Name: Michael Symon
Background: Michael Symon, a native of Cleveland, Ohio, was raised with rich Greek and Sicilian heritage and was awarded the title of Iron Chef in 2007 after defeating John Besh in the final round of The Next Iron Chef. Symon grew deep roots cultivating his skills in the Cleveland restaurant scene before opening up his first restaurant, Lola (named after his aunt). After 7 successful years he reopened Lola in downtown Cleveland and renamed the original “Lolita.”
In 2006 Michael branched out to New York City to open his third restaurant, Parea, which, after mixed reviews, was acquired a year later, subsequently allowing Michael the opportunity to compete in (and become) The Next Iron Chef.
In 2008 Symon opened Roast in Detroit, Michigan. After winning 2009 Restaurant of the Year, Symon continued his expansion by opening two successful restaurants back in Ohio: Bar Symon and The B-Spot, both of which featuring his bold, signature flavors. In late 2010, he announced two additional B-Spot locations in Ohio.
Personal Style: Similar to his passions for food, Symon enjoys riding his motorcycle, tattoos, and golf. His open personality and infectious laugh have become staples on The Food Network and The Cooking Channel with regular appearances on Iron Chef America, Food Feuds, The Best Thing I Ever Ate, and Cook Like An Iron Chef. Michael is happily married in Cleveland, Ohio with two dogs, Ruby and Ozzy.
- 1995: Cleveland’s Hottest Chef by The Plain Dealer Sunday Magazine
- 1997: National Rising Star by Restaurant Hospitality Magazine
- 1998: Voted one of the Ten Best New Chefs in America by Food & Wine Magazine
- 2007: Best Local Chef by Cleveland Magazine
- 2009: James Beard Foundation Award for “Best Chef Great Lakes”
- 2010: Top Burger at the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival (beating Bobby Flay for the “best burger in America”)
- Bar Symon
- The B Spot
- Featured in Michael Ruhlman’s The Soul of a Chef: The Journey Toward Perfection (Symon’s journey is captured in the second part of this three-part series)
- Michael Symon’s Live to Cook: Recipes and Techniques to Rock Your Kitchen
- Michael Symon Live to Cook Collection by Weston
Books by Chef Symon
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Chef Symon’s Kitchen EssentialsMichael Symon uses (and endorses) Vita-mix blenders as well as his signature Michael Symon "Live to Cook" collection by Weston products.