"I'm a cultural mutt," Anita Lo announces with pride. The much-acclaimed Anissa chef/owner, cookbook author, and Top Chef Masters contender grew up in a white, middle-class, Midwest neighborhood in a multicultural home with a string of nannies from around the globe. ("The one who stayed with us longest was Hungarian," she recalls.) She studied both culture and cuisine extensively in France, graduating Ecole Ritz-Escoffier first in her class with honors, before returning to the US to hone her craft at the legendary Chanterelle restaurant in New York City. At Anissa, Anita Lo's food can't be pinned to just one culture. It's distinctly her own, and that's by design.
"All food is fusion," Lo says, and that certainly includes the Chinese-Indian soft-scrambled eggs she was served in a hotel room in India. The version she made for Extra Crispy includes red onions, garlic chives, garlic, jalapeno peppers, cilantro, tomato, garam masala, cumin, turmeric, eggs, butter, salt, and pepper—served with a side of naan bread and appreciation for the globe's flavors getting together on one plate.