Leah Cohen’s Pig & Khao has solidified its place as one of New York City’s top “hip” Asian restaurants since opening in 2012. The Top Chef alum serves Filipino- and Thai-accented Southeastern Asian fare in a vibrant space on the Lower East Side. There’s even a keg for all-you-can-drink beer. Long before she opened in NYC, the half-Filipino Cohen staged at several restaurants across Thailand, in order to get a firm grasp on the country’s traditional dishes. It was in a Bangkok kitchen that the chef met her match in the form of a flying chili seed that found its way out of her handmade curry paste and into her eye. Cue the flowing tears and a whole lot of pain…in a completely foreign country. That’s a pretty unfortunate situation to be in, if we do say so ourselves.