Anita Lo, fomerly the chef and owner of Annisa in New York City, is one of the most respected chefs in the country, earning numerous accolades for her inventive contemporary American cuisine that reflects her multicultural upbringing and classic French training.
Lo, a first-generation Chinese-American, grew up with her family in Birmingham, Michigan and fostered an interest in food at a young age. Lo accepted her first kitchen job as garde-manger at Bouley, but after a year, she decided to move back to Paris and enroll in Ecole Ritz-Escoffier, a revered culinary institution.
In 2000, Lo opened Annisa (whose name means ”women” in Arabic), an intimate, upscale restaurant in Greenwich Village serving Contemporary American cuisine. It was an instant hit, earning rave reviews from critics. Food & Wine magazine named her one of ten “Best New Chefs in America” in 2001, and the Village Voice proclaimed Lo as “Best New Restaurant Chef.” In June 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 for rebuilding Annisa got underway. Lo appeared on the first season of Top Chef Masters where she battled her contemporaries on 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 Annisa, receiving a three-star review from crici Pete Wells of The New York Times. In October 2011, Lo released her long-awaited first cookbook, which highlights her passion for bringing multicultural flavors to her American kitchen.
Lo closed Annisa after 17 years of operation in May of 2017. She recently published her second book, Solo: Easy Sophisticated Recipes For a Party of One.