Treasured: Anita Lo's "Diva" Spoon
Interview and Photos by Melanie Dunea / CPi / My Last Supper
Anita Lo: "My restaurant, Annisa, had an enormous gas fire in 2009, and a huge ball of fire burned through the back wall. It was a mess when we got back in and the first thing I did was go look for my spoons. Bill Yosses, the amazing pastry chef who I once worked with, gave the big one to me. The 'diva' spoon was left here by the previous restaurant owners in 1999."
"I somehow immediately felt attracted to the 'diva' spoon. Who would inscribe the word diva on a spoon? It's just so weird! I always want girlie things. I identify as butch but I do like pink towels and the 'diva' spoon! Meanwhile, it turns out it's just a great spoon for basting and plating sauce."
"Every ingredient on the plate needs to have a strong role. It can be a supporting role or it can be the main role, but it has to have more purpose than just adding color to the plate."
"I keep all of my tools together. There are tweezers, chopsticks, the 'diva' spoon, the Bill Yosses spoon and a spatula. Anyone can use the Bill Yosses spoon, but when I'm in the kitchen no one else is allowed to use the 'diva' spoon. When I'm not here, you can use it as much as you want."
"The 'diva' spoon is sort of like a little talisman. I feel comfortable with it and I've given it more meaning than I really should. Once I lost it at a conference in Rhode Island because I left it on some random stone wall. I panicked. After looking around for an hour, I finally found it—there are a lot of stone walls up there! I was probably doing something and not thinking, so I've never brought it with me again. It lives here at Annisa."