After being named Best New Chef by Food & Wine magazine in 1998, Michael Symon shot into the national spotlight. Since then he’s become a James Beard Award winner, an Iron Chef, a cookbook author, and a host of ABC’s The Chew. Symon’s work in his hometown of Cleveland put it on the culinary map and it has grown into one of the best food towns in the United States. Symon shares his top five spots not to miss during your next visit to Cleveland.
About Michael Simon
Michael Symon is a co-host of ABC’s lifestyle series “The Chew,” seated alongside fellow restaurateur and “Iron Chef America” star Mario Batali, “Top Chef” alum Carla Hall, entertaining expert Clinton Kelly and health and wellness enthusiast Daphne Oz.
Chef Michael Symon cooks with soul. Growing up in a Greek and Sicilian family, the Cleveland native creates boldly flavored, deeply satisfying dishes at his restaurants in America’s heartland: Lola, Lolita, Roast, Bar Symon and B Spot. In addition to co-hosting “The Chew,” he also shares his exuberant, approachable cooking style and infectious laugh with viewers as an Iron Chef on the Food Network.
Since being named a Best New Chef by Food & Wine magazine in 1998, Symon and his restaurants have been awarded numerous honors: in 2000 Gourmet magazine chose Lola as one of “America’s Best Restaurants”; in 2010, he was the first chef ever to host the annual Farm Aid benefit concert; Bon Appetit magazine included B Spot on their list of “Top 10 Best New Burger Joints”; B Spot’s Fat Doug burger won the People’s Choice award at the SoBe Wine & Food Festival. In 2009 Symon earned The James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef Great Lakes and the Detroit Free Press named Roast “Restaurant of the Year.”
Symon made his debut on Food Network in 1998 with appearances on “Sara’s Secrets with Sara Moulton,” “Ready, Set, Cook” and “Food Nation with Bobby Flay,” before being tapped to host over 100 episodes of “The Melting Pot.” He then went on to win Season One of “The Next Iron Chef” in 2008, earning a permanent spot on the roster of esteemed Iron Chefs. Throughout 2010 he appeared on four Food Network/Cooking Channel shows, hosting “Food Feuds” and “Cook Like an Iron Chef,” judging season Three of “The Next Iron Chef” and competing on “Iron Chef America.” In January 2012, Symon’s show, “Symon’s Suppers,” premiered on Cooking Channel, and in September 2011, he joined the cast of “The Chew” on ABC as one of the show’s five hosts.
While Symon shines on television, he is a genuine hometown guy who made his name cooking in his Midwestern restaurants, all of which became critically acclaimed. Lola opened in 1997 and is now the cornerstone of Cleveland’s dining scene. Lolita, a Mediterranean-style bistro in the historic Tremont neighborhood, opened in 2005. Roast brought Symon’s meat-centric cooking to Detroit’s Westin Book Cadillac in 2008, and after opening the first two Cleveland locations of B Spot in 2009, he has expanded with multiple locations throughout Ohio, showcasing his passion for burgers, bratwurst and beer.
Symon published his first cookbook, Michael Symon’s Live to Cook – Recipes and Techniques to Rock Your Kitchen, in 2009, sharing home cook-friendly recipes that draw on the flavors of his heritage. His second cookbook, Carnivore, dedicated to meat lovers, was published in October 2012 and his third cookbook, 5 in 5, inspired by a popular speed-cooking segment on “The Chew,” will be published in September 2013.
When he’s not working, Michael is riding his motorcycle through Cleveland, cooking at home, playing golf, thinking about his next tattoo, gardening in the backyard and spending time with his wife, Liz, and their bullmastiff, Ruby, and Old English bulldog, Ozzy.