You may have spied The Good Egg’s freshly made babka on Instagram or made your way to their Stoke Newington branch for their agonisingly gorgeous Israeli brunch dishes (if you haven’t, your tastebuds are missing out). After first hitting the London food scene back in 2013 as a pop-up, the restaurant has gone from strength to strength – and you can now find the team dishing up eats at their Stoke Newington and Soho locations. We caught up with Juliette O’Sullivan, Group Head Chef of The Good Egg to chat starting out, desert island dishes and the Kingly Court opening:

What drew you to the food sector? Did you always want to become a chef? 

I’ve always been surrounded by and involved with food; I lived above the fishmongers and deli owned and run by my parents and originally set up by my grandfather. While my dream back in those days was to act, the foundation I got in food and serving the local community meant that cooking, hosting and hospitality were second nature to me, so becoming a chef was a very natural evolution.

You’re Group Head Chef of The Good Egg – how’s it been climbing the chef ladder? 

It’s been in equal parts both challenging and life changing. I’ve had hard times and experienced tough kitchens but ultimately, I feel very lucky when I look back on my chef career from where I’m at now. On the whole, being a woman in the kitchen has been positive for me, and only a hurdle on a few occasions. I think this is because of the real shift in attitudes towards female chefs in recent years. A prime example of this shift is the fact that three very talented and driven women are currently running the kitchen at our Soho restaurant!

What food did you mainly grow up with? 

Fish! As you can probably imagine, fish made up a huge portion of our diet. My dad always used to take me on his early morning runs to Billingsgate, and I absolutely loved it. Our family business served the area’s Jewish community, and I can vividly remember taking hot fried gefilte fish straight out of the fryer most days when I worked in the shop after school.

The Good Egg serves Jewish and Israeli-inspired eats – what’s your favourite dish to cook (and eat) from the menu? 

I have two (if that’s allowed?!): I love plating (and eating) the sabih. As all the chefs at The Good Egg will know, there’s a fine art to plating this dish, and a satisfaction that comes with making it look beautiful – it’s also incredibly tasty and well balanced. I also love our house labneh, a sort-of cream cheese we make by straining and salting yoghurt. It’s  versatile and perfect for dipping, and can change flavour so much with the seasonal toppings we pair it with.

What advice would you give anyone starting out in the food industry? 

The places you work at and the chefs you work under will shape your career, so choose wisely and listen/learn as much as you can. I worked under a couple of great head chefs, and because I showed them respect they were patient and taught me well.

The Good Egg raised just over £600,000 investment through Crowdcube to open the Kingly Court site – what’s been the response since opening? 

The response to the new place has been really positive – people rave about the interior and are excited about the extended brunch and dinner menus we’ve got there, and we’ve had lots of Stoke Newington regulars pop in and visit us, which has been amazing. As with any new restaurant, it takes time to bed in and for the team to understand its crowd (and for the crowd to understand the restaurant), but the team are doing an amazing job and we’re absolutely loving the challenge each day brings.

How does the Good Egg Kingly Court differ from the Stoke Newington site? 

Decor-wise, they both feel really different to one another; in a beautiful listed building, Stoke Newington’s interior is cosy and characterful and lots of natural light. The new Kingly Court spot is much bigger more modern and reflects its Soho surroundings. The interior is pink, teal and turquoise, and reminiscent of a Wes Anderson movie scene. We’re really excited about seeing how the big outdoor space transforms the restaurant when the weather warms up too. The whole frontage opens out onto the courtyard so it’s going to be a beautiful Central London spot to come and spend time at in the summer!

With special diets on the rise and people turning towards a more meat-less lifestyle – how do you accommodate people’s requirements? 

We’re lucky to have a wonderful vegetable and herb supplier and our brunch and dinner menus focus heavily on all the lovely produce we source from them, with lots of really tasty and interesting veggie dishes on them. It’s definitely true that people’s dietary preferences are shifting away from meat and towards non-meat alternatives, but it’s just prompting chefs to find different ways to flavour food –  pickling, fermenting and smoking are all great ways of adding interest to dishes that don’t use meat, and our cuisine employs a lot of these techniques.

What three condiments can’t you live without? 

Tahini, zhoug and amba – I have The Good Egg to thank for that.

What would be your desert island meal?

Mussels, jerk chicken, tiramisu

What’s the secret to your epic babka? 

Our Israeli pastry chef and co-founder, Oded!

Favourite restaurant in London is? 

Can I say The Good Egg?! Primeur and som saaa otherwise are stand out for me.

Your perfect Sunday in London looks like: 

Walking my dog Duncan with my husband and daughter, followed by brunch, a roast then a supper of cheese on toast and a cuppa.

For more information on The Good Egg, see their website here . 

93 Stoke Newington Church St, Stoke Newington, London N16 0AS and Ground Floor, Kingly Court, Kingly St, Soho, London W1B 5PW