Here’s another short documentary from the HBO’s 2011 East of Main Street series. Chef Anita Lo of Annisa restaurant in New York gets profiled. Starting her restaurant on a dime, she talks about her journey into the world of food and cooking. Anita has a really multicultural background that feeds into the cuisines she creates. Best known for her foie gras soup dumpling, she brings in Asian influence into her classic French cooking technique. Get a peek into her life and the culture of her Annisa team.
East of Main Street: chef Anita Lo
More about Anita Lo
Anita Lo is the Executive Chef and owner of Annisa Restaurant. She is also one of the most revered female chefs in the country, having earned numerous accolades for her inventive contemporary American cuisine which reflects her multicultural upbringing and classic French training. Lo, a second generation Chinese-American, grew up with her family in Birmingham, Michigan and fostered an interest in food at a young age. While completing a degree in French Language at Columbia University, she studied at Reid Hall-Columbia’s French language institute in Paris.
After studying at L’Ecole Ritz-Escoffier, a prestigious culinary institution, and working at David Waltuck’s Chanterelle and Mirezi, she opened her own restaurant, a project that would eventually define her culinary career. Annisa became an instant hit after opening in 2000, earning a glowing two-star review from The New York Times. Food & Wine Magazine named Lo one of ten “Best New Chefs in America” in 2001, and The Village Voice proclaimed Lo “Best New Restaurant Chef.”
In July 2009, after nearly ten years in business, Annisa suffered an unfortunate blow-a fire destroyed the restaurant entirely. Lo decided to take some time to travel as plans to rebuild Annisa got underway. She scoured the globe for inspiration, traveling as far as Mongolia and Egypt. Meanwhile, Lo appeared on the first season of Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters” where she battled her contemporaries in weekly challenges that tested their culinary prowess. She finished fourth out of 24 chefs. In April 2010, after a complete renovation of the original Barrow Street location, Lo reopened her beloved Annisa.