Chef Leah Cohen
Star Chefs "Rising Star Chefs" Award Recipients, 2013
Top Chef: New York
Chef/Owner, Pig and Khao, New York, NY
Being in New York when the seasons change from Summer to Fall is something special. The leaves change colors, the weather drops and the city comes alive as city-dwellers enjoy the last moments of long days and brisk sunshine for the year. The food in the city changes too. Preparations become more comforting and dishes become more homey. As we all begin to think about home and the coming holidays, we are determined to keep the sense of culinary adventure alive! We challenged our dear friend and flavor-bomb expert, Chef Leah Cohen, to craft a Southeast Asian menu that would be perfect for the holidays and to say she delivered would be an understatement! This month's immediately menu feels like something you’d cook with friends and loved ones every winter and also one that’s a journey into a new world.
Leah's Personal Culinary Adventure
Food has always been part of who Leah Cohen is. With a unique melding of Filipino and Eastern European Judaic heritage her culinary DNA was diverse, to put it mildly. After culinary school she quickly rose the ranks at many of New York’s famed restaurants working with chefs including David Burke and Daniel Humm. After a stint on Bravo TV’s “Top Chef”, Leah cultivated her epicurean ideals, traveling and staging throughout Southeast Asia from Hong Kong to the Philippines, developing techniques and flavors she would bring home. Drawing from this knowledge, Cohen opened Pig & Khao in 2013 - a restaurant where she has masterfully created a food identity she can call her own.
Pig & Khao
Situated in New York's Lower East Side, The Southeast Asian inspired cuisine offered at Pig & Khao is a variety of Thai and Filipino influences. The menu includes Crispy Pata and pickled mango salad (pork shank cooked in soy sauce and five spice garnished with coriander, crispy garlic served with a secret family recipe sweet and sour liver dipping sauce), Grilled Pork Neck and Watermelon Salad (chili lime fish sauce, shallot, chicharon, herbs and toasted rice) and Pork Belly Adobo (Szechuan peppercorn, coconut vinegar, soy sauce, bay leaves, crispy garlic, scallion and soft poached egg). Drinks range from cheap canned beer to large format beer served Piggie style (drink out of small bowls), craft cocktails and self-serve bottomless tap in the backyard.