiff character: Deri Reed

Deri Reed talks about his EthicalChef and street food events

Deri Reed, known as The Ethical Chef (photo courtesy to EthicalChef)

With good hands on culinary experiences for years, Deri Reed found his own spot in vegetarian world, a passion in street food, and even a new name for himself called “EthicalChef”. 

A journey of 26-year-old chef might not be different from those chefs in food industry. Being trained long hours in the kitchen, having cuts and burns on hands, and dealing with stress from head chefs are typical things all chefs experience. However, Deri Reed learns to be different. With his belief and commitment in making good vegetarian food from using local ingredients and produce, this leads him to another chapter in life of being EthicalChef and food event organiser.

The Welsh chef says, “The concept of EthicalChef is to provide the public with ingredients and food sourced locally and seasonally. And they are completely vegetarian for vegans.”

Being EthicalChef 

Inspired by a cooking training period at Café Paradiso, a vegetarian restaurant in Ireland, and a celebrity chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall from River Cottage, Deri decided to become an ethical chef. He explained further what an EthicalChef  had to do for the public was to show people an alternative of cutting down amount of meat consumption by substituting with tasty vegetarian dish. This means using ingredients provided by local producers and avoiding food waste.

Since 2010, EthicalChef has been serving many good vegetarian recipes for both vegans and those who want to help saving animal life. And his reputation has been spread around Cardiff and further areas like Bristol, Bath and London.

Although EthicalChef  appears in public as a food stall in local farmer markets and in food festivals, Deri ensures his cooking delivers a restaurant-quality food.

EthicalChef’s vegetarian creation (photo courtesy to EthicalChef)

Ethical, local and seasonal is not all in his cooking guideline. The taste and flavour is another key to his business. Deri revealed that each recipe was created to please everyone’s palette.

Calling for street food 

For now, opening a restaurant is probably not found in his to-do lists. But organising a street food fair is surely on his mind.

He said street food was a movement that’s happening all around the UK at the moment. It brought in restaurants with quality food to the street. Foods were cheaper than take-away prices. It was affordable to everyone from all walks of life. And Cardiff would take the concept quite well.  

Actually, Cardiff took it pretty well with a good crowd attending the ‘First Street Food Festival’ held at Mackintosh Sports Club on 17 November 2012. And the man behind this success is anyone else, but Deri Reed.

photo courtesy to EthicalChef

One mission was complete, more are coming. The determine chef is now planning next community food events. They are ‘Christmas Market’ and ‘New Year Market’. The first will be held at Mackintosh Sports Club, and the latter is still a secret.

With over 6 year’s cooking experiences, Deri suggested new generation of aspiring chefs that they should go and get some experiences in the kitchen.

“You have to learn from the bottom to the top,” EthicalChef advised.