Founder and CEO, Mowgli Street Food restaurants
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 eighteen 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.
Nisha’s latest book, Meat Free Mowgli was published in November 2022. This cookbook contains Nisha Katona recipes which are healthy, flavourful and don’t rely on meat. With just one chapter on eggs and dairy, it’s almost entirely vegan.
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. 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.
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 18 locations across the UK. Mowgli has been named one of the nation’s fastest-growing companies by The Sunday Times Fast Track 100. Mowgli has also been awarded ‘Best Management Team’, and was ranked #28 in the ‘UK’s Top 100 Best Large Companies to Work For’ category at the 2021 Best Companies Awards.
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.
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.
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:
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