Chef/Owner, Coriander Leaf, Singapore
Culinary Arts, 1991
Samia Ahad, who is originally from Pakistan, was in her early thirties when she moved from London to New York and decided to enroll in culinary school. She externed at the famed Quilted Giraffe and at March, where she ended up staying for four years. Upon the birth of her first child Ahad became a freelancer, contributing to Saveur, Cook’s Illustrated, and The Joy of Cooking, as well as helping at March when needed. In 1997, the family moved to Singapore when her husband’s law firm sent him there to establish an office. She began teaching cooking classes from her home, then in 2001 opened Coriander Leaf, a full restaurant, cooking school, events space, and catering company. In 2007, she also opened the Screening Room, a five-story establishment that features a theater, a whisky bar, a restaurant, a rooftop, and a private event space. Ahad shows mostly independent movies in that space, which she pairs with special menus. Her first cookbook, Simply Samia, came out in 2008. Her latest venture is a green resort in the Philippines.