Photos courtesy of Berber & Q.

Resy RegularsLondon

Berber & Q Chef Josh Katz Shares His Favourite Casual Spots in London


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Where do chefs go and, more importantly, where do they love to eat? In Resy Regulars, we ask Resy chefs to tell us where they’re regulars.

Chef Josh Katz grew up in Golders Green, north London, where he’d spend his pocket money on shawarma and falafel in the local Israeli restaurants. These days, you’ll find him moving between his three London restaurants: Berber & Q, his Middle Eastern barbecue joint established under the railway arches in Haggerston in 2015; his Tel Aviv-inspired Shawarma Bar on Exmouth Market; and Carmel, his newest restaurant, an all-day neighbourhood spot in Queen’s Park.

He’s still eating out regularly though now usually in the company of his business partner and great friend Mattia Bianchi, the group’s in-house wine expert. “Mattia loves his food. When he was a kid he said he wanted to be a food taster when he grew up. He’s got a very good palate. We will often go out together to old haunts or to check out somewhere new or in the vicinity of our restaurants. That’s how I choose to spend the free time that I have.”

Katz, whose heritage is Ashkenazi Jewish, has always taken an outward-looking approach. His parents came from South Africa, so he knows his braai; and he’s travelled widely, in Morocco, Turkey, Israel, and lived and worked in Australia. He started cooking in earnest at Le Cordon Bleu and got his start at Galvin Bistrot de Luxe. You’ll note that some of Katz’s favourite restaurants [see below] are run by fellow Galvin alumni. This isn’t the ‘old boy network’ at work; it’s simply that all have a shared vision of true hospitality over stiff formality, even when they’re cooking in different idioms. Katz moved on to Ottolenghi, where his love of Middle Eastern flavours was cemented, then on to Made in Camden where he got a rave review from the late AA Gill, then another from The Times at Zest @ JW3.

2023 got off to a busy start with a new look and new menu at Berber & Q (new dishes include chargrilled squid with burnt aubergine za’alouk, smoked mussels in harissa broth with preserved lemon, and crispy artichoke hearts with pipelchuma aioli, grilled halloumi with spicy pumpkin tershi) and it’s business as usual at Carmel and Shawarma Bar, both bustling. When he has some time out, this is where Katz chooses to his pocket money these days.