Anita Lo - Hawaii Food & Wine Festival


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Anita Lo

New York, NY

Anita Lo, a first generation Chinese-American, grew up in Birmingham, Michigan, and fostered an interest in food at a young age. Lo accepted her first kitchen job as garde-manger at Bouley, and after a year, she enrolled in Ecole Ritz-Escoffier, a revered culinary institution in Paris.

Lo received her degree, graduating first in her class with honors, while interning under Guy Savoy and Michel Rostang. In New York, Lo worked her way through all the stations at David Waltuck’s Chanterelle. She developed her culinary style during her time at Mirezi, where she earned a two-star review from Ruth Reichl at The New York Times.

In 2000, Lo opened Annisa (which means ”women” in Arabic), an intimate, upscale restaurant in Greenwich Village serving Contemporary American cuisine. It was an instant hit, earning a two-star review from The New York Times.

In April 2010, after a complete renovation of the original Barrow Street location that had been destroyed in a fire, Lo reopened Annisa.
In February 2014, critic Pete Wells re-reviewed Annisa in The New York Times, bestowing the restaurant with a prestigious three stars. In the review, he calls her food “remarkable” and “impressive,” and the restaurant “graceful and unfussy.”

In 2015, Anita Lo was the first female guest chef to cook for a State Dinner at the White House, under the Obama administration. She prepared a 4-course meal for the visiting Chinese president, Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan.

In May 2017, after 17 years of business, and holding a Michelin star for nine consecutive years, Lo closed Annisa to pursue her next great adventure.