A CELEBRITY chef who swapped the courtroom for the kitchen is opening a new restaurant in Knutsford.

Nisha Katona gave diners a sneak peek inside the former Barclays Bank on King Street which she plans to convert into a Mowgli Indian restaurant.

The street food restaurant is set to open in the ground floor of the building on the corner of Malt Street late summer or early autumn this year.

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Knutsford Guardian: Mowgli plans to open a new restaurant on the corner of King Street and Malt StreetMowgli plans to open a new restaurant on the corner of King Street and Malt Street (Image: MgMg architects)

The 52-year-old worked tirelessly as a family court barrister for 20 years but gave up her legal career to follow her dream.

Nisha is passionate about serving the type of food that Indians cook and serve at home.

The Mowgli founder opened her first restaurant in Liverpool and the chain now boasts 21 eateries.

The mum-of-two recorded a video taking diners inside the building which dates back to the early 20th century.

She described how she intends to bring her own personal touch to the restaurant.

Knutsford Guardian: Nisha Katona gave up a 20-year career as a barrister to create MowgliNisha Katona gave up a 20-year career as a barrister to create Mowgli (Image: PA/Gareth Morgan)

Nisha said: “I love this stage, the blank canvas design stage.

“I want to show you the things that excite me when I choose and design my Mowgli buildings.

“It’s still an entirely personal process because Mowgli will always be an often flawed but always authentic extension of my own home kitchen.

Nisha described how she plans to create an ambience of fun and energy to the restaurant.

“What I love is these arch windows,” she said.

“Wherever we have windows we have swings.

“I like to have pillars and trees and doors and that’s what’s going to be here.

“What Mowgli is about is the twinkle of fairylights.

"Sometimes you need to block out the natural light so you’ve got that warm street night market beckon towards the back of the restaurant.”

The high ceilings of the building, she said, lends itself to the character of the new eaterie.

“It’s an old bank so we’re going to have a big dramatic kitchen in the vault,” she said.

Local residents say they are ‘excited’ about the new restaurant.

Posting on social media people say they ‘can’t wait for it to open’.

Many say it will be a welcome addition to the town’s flourishing restaurant scene.

One man said: “It will be excellent. Shamoli, Margoa, Eastern Revive and now Mowgli.

“Move over Curry Mile, we’ve got the Curry 200 yard!”

One woman said: “This is exciting. Another restaurant and more choice the town. It will be a welcome addition.”

Another resident added: “I love Mowgli. I eat Indian food three times a week so we’ll be visiting often.

“Can’t wait for you to open.”

Nisha is the author of six cookbooks and regularly appears on the BBC, Channel 4, ITV and The Food Network.

She recently appeared on the judging panel of Great British Menu, alongside former champion Tom Kerridge and comedian and food podcaster Ed Gamble.

Nisha is a regular guest chef on This Morning and guest panelist on The Kiitchen Cabinet on BBC Radio 4.

She presented a 10-part culinary travel series called A Taste of Italy and has appeared as a guest chef on Masterchef.