Leah Cohen is the chef and owner of Pig & Khao restaurant, located on New York City’s Lower East Side, and Piggyback Bar restaurant, located in Jersey City. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, her first position in a New York City kitchen was working for celebrated chef David Burke at Park Avenue Café.
Leah refined her craft at Eleven Madison Park under the tutelage of Chef Daniel Humm, where she rose through the ranks to a tourant. Leah next landed at Centro Vinoteca, where she worked under Chef Anne Burrell. Leah landed a spot on season four of BRAVO’s “Top Chef,” and after a successful run on the show, returned to Centro Vinoteca as Executive Chef.
A few years later, Leah decided to take a sabbatical and spent a year traveling throughout Southeast Asia, learning about her Asian heritage. One year later, Leah returned home to bring the bold flavors of Asian street food to New York, with the opening of Pig & Khao in the Lower East Side in 2012.
A recipient of 2 stars from Pete Wells at The New York Times, Pig & Khao has been voted the Best Asian Restaurant in NYC by Zagat, and the Best SE Asian Restaurant in NYC by the Epoch Times. Leah has appeared on NBC’s “The TODAY Show” and “CBS This Morning,” and was a Star Chefs Rising Star Chef in 2013. In addition, she is also a regular judge on the Food Network’s “Beat Bobby Flay,” and has been featured in Food & Wine, Saveur, Harper’s Bazaar and more.