Leah Cohen

Leah Cohen

Chef / Owner of Pig & Khao and Piggyback NYC

I have learned that everything happens for a reason and hard work pays off. I know it sounds cliché but there's a reason why so many successful people say it.

I think the most important time in my career was working at Eleven Madison Park. It taught me accountability, organization, attention to detail and how working hard can take you to the next level.
My first time ever working the line during my internship I knew I made the right decision choosing the restaurant industry. I fell in love with the organized chaos and the adrenaline you get during service.
Being able to touch people through my food inspires me to continue to work hard, as well as new growth opportunities for my business. This year has been extremely challenging for all of us so being able to keep my restaurants open and knowing that people want to support my establishments help keep me going.
There needs to be a good work/life balance. I've learned that more than ever since having my baby.
When hiring aspiring professionals, I like to see that someone is a hard worker and has respect for the business. When I see applicants who have jumped around a lot and haven't stayed in one place for longer than 6 months that's a red flag. Also a positive attitude goes a long way. It is never fun to be around someone who is constantly negative and that negative energy can affect everyone else around you and bring the room down.
I try to find inspiration and continue to educate myself through traveling. I love learning more about the cuisines I love to cook by tasting food in the countries where they come from. If I am unable to travel then I try to educate myself through continued research whether it is through cookbooks, videos and blogs.
Leadership, adaptability, organization and having a positive attitude are the most important skills to possess. We have seen over this past year [2020 - 2021] just how fragile our industry is and how positive thinking and being able to adapt can make or break your business.

Disclaimer: Individuals featured in the Inspirational Career Timelines section have been nominated by peers, colleagues and/or other members of the hospitality industry. It is to the best of our knowledge that each individual has demonstrated leadership and acted as a positive role model for others.

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