Anita Lo and April Bloomfield stopped by the Google offices to talk about their careers, their restaurants, and their cookbooks. The video from their panel is up on YouTube, and is one of the most entertaining and interesting ways that a foodie could spend a half an hour. But in case you don’t have the time to watch it just yet, or if you still need some convincing, we’ve pulled the six best quotes from Anita and April.
April on how she became a chef:
My mother wasn’t a very good cook, so I kind of realized that I needed to learn to cook, as a way to kid of like, survive. If your mum’s a bad cook, you’ll understand. But, I really went to school because I didn’t get into my chosen profession, which was to be a policewoman in Metropilitan Police Force, and so I had to do something to fall back on, and my two sisters at the time were at cooking school. […] I said maybe I’ll just cook, do two years and then reapply for the police force, and fortunately, that didn’t happen.
Anita on opening Annisa:
I realized that I really wanted to just do contemporary American [cusine]. I didn’t want to be defined by [Asian cuisine], because that’s really who I am. I’ve been all over, I grew up in the Midwest, and I am French trained. I realized that in order ot get full creative freedom, I needed to open my own place.
Anita on Top Chef Masters airing in the aftermath of theAnnisa fire:
It actually aired like, two weeks after the fire, so it was kind of doubly tragic because I thought I missed that whole wave of publicity, you know, driving business to the restaurant. […] People are still coming in from it, it’s interesting. You know, it aired so long ago. I guess it keeps re-airing.
April on competing on Iron Chef:
When I got there, on the day, I was like, super nervous — just like now, actually — I was a complete wreck, and then I got to the kitchen stadium and it was pretty daunting. Then I saw my staff walk in to sit down, and I was like “I can’t do this”. I was about to run out the door. Anyway, I managed to kind of focus. […] I managed to kick Michael Symon’s butt on olives, and he’s Greek.
April on the one dish she recommends from her cookbook:
I think oatmeal, if you guys like oatmeal. I’m very passionate about my oatmeal, or porridge. You should definitely try that.
Anita on what she eats when nobody is looking:
An entire bag of Doritos. Shhh. Did I say that?
Watch the full conversation below!
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