Episode 8: Leah Cohen of Pig & Khao + Has Filipino Food Arrived?
Instead of talking about a particular dish, this week Lynda and Iris delve deep to understand one country’s cuisine: The Philippines. Leah Cohen, chef/owner of Pig & Khao and former Top Chef contestant, joins them in the studio to shed some light on Filipino food, and to discuss what took so long for the cuisine to get the recognition it deserves.
Lynda asks Iris about the fundamentals of Philippine cuisine, as well as some of the more famous Filipino dishes (balut!). They talk about the Filipino food scene in both the US and Hong Kong. Leah then talks about her cultural background, her relationship with Filipino food, and how that relationship changed over the years. She also shares her experiences on Bravo's Top Chef, the year she spent living in Southeast Asia, and how she came to open Pig and Khao.
Leah and Lynda also discuss Leah's inspiration for the Filipino dishes on Pig and Khao's menu, Filipinos and non-Filipinos response to her food, and Filipino food's gradual rise in popularity.
19:44 "It's been having a moment and it's just getting more and more popular. And I'm actually happy that it hasn't just popped off because that means it'll have a staying power. It's a gradual growth instead of oh, it's this hot new trend, and then 2 years later people are like, 'I don't give a shit about Filipino cuisine.'" - Leah Cohen on Philippine cuisine in the States
It was such a pleasure to have Leah Cohen on the show. She is charismatic and funny, and the interview is full of insight and knowledge on a cuisine that just isn't talked about enough. We hope you enjoy the episode and listen to it in its entirety.
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