Tucked into the West Village, Annisa has steadily grown a following from chef Anita Lo's careful, technique-driven takes on New American cooking with French and Asian touches. We ventured behind the scenes into the kitchen to see a breakdown of one of her most popular dishes, featuring a whole squid that's part grilled and part fried.
If you're the sort who likes to boat, farm, fish, clam and make good food, it's kind of hard not to be taken over by a green-eyed monster when chatting with Anita Lo. The executive chef and owner of Annisa in the West Village pulls out contemporary American cuisine from her wide base of knowledge, has a cookbook, was the first woman to win an Iron Chef showdown (against Mario Batali, with mushrooms as the secret ingredient) and had a later stint on Top Chef Masters. But what really makes her eyes light up? And how did a feeling of "otherness" and a degree in French literature lead to the kitchen?