World Chefs: Lo rebounds from personal, business losses

Tue Jul 13, 2010 9:35am EDT
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By Richard Leong

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - After recovering from a series of setbacks last year, including the death of her mother and a fire, Anita Lo reopened her Michelin-star restaurant Annisa in April.

While the restaurant was closed for nine months following the fire, the classically-trained 44-year-old chef ventured to Asia and Africa. Inspired by her travels abroad, she has added new dishes to the menu.

She spoke to Reuters about her difficult year, facing challenges and getting back into the kitchen.

Q: Saying you had a rough year would be an understatement?

A: "Looking back, it was like every other month, something happened. Bar Q (a restaurant owned by Lo) closed in February, which was very sad for me. My mother died in April, the restaurant (Annisa) burned down in July."

Q: What has been the most exciting part of the reopening?

A: "It was a nice fresh start because we could fix all the problems we had had here. I got a much nicer kitchen but by no means it's fancy. There were a lot of things we couldn't fix because you had to take out a wall to fix it. Well, then the wall burned down. There were the tiny details like where the stereo should go."

Q: What kind of feedback are you getting from customers?   Continued...

<p>Anita Lo is seen in this undated handout photo. REUTERS/Annisa Restaurant/Handout</p>