Nisha Katona MBE

Founder and CEO, Mowgli Street Food restaurants

Cookbook author

Judge, BBC’s Great British Menu

Resident chef, ITV’s This Morning


Nisha Katona MBE is a true trailblazer. Since leaving behind a 20-year career as a barrister in 2014, she has become a highly successful restaurateur, cookbook author and TV chef. She is the CEO, executive chef and development chef of Mowgli Street Food restaurants, which currently has twenty one locations across the UK.

A self-professed curry evangelist, Nisha has a deep love of Indian cooking, and has written five cookbooks on the subject. Equally, she is passionate about business as a force for good. Nisha’s charity, the Mowgli Trust, donates over £500,000 to local and global charities each year.

Nisha is incredibly warm and articulate on camera. Her 20 years as a barrister have given her excellent public speaking skills, with an innate ability to draw in viewers.


Nisha is a prolific cookbook author as well as a famous chef and TV cook, having published five cookbooks since her first in 2015. She has a profound interest in food anthropology and the way people eat, which is reflected in her writing.

  • Pimp My Rice, Nisha’s first book, is a celebration of the power of rice as a centrepiece. It contains over 100 rice recipes from around the world, from India to Italy.
  • The Spice Tree, published in 2017, aims to simplify Indian food into four easy steps. It showcases straightforward recipes – from authentic family-style meals to takeaway favourites.
  • Mowgli Street Food, published in 2018, and The 30 Minute Mowgli which followed in 2021, both share the stories and recipes behind Nisha’s Mowgli restaurants for fans at home.
  • Meat Free Mowgli, published in November 2022. This cookbook contains Nisha Katona recipes which are healthy, flavourful and don’t rely on meat

Nisha’s latest book Bold: Big Flavour Twists to Classic Dishes, is to be published on 5th March 2024.

TV appearances

Nisha is a familiar face on food television often appearing alongside other famous British chefs and TV stars whilst sharing her expertise. She is one of the judges for BBC’s Great British Menu, alongside British chef Tom Kerridge and comedian Ed Gamble. She is also a regular on ITV’s This Morning, where she can be seen teaching Indian home cooking and heartwarming comfort foods.

In 2018, Nisha presented her own series, Recipes That Made Me, on BBC2. The series saw Nisha travelling around the UK to meet families cooking dishes from all over the Indian subcontinent. Nisha has also presented the Channel 5 series Secrets of Your Supermarket Food, as well as Channel 4’s A Taste of Italy, in which she spoke to some of Italy’s most famous chefs and uncovered recipes passed down through generations.

In 2018, Nisha was also a judge on BBC2’s Top of the Shop with Tom Kerridge, where she helped the greatest British chefs find the UK’s best amateur artisan food producers. She has made regular appearances on Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch and ITV’s Lorraine, and has featured on BBC1’s The One Show, MasterChef and Interior Design Master’s. Nisha has also appeared alongside other famous chefs on BBC2’s Remarkable Places to Eat with Fred Sirieix, BBC’s Saturday Kitchen and in 2021 was a judge on ITV’S Cooking with the Stars. Nisha is one of the most talented chefs on TV right now.

Mowgli Street Food restaurants

Nisha’s most exciting venture has been her restaurant business, Mowgli Street Food. The Mowgli ethos is all about the freshness of Indian cooking at home and in the streets –  a million miles away from the ‘curry house’ experience. It celebrates intense flavours and healthy, light meals, informally served in metal tiffins.

The first Mowgli opened in Liverpool in 2015; it has since expanded to 21 locations across the UK. Mowgli has been named one of the nation’s fastest-growing companies by The Sunday Times Fast Track 100. Mowgli Street Food is ranked as one of the top 10 big companies to work for on the Sunday Times Best Places to Work 2023 list, and according to Best Companies, the 11th Best Company to Work For in the UK.

The Mowgli Trust

Nisha created Mowgli with charitable giving as a central pillar of the business. Her aim was to enrich the lives of her staff, and give back to the communities that Mowgli belongs to and serves. Nisha’s charity, The Mowgli Trust, currently donates up to £500k a year to carefully chosen charitable partners. Being able to grow this number each year motivates Nisha and her team to take Mowgli to even more cities across the UK. Through Trust, Mowgli also sponsors a child in need for every full-time employee recruited.

Previous career

Prior to taking on the culinary world and becoming a celebrity chef, Nisha was a practising barrister in child protection for 20 years. In 2008, the Department of Culture, Media and Sport appointed her as a trustee of National Museums Liverpool. In 2009, the Cabinet Office appointed her as an Ambassador for Diversity in Public Appointments; in this capacity, Nisha has been engaged as an expert advisor by The Guardian newspaper.

Awards and accolades

Nisha was honoured to be awarded an MBE in the 2019 New Year’s Honours List for services to the Food Industry. Nisha stands amongst highly decorated female entrepreneurs, and her restaurant business, Mowgli, has won multiple awards:

  • Business of the Year, City of Liverpool Business Awards
  • Wireless Social’s Woman Entrepreneur of the Year
  • Best Value Restaurant Operator, R200 Awards
  • Trailblazer of the Year, Casual Dining Awards
  • Good Food Award Winner
  • Management Team Award, The Sunday Times Fast Track 100
  • Emerging Brand Award

Social network and links



Author, Business woman, Chef, Cook, cookery demonstrations, cooking demos, diverse talent, Executive Development Chef, GBM, Great British Menu, Indian, Influencer, Instagram influencer, ITV This Morning, Judge, Liverpool, Mowgli, Mowgli Street Food, Presenter, Restaurant, Restaurant Chefs & Caterers, restauranteur, Saturday Kitchen, Speaker, TV, TV Chefs & Cooks, TV judge, TV Presenters


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