On Monday, we were thrilled to attend a book release for the long-awaited, first cookbook of Michelin-starred chef (and D’Artagnan friend), Anita Lo, Chef/owner of annisa in New York City.
Cooking Without Borders was co-written with Charlotte Druckman and published by Stewart, Tabori & Chang. Snap impression? This book is really good-looking. You can tell a lot of thought has been put into even the smallest details, from its tactile matte paper stock to its watery blue accent colors and perfectly-lit photos. Even the font seems fresh… but as we all know, beauty is fleeting and after closer examination it’s evident that this book will soon be marred with butter stains, dog-eared pages and a dusting of dried spices. This baby is getting used.
The book is eclectic, fresh, refined and accessible. Each recipe is thoughtfully written, from prep to plating, and many have side notes with tips or helpful suggestions. Anita has said she takes inspiration from everywhere – and the dishes run the gamut from her mother’s homey BBQ spareribs to pan-roasted sea scallops with uni & bacon that she cooked on Top Chef Masters to foie gras soup dumplings, a staple on the annisa menu and chicken paprikash, a comforting favorite from her childhood nanny. We were also taken by the richly textured headnotes that accompany each recipe – memories, inspirations, anecdotes – these little stories are what sets this cookbook apart and makes it a “must-have.”
Anita Lo’s Cooking Without Borders is available now.