She's a Top Chef Season 5 competitor, owner of New York City's successful restaurant Pig and Khao, and has scoured the globe in search of new foods and flavors—but Leah Cohen will be the first to tell you that she's not a fan of cooking in her own kitchen.
"It's weird," she says. "I just don't want my apartment to smell like food. When I walk out of the restaurant, I smell like kitchen and it's gross so I don't need all my other clothes to smell too."
In the latest episode Bravotv.com's digital series In My Kitchen, Leah also shows off some of the amazing cooking tools she's collected over the years—many of which have helped her develop the recipes featured at her Lower East Side restaurant.
One favorite? Her Chitarra, an Italian pasta cutter that looks like a guitar. "I think real bad-ass Italian chefs use this," she says. "This is great. I love it."
In addition to her cooking on Top Chef, fans may recall her flirty relationship with Hosea Rosenberg. After she left the show, Leah, who admits she's still friends with Hosea today, wanted to disappear from the limelight. So she headed to Asia for a sabbatical. It was a life-changing trip: not only did she score a unique set of knives, she also picked up some cooking skills from famed chef Alvin Leung.
"He's called the Demon Chef," Leah says. "He's crazy but extremely talented and very smart. He did this one dish called Sex on the Beach. It looks like a condom! He did weird sh-- like that but it all tasted really good and interesting." So much so that it helped inspire her menu at Pig and Khao: "I try to put my own spin on it. It's authentic in flavor, but reinterpreted for me."
Want to get an exclusive look at other Cheftestants' kitchens? Check out the playlist below.