Meet the team

The members of the project team are volunteering their time and talents. All proceeds from book sales will go to Mayada, her family, and to the Refugee Relief Fund of Rutgers Presbyterian Church in New York City. Rutgers Presbyterian Church is a co-sponsor of Mayada’s family, and its Refugee Relief Fund provides support to refugees in the U.S. and overseas. Learn more here.



Mayada Anjari

Mayada is from Syria. In 2016, she came to the United States from Jordan with her husband and four children under the Refugee Admissions Program of the US government. She is helping her family build a new life by cooking for the hundreds of people who attend her sold-out “Dinners with Mayada and Friends” in New York City. She lives in New Jersey.



Jennifer Sit

Jenn is a cookbook editor and James Beard Award–nominated coauthor of Senegal: Modern Senegalese Recipes from the Source to the Bowl with Pierre Thiam. She has edited cookbooks at independent publisher Lake Isle Press and at Blue Apron, including the IACP Award–winning Blue Apron Cookbook. She is now a senior editor at Clarkson Potter and lives in Brooklyn, New York. 



Hiroko Kiiffner

Hiroko is publisher of Lake Isle Press. Established in 1990, Lake Isle Press publishes quality nonfiction, specializing in cooking, health, and art-related titles. Lake Isle Press has produced best-selling titles, including several modern classics. Learn more here


project manager

Elizabeth Gordon

Elizabeth was a production editor at Farrar, Straus & Giroux and an editor at the Metropolitan Museum, where she worked on publications and gallery texts.  She is now a project editor at David Zwirner Books.




Liz Clayman

Liz is a New York City–based culinary, lifestyle, and portrait photographer. She shoots for a range of clients and works in-house with Union Square Hospitality Group. In 2016, she was nominated for the Taste Talks Food & Drink Award for Best Photographer. See more of Liz's work here.



Mira Evnine

Mira works at the intersection of food, flowers, and design. She has helped myriad companies develop their brands and identities via multiple experiential platforms. Her personal ethos of wanting people to cook and eat together more often forms the core of her work, bringing her back to all things around the table. See more of Mira's work here



Allegra Fisher

Allegra is a graphic and product designer who is passionate about connecting great design to real people. Her publications include The New York Times Magazine’s Photographs and the 40th anniversary editions of Diane Arbus’s Untitled and Monograph.   


Copy editor and indexer

Suzanne Fass

Suzanne specializes in cookbooks and culinary topics. The New York Times has described her as a “notorious stickler” for detail.