The chef and cookbook author Anita Lo occupies a very special place in the hearts of many in the New York City restaurant world—chefs, journalists, civilians who merely dine at restaurants (that is, most people). Lo is a supreme talent, having run one of the city’s top restaurants—Annisa—for 17 years. She’s also a mentor to many in the industry. A leading light and an example of how to do things the right way. Stories of this journey, as well as some pretty cool recipes, are detailed in her new cookbook—Solo: A Modern Cookbook for a Party of One—disguised as a personal history. It’s memoir light. During our interview at Books Are Magic, we talk about some of the recent controversies in the world of food, and her take on “the boys” and how there’s a clear double standard when it comes to business opportunities, etc. Lo also talks about the joy of cooking for one.
Later I get to talk with Matt Startwell, managing partner at legendary New York City cookbook store Kitchen Arts & Letters. We tackle a number of fun topics: the shop’s famous customers, like James Beard and Julia Child; the most requested books; books he thinks need to be published; and a rundown of the big books from the busy holiday season. Have you picked up a cookbook today?