Aliya LeeKong is 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 trained at the International Culinary Center, traveled to many different countries to learn food traditions, and worked in a number of restaurants around New York City 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), the same year she had her daughter, Asya.  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 developed Issa's Edible Adventures™ as a way to pass on heritage to the next generation and with the hopes that kids, too, will be inspired by world cultures to cook at home.  She sees food as a universal language to further the global citizenship and educational narratives.  Additionally, Aliya created the character of Issa, largely based on her daughter, so that Asya and other children like her would have the opportunity to see representation of their own multiracial and multicultural identities in the media.

Aliya can be reached at