How I Got Here: Joel Braham

By Joe Lutrario contact

- Last updated on GMT

Joel Braham The Good Egg

Related tags: Casual dining, Chefs

The Good Egg's Joel Braham has cracked the London brunch market with his Jewish deli and Israeli-inspired dishes.

Why restaurants?
I love food, I love London, and I love the food scene in London, and everything that feeds into and revolves around it.

What do you do in your spare time?
I try to see friends, do a bit of yoga and play football but mostly it’s cooking, eating, working, thinking about restaurants going to restaurants….a bit of Netflix too (mostly documentaries about chefs/restaurants).

What’s your favourite restaurant or group of restaurants (besides your current one)?
I went to North America this year with Alex (co-founder), so I’m going to pick one of the places we went to there (and I really want to pick more than one). Joe Beef in Montreal – which has also been hailed as one of the world’s best restaurants by David Chang – was just amazing. 

What would you be doing if you weren’t in restaurants?
I worked in IT and acoustical engineering before moving into food - I can’t really see myself doing anything other than restaurants for the foreseeable but I’d love to get out of London at some point down the line and have a place where we grow, farm and produce a lot more on site.

What motivates you?
Making the restaurant industry something that we can genuinely call sustainable, not just in sourcing, but staffing, funding and looking much further into restaurants and the other industries associated with them.. There’s a long way to go but I’m really motivated by the thought that one day it will be, and driven to make it happen.

Where was your last holiday?
As I mentioned earlier, I went to North America – specifically NYC, Philly, and Montreal. Al and I have always wanted to go and check out the eating spots across the pond that we’ve admired since before we started out as a street food stall back in 2013, and this year the opportunity came up for us to go, so we took it.

Which colleague, mentor or employer has had the biggest influence on your approach to the restaurant business?
My co-founders Alex and Oded. We’ve been helped, mentored and advised by so many people over the last few years since we started the business – it’s such a generous industry in that respect, but these two have been through all of the bad times with me as well as the good, and are always the people I turn to when there are decisions to be made.

What keeps you up at night?
Everything! I think that comes with the territory when you run your own business – especially a restaurant as there’s always something going on (or going wrong!) We’re learning all the time and as the business grows, we grow with it, so the sleepless nights are a lot more infrequent than a few years ago.

Worst business decision?
Not starting a wholesale egg business before starting The Good Egg.

Best business decision?
Crowdfunding – it’s such an amazing way of bringing friends, family and our street food following on board and getting everyone excited about what you do. Loads of fun.

What are you reading at the moment?
Danny Meyer - Setting The Table (again…).

What piece of advice would you give to those looking to climb the rungs in the business?
Don’t let perfect be the enemy of the good: accept the fact that you’re going to make mistakes, that mistakes are a necessary part of the process. So don’t stall thinking you’ve got to have all your ducks lined up and it’s all got to be perfect before you get going. Just make sure you start somewhere, start small, and be smart about scaling up when you see the opportunity to grow.

If you could change one thing about the restaurant industry today, what would it be?
The sustainability of it all – not just in terms of sourcing, food waste, packaging and energy consumption. I think that anyone who works in the industry in any capacity would agree that the day to day and long term impact on people’s lifestyles and, ultimately, their lives, can be high. You’ve got to really love it.

CV

1986 Born in London
Studied Music & Acoustical Engineering at University of Southampton
Jobs before The Good egg include a role with Hayes McKenzie Partnership in Salisbury and at Foundry in London
2012 - Present  Managing director, executive chef and owner, The Good Egg

Related topics: People

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