Armed with a prestigious MBA, Aliya was on track to be a successful banker on Wall Street when she decided to leave her coveted job and trained at the International Culinary Center.
She now calls herself a Chef, Cookbook Author, Television Personality, Mother and (now!) App Developer with a passion for bringing global and socially conscious foods, spices, and traditions into everyday cooking and eating.
Aliya has traveled to many different countries to learn food traditions, and worked in a number of restaurants around New York City including Jean Georges and Per Se.
Aliya has worked at a number of restaurants around NYC including Junoon (which won a Michelin Star!) before writing her first cookbook, Exotic Table – Flavors, Inspiration, and Recipes from Around the World – to Your Kitchen (named “Best of the Best” by Food & Wine magazine in 2014).
Aliya has been a guest chef on NBC’s Today Show, a judge on Food Network shows Kitchen Casino, Beat Bobby Flay, and Worst Cooks in America: Celebrity Edition, a culinary expert on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, and has been widely covered in publications like Food & Wine, Vogue India, Shape, Oprah, Eater, and Food Republic.
Aliya is now Head of Culinary for RealEats.
In this episode, Aliya shares how she made the decision to leave her corporate job, the challenges she faced, how she overcame them, how she created a niche for herself, and advice to other creatives looking to make a career switch.
Learn more at: aliyaleekong.com
Key Questions answered by Aliya LeeKong
- How Aliya’s creative journey began
- How Aliya transitioned from Corporate America to Culinary
- How to know if it’s the right move
- How Aliya was able to find success quickly in her new career
- How Aliya gets closer to her goals
- How Aliya differentiates herself in her industry
Aliya LeeKong Discusses:
- How to leave your full-time job to pursue your creative passion
- Finding your niche and showcasing yourself
- Taking risks
- Following your dreams
- Her parent’s reaction to her leaving a 6-figure job
- Diversifying her creative talents and launching an app
- Advice to other creatives looking to make a career switch
- Challenges Aliya has faced as a woman of color and how she overcomes them
- Why Aliya decided to launch an app
- Importance of pivoting
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