Anna Ansari is a reformed international customs and trade attorney living in East London with her husband, toddler and cat. An Iranian-American, Anna grew up in metropolitan Detroit, and subsequently moved to New York City to attend Barnard College, Columbia University, where she received her Bachelor’s in Arts (cum laude) in Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures, with a concentration in Chinese literature. Anna also holds a Master’s in East Asian Cultures from Yale University, as well as a law degree from Brooklyn Law School.
As a teenager in the late 1990s, Anna lived in Beijing for a year with a Chinese family, an experience that opened her eyes to the shared nature of the human experience—that despite geopolitical borders and language differences, there is more that binds us than separates us. Since then, she has lived for periods of time in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong.
Anna found in China not only a new cultural, historical and linguistic passion that guided her academically, professionally and personally, but also a deep connection to her Turkic heritage by way of China’s Uighur communities and their food. To this day, that first bike ride to a small Uighur neighbourhood and that first taste of Xinjiang lamian in August 1998 remain seared in Anna’s memory.
Her cookbook proposal exploring food along the Silk Road was shortlisted for the prestigious Yan Kit-So Award for Food Writers on Asia in 2021.