Actor John Garfield smokes and studies the script for the movie, 'They Made Me a Criminal.'
Actor John Garfield studies the script for the movie They Made Me a Criminal.Alfred Eisenstaedt—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
Actor John Garfield smokes and studies the script for the movie, 'They Made Me a Criminal.'
A U.S. Marine peers over his shoulder during the final days of fighting to wrest the island of Saipan from Japanese troops, 1944.
Decorated veteran James Stewart, home from the war, 1945.
Texas cowboy Clarence Hailey "C.H." Long, Jr., 1949.
James Cagney in the iconic, climactic scene scene from 'White Heat.'
Jackie Robinson during filming of his own biopic in 1950.
Rocky Marciano, still the only heavyweight champ to retire undefeated, 1951.
Ernest Hemingway, Cuba, 1952.
Spencer Tracy, 1955.
Mickey Mantle, 1956.
Project Mercury astronauts at Langley Air Force Base, Virginia: (top, left to right) Alan Shepard, Gus Grissom, Gordon Cooper; (bottom left to right) Wally Schirra, Deke Slayton, John Glenn and Scott Carpenter, 1959.
Burt Lancaster at Dodger Stadium during Game 3 of the 1959 World Series in Los Angeles.
Frank Sinatra, 1961.
Steve McQueen rests in the midst of a long-distance motorcycle race, 1963.
Muhammad Ali after defeating Cleveland Williams in Houston, Texas, to retain the heavyweight crown, November 1966.
John Wayne in 1969.
Former pro football player-turned-actor Jim Brown in 1969.
Johnny Cash in 1969.
Jack Nicholson relaxing at home in Los Angeles, 1969.
Clint Eastwood on the set of 'Dirty Harry,' 1971.
Actor John Garfield studies the script for the movie They Made Me a Criminal.
Alfred Eisenstaedt—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
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Sweet Success

As a financial consultant, Umber Ahmad typically spent her days counseling people on how to expand their brands—until one particular client, Tom Colicchio, heard about her baking hobby and asked for a taste. She was nervous, to say the least. “He makes people cry on TV cooking for him,” she says. “And he wanted to try my food.” Over three days, Ahmad brought him cheesecake with a chocolate-cookie crust, dark chocolate brownies, tarts, shortbreads, and biscuits right out of the oven. After that, she went from giving Colicchio advice on how to invest in young talent and grow his brand to being the first member of his Colicchio Discoveries group.

The daughter of Pakistani immigrants, Ahmad was raised in Marquette, Michigan. Her earliest memory is of braiding nisu, a sweet Nordic bread, with her Finnish nanny. “There’s a beauty and ease to the science of baking—it was a peaceful release,” she says. On their many family trips, Ahmad’s parents encouraged their children to make connections between different foods. “Bread in Stockholm would remind us of rice in Spain, and mole in Mexico reminded me of chocolate in Switzerland,” she says. “They’re the same ingredients, just mixed together in different ways.”

In 2013, Ahmad opened Mah-Ze-Dahr, an online baked-goods store. “Getting someone to try something new that they can’t see, touch, or taste—it was an interesting business challenge,” Ahmad says. She landed major wholesale clients: JetBlue, Intelligentsia Coffee, Williams-Sonoma. But the goal all along was to have her own retail space, and in September, Ahmad opened a navy-and-stone-accented café in New York City’s West Village, with plans to expand to the Middle East and Asia. “The meaning of mazedar is the essence that makes something special,” Ahmad says of the Urdu word. Middle Eastern and Nordic flavors are prevalent—there’s cardamom in the snickerdoodles and za’atar in the spinach hand pies, plus nisu is on the menu. “It’s the second or third flavor you taste that triggers a taste memory, and that’s what we focus on,” she says. “The subtlety is what makes a dish.”

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