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  Melon Orange Blossom Gelato

Aliyaleekong is a New York City-based food blogger whose cooking reflects the Indian, Pakistani and East African flavors of her upbringing. Though she calls herself a "professional home cook", she's also earned bragging rights (and probably the most impeccable of knife skills) in the kitchens of Jean Georges and Per Se.

Her recipes would be alluring even in their most stripped down forms, but we love that she throws in an unexpectedly perfect ingredient in each one -- the cardamom in her peach streusel, the pomegranate molasses in her baby back ribs, the orange blossom in her melon gelato, the fenugreek in her creamy cauliflower puree -- that makes us want to unearth the underused spices and elixirs in our pantries and get cooking. See aliyaleekong's profile page and fan her here.

Read her profile Q&A below:


  • What is the strangest food you have ever eaten?
    cow brains...and they were good
  • What do you cook when home alone?
    comforting East African dishes
  • Your most treasured kitchen possession:
    my chef and paring knives
  • Your ideal meal:
    homecooked, innovative and flavorful, surrounded by friends and family
  • Something you'd like a chance to eat or cook:
    moorish cuisine
  • The number of bottles of wine you own:
    50 or so
  • The ideal number of guests for a dinner party is:
  • Kitchen pet peeve:
    lack of passion
  • Your favorite cookbook:
    Spice by Ana Sortun