From chef to the rock stars to cooking kebabs in Katoomba

Josh Ireland has switched the high life, touring the world as a chef for the Rolling Stones and U2, for the quiet life cooking kebabs in in the NSW Blue Mountains.

Mr Ireland recently opened Cedar Take-Away, about half way down Katoomba St, specialising in plant-based meat kebabs, regular donor kebabs, salads and coffee.

It's a far cry from his former lifestyle on the road with some of the world's biggest bands.

"Mick [Jagger] really enjoyed vegetarian and the entourage ate it too," Mr Ireland said.

Whereas Keith Richards would order two shepherd's pies, made specifically to his mum's recipe.

Fresh options: Josh Ireland with his vegetarian felafel kebab, Cedar Take-Away's best seller.

Fresh options: Josh Ireland with his vegetarian felafel kebab, Cedar Take-Away's best seller.

"One was to eat, and one to put his cigarette out in," Mr Ireland said.

He described U2 as "pretty simple eaters".

"Bono is an old-fashioned Irish guy."

While on tour with U2, he'd be given $80,000 to purchase food and alcohol for U2 and the entire crew of more than 200 people for a week.

"I'd walk around with it [the cash] in my bag ... I thought it was a bit strange," Mr Ireland said.

But eventually the glitz and glamour of parties and international travel wore off and Mr Ireland returned to Sydney and started a family. He has moved to Katoomba with his wife and two young children, where they're building a house.

It might be a bit weird a vegetarian owning a kebab shop.

Josh Ireland

"I've always enjoyed being here [in the Blue Mountains]," said the 44-year-old who was raised in Mount Druitt. "It's a great place to raise kids.

"Once you have kids you realise you're grounded. Partying becomes a bit limited. It's better having kids than partying; for me it's more soulfood."

You might think a kebab shop would be all about the meat, but not so for Mr Ireland who is a vegetarian.

"It might be a bit weird a vegetarian owning a kebab shop," he said. "But I taste it, I have to."

He says their freshly-made, plant-based meat felafel, which includes pea protein, coconut oil and herbs, is their biggest seller, enjoyed by meat-eaters and vegetarians alike.

Mr Ireland chooses to be vegetarian because it's "environmentally more sustainable", for animal welfare, and because he feels healthier on a vegetarian diet.

While he's toyed with the idea of opening a vegetarian restaurant, he says he doesn't want to be exclusive and prefers to offer meat options too.

"I like the simplicity of having a simple shop and giving the best service possible," Mr Ireland said.

Blue Mountains Gazette

This story Rolling Stone Keith Richards' two-pie habit explained first appeared on Blue Mountains Gazette.