There are few things we adore more here at The Tig than a woman who knows how to take charge. Such is the lady at the helm of the endlessly popular Lower East Side hotspot Pig and Khao, Top Chef alum and New York native Leah Cohen. This executive chef and owner has traveled extensively in Southeast Asia in addition to training at the Culinary Institute of America, integrating dishes from her Filipino upbringing with global influences that will make your taste buds dance with joy. (If you happen to be in town, try sampling her tasting menu for a wide array of dishes, each with its own unique flavor and story to tell.) We couldn’t be more delighted to get to know this culinary luminary better in today’s Chefs Talk. A traveler, foodie, and lady on a mission? It doesn’t get much more Tig than that!

What's the staff meal your kitchen gets most excited about?

 It would either be my “famous” lasagna, which I only make on special occasions like holidays, or when I make anything Mexican. I don’t really know how to cook Mexican food but it’s an obsession of mine and the staff loves it.

What is the one knife you can't live without?

A no-name serrated knife that I bought on my honeymoon in Osaka at Tower Knives.

What's your naughty food indulgence?

It would either be pizza, French fries or any kind of potato chips. 

What's your mini bar go to?

Snickers bars, Pringles and vodka.

After a long day at work you go home and…?

Binge watch TV on Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO Go…I have them all!  I’m somewhat of an insomniac and watch every show out there.

If you weren't working in a kitchen, what would you be doing?

Probably an SLT or Soul Cycle instructor, because I would still get to boss people around and workout for free.

Drink of choice?

Vodka soda with a lime.

One cookbook you can't live without/most referenced?

 David Thompson’s Thai Food.

What's the most overrated ingredient?

Ramps…Don’t get me wrong, I love eating them but they have become such a ‘thing’ lately.

Describe your cooking in one word:

Flavorful.

Images via: Leah Cohen, Pig and Khao