Photo of Adam looking at camera with blurred background

About Me

I'm the founder and co-director of the visionary, multi-award-winning, global initiative: The Real Junk Food Project (TRJFP). Set up in December 2013, to revolutionise the disposal of avoidable food waste into landfill, the pioneering movement's manifesto is to: feed bellies, not bins.

A professional chef for over ten years, I've held a wealth of head chef positions, internationally. Whilst in Australia, I witnessed the scale of food waste, agriculturally and within the catering industry. Upon my return to the UK, I was inspired to set up TRJFP.

Myself and TRJFP have received numerous plaudits and awards from organisations ranging from NESTA to The Observer. In 2014, I was voted one of the forty most influential men in the world by AskMen. The Telegraph voted me as one of the 50th most influential people in UK Food & Drink – Food & Drink Power List 2017. Adam was honoured with an Unsung Hero award presented by the Canal & River Trust in 2022.  The award celebrates those who have made a positive impact in their community.

In 2022, I was appointed as CEO of Surplus To Purpose, a revolutionary catering enterprise. Surplus to Purpose utilises food destined for waste, by safely redistributing this through cooked meals, products and provisions to families. It focuses on the environmental issues of food waste, which measures its impact on climate change within the food industry. For the whole academic year of 2022/23, SToP in association with Thomas Franks I'll be diverting nearly 16 tons of surplus food into the bellies of children. They will be providing nutritionally dense, quality meals made from waste!  They have dozens of schools lined up nationally to start receiving this food through this collaboration, feeding thousands of children and stopping so much food from being wasted.

I'm currently writing a book due for publication in 2022.  I've been a featured speaker on a truly memorable TedX talk and my story is deemed utterly inspiring. Have a look at my presentation feedback so far in testimonials.


“A true inspiration.”

Councillor Wyn Kidger, Chair Royal Society St George & Morley Community Archives

Adam Smith is an engaging, informative and inspirational speaker. He is open to talking about any topic … Adam is very responsive and a pleasure to have as a guest speaker.”   

Helen Saul, Brand Manager, – online presentation January 2021

“Brilliant talk by Adam Smith from The Real Junk Food Project.” 

Marsha Smith Phd, Centre for Business in Society

Thank you so much for being on the panel for The Big green Debate, you most definitely brought some thought provoking ideas to the attention of our students and senior leaders and you engaged so well with the students who were bringing up challenges against you.”

Lindsey Whitton, Leeds City College

"Just wanted to say a huge thank you for your input to our session with Westfield Health last week. The group were really inspired by your story and your passion to make a real and growing change to the world and the lives of others." 

Claire Bennett, Common Purpose

"The Conference was a great success and we really appreciate Adam being a part of it."

Ruth Middleton, The Conference of Holbeck Moor

"I wanted to thank Adam for his inspiring and motivating presentation given to the YH Healthier and Resilient Food Systems Network members and other delegates. He really brought together what could be achieved at an individual and systems level and although gave no illusions as to how challenging this work can be really gave the delegates ideas and inspiration to take away with them as they progress this work."

Nicola Corrigan, HWB Programme Lead (Healthy Places and Sustainable Communities) 

"I just wanted to say thank you so much for organising for Adam to visit us. It was a hugely successful meeting."

Diane Lawson, Northern College for Adults

"Adam was fantastic."

Sheryl Bone, Director, TSYS

He was one of the highlights of the conference. I'm so proud to have had him on stage and it has been a huge pleasure to get to know you both. Thanks for all of your help!”

Helle Martens, Founder UX Copenhagen 2021

“Thank you again for a truly motivational session.  We have had such amazing feedback from so many team members already.  Your honesty and vulnerability was inspiring and your story so very powerful”

Kate Perrin, Marketing Director, Barbour ABI online conference presentation 2021

“Wow the response we‘ve had from your inspirational talk is incredible”

Marina Hoole COO Imployable – online networking event 2021

“We so enjoyed listening to Adam and his incredible story. Pure inspiration for everybody!”

Sally Leslie host `What Does Happy Look Like’ Podcast 2021

“Hearing from Adam Smith, the founder of The Real Junk Food Project, about how the project has grown not only across the UK but internationally too! Very inspiring!”

Zoe Howard Programme Manager, Good Things Foundation

“Adam Smith – an inspiration”

Fay Selvan CEO Biglife Group

Massive THANKS & Respect to Adam Smith @RealJunkFood for his inspiring chat - a week on & we’re still mind blown by his insights & inspiration.”

Chinwag TV

Thanks so much for speaking - your section was certainly a highlight. We've already had some great feedback

Zero Waste Bradford - online conference 2021

“What a fascinating and inspirational person!!!!! I have been receiving texts/emails from members who attended the meeting and everyone was … well...gobsmacked. Please tell Adam that his story and delivery were exceptional and every comment I have had has been so positive about both himself and the ethos behind TRJFP …This man is a legend!”

Sandra Daly, Speaker Coordinator, Garforth, Kippax and District U3A 2021

“Thank you so much again for today. The event was really great...the engagement is excellent. I felt that the people that did attend, were really absorbed and interested. There were lots of questions we couldn’t get through.”

Katherine O’Riordan, Event Manager Alumni & Partners, Leeds Beckett University 2021

“Thanks again so much for joining us for last night’s event – your talk was amazing and I think made a real impact on the audience.”

Joanne, Conscious Communications

Mr Junk Food Chef blog

Milk – are you getting enough?

9 January 2022

Back in the day, if you drank two glasses of milk a day , you would grow up to play for Accrington Stanley (according to Ian Rush). Zoom forwards 40 years, and we now know that cows milk is only good for … Read More


All the latest podcasts guest appearances, videos and talks

1 March 2021

Beyond the Market Podcast - Slung Low

4 Feb 2021

#NeverPressSnoozeTenMinuteTakeaway with Steve Beedie

24 Jan 2021

Adam Smith - Died, Survived and Thrived

8 Jan 2021

From Death's Door to TEDx and Ending World Hunger

12 Days of COP 2021

COPCast Podcast with Peg Alexander - Episode 6

25 Feb 2021 The What Does Happy Look Like? Podcast

27 Feb 2021

#NeverPressSnooze meets Adam Smith

19 Jan 2021

Adam Smith & The Real Junk Food Project

24 Sept 2021

Have you met podcast - Episode 14

Fixing the Food Cycle by Al Jazeera Media Network | Earthrise Studio 

Scroll along to 13:20 to see how The Real Junk Food Project (TRJFP) are tackling surplus food in the U.K. 

Ted X Warwick

Adam's 2015 Ted X talk where he spoke about how a single idea can have an everlasting global impact.


Tele Talks with Adam Smith about his rise to success with The Real Junk Food Project from his past life of abuse caused by trauma.


The Real Junk Food Project (Revisited @Trinity Kitchen) | Little Less Known

CGTN Europe - podcast series on waste

The Real Junk Food Project | Little Less Known

Episode 4 - Adam Smith (The Real Junk Food Project) - Business Life podcast

BBC3 Junk Food Audition: BBC3's promotional video of TRJFP featuring Adam Smith and former Armley Junk-tion cafe

Food seminar series: Adam Smith. Leeds University Business School, Oct 2017 


BBC World Service - The Food Chain, The Real Junk Food, The man using 'junk food' to stop food waste.

Let's Do Humans podcast

How I plan to Feed the World with Adam Smith

Hope & Social Christmas Feast


Facebook 1

You will hear from innovators in different fields about how change is being driven worldwide, what is meant by a circular economy and how we can build one, while discovering how small, everyday actions can help us to become more environmentally responsible.

Adam will discuss how we can support responsible food consumption and reduce our food waste, and why this is so important for global sustainable development.

Tap the cross to book your free tickets.


This is a virtual event, so anyone can watch from anywhere in the world online via Zoom.

Secure your free tickets to the event below:

SurplusToPurpose Logo

Come and join us for an amazing evening with Adam Smith, who will be our chef and guest speaker, plus live music.

Surplus to Purpose revolutionises the disposal of avoidable food waste, with it's core mission to feed bellies and not bins.

Relax and enjoy great food, listen to good music in our beautiful Blue Room, here at Wentworth Castle .

Tap the cross to select your date and book your tickets.


You can choose from the following dates:  Friday 20th May  AND Friday 15th July

Both events start at 7pm and finish at 11pm. 

Go to Eventbrite to book your tickets:


I spoke at this event Friday 26th March at 8am with my speech entitled 'Let's Really Feed the World.' Tap the cross for more details about the live-stream event.

15% discount code for the live-stream event: SPEAKDISC21

Green Forward Networking

I spoke at this event 25 Feb 2021 and received some amazing feedback. Thanks so much for your support. 

“very powerful and inspiring” | “Incredible and unforgettable” | “Truly amazing” 

“Absolutely inspirational” | ”What an interesting and uplifting session” | “Brilliant talk, completely inspiring”


As well as speaking at events, I offer consultations on business start-ups, social enterprises, environmental practices, and zero-waste initiatives.

Key presentation themes include:

  • Sustainability, environment and waste management
  • Overcoming adversity & mental health
  • Leadership, teamwork and motivation
  • Change and change management
  • Corporate social responsibility
  • Project management

All my bookings are handled by the amazing Jane French at The Right Address. Get in touch with Jane by filling in the contact form below or contacting her direct:

Office:  +44 (0)1895 827 800


Adam holding a box of grapes in his left hand and looking at a brown tub in his right hand.
Please enter your name.
Please enter a message.
Please check the captcha to verify you are not a robot.