Main content starts here, tab to start navigating
Chef Anya El Wattar


Executive Chef & Owner

A Russian-born émigré and a decades-long San Francisco resident, Anya believes that creatively imagined food can connect cultures. Receiving her formal training from the Natural Gourmet Institute, she is successfully changing the perceptions around her native cuisine. Conceived in the spirit of peace, Birch and Rye is the first Russian restaurant in America to ever be listed on a Michelin guide. Through it, Chef Anya has found a way to share elevated elements of her heritage while offering a nurturing refuge for all to experience. Exuding hope, she recently co-hosted high-profile fundraisers that raised more than $100k to benefit the World Central Kitchen’s efforts in and around Ukraine. Anya’s work at the restaurant is guided by the words of wisdom, “Love everyone, feed everyone.”