It's Good to Be Anita Lo

People may continue to argue about how hard it is to be a female chef, but one thing it seems that everyone can agree on is that Anita Lo is in a badass class of her own.

The lady, after all, not only managed to reopen her restaurant after a devastating fire, but reopen it to almost uniformly glowing reviews. She also kicked Mario Batali's ass on Iron Chef America, and apparently wasn't even that fazed by the ordeal. As she tells The Wall Street Journal, Iron Chef America was "a walk in the park," particularly compared with her stint on Top Chef Masters, on which she was limited to whatever ingredients she could find in Whole Foods.

Lo, who earlier this week hosted the kickoff of the LUCKYRICE festival, told the Journal that her culinary philosophy deals with "identity." The folks at Chow identify her as one of the country's most innovative chefs: She's one of 16 included in the site's roundup of "Innovators: Chefs to Watch in 2011." Chow is asking its users to cast their votes each week for the most innovative chef of the bunch: Lo and John Fraser are representing New York, and Lo has so far gotten 69 percent of the vote to Fraser's 31 percent. Given that Lo also has gone hunting for wild boar in Mongolia, we pity the fool who doesn't vote for her.

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