Lo is the chef and co-owner of the critically lauded New American restaurant Annisa in the West Village. She's also one-time owner of Rickshaw, the gourmet dumpling chain.
Michigan native Lo insists that she "didn't have a mentor" in the restaurant business, but she certainly worked under her fair share of pros during her younger years. The Chinese-American chef started her career at David Bouley's famed restaurant, and later went to Paris to earn a culinary degree and intern at several Michelin-starred spots. Returning to the U.S. in the early 1990s, Lo worked at David Waltuck's acclaimed restaurant Chanterelle in Tribeca before taking over the kitchen at the trendy Vietnamese eatery Can (where she ended up meeting her partner, Jennifer Scism). In 1996 she opened Mirezi, which quickly faded, but it was Annisa, the restaurant that followed in 2000, that truly put her on the map. The Village Voice anointed her "Best New Restaurant Chef" in 2000 and Food & Wine named her a "Best New Chef" in 2001.
Although Annisa's had its setbacks, including a fire in 2009 which nearly destroyed the spot, Lo had kept busy with Rickshaw, a dumpling bar, and Q on Bleeker Street (which unfortunately closed in less than a year. However, Lo's stayed in the public eye appearing on shows like Iron Chef and Top Chef: Masters. She's also one of the most vocal advocates for women in the restaurant agency: almost all the wine she stocks at Annisa is made by female vinters, and even the name "Annisa" is a nod to her feminist tendencies. (It means woman in Arabic.)
Lo, had a romantic schism with longtime partner Jennifer Scism in 2008, who awkwardly maintained co-ownership of Annisa until 2010, making Lo the sole owner. [Image via Getty]