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: Mabel’s BBQ, Bar Symon and Angeline. Michael also shares his exuberant, approachable cooking style and infectious laugh with viewers on Food Network shows Symon’s Dinners & Throwdown.
Since being named a Best New Chef by Food & Wine magazine in 1998, Michael and his restaurants have been awarded numerous honors: in 2000 Gourmet magazine chose Lola as one of “America’s Best Restaurants;” in 2010, Michael was the first and only chef ever to host the annual Farm Aid benefit concert. In 2009, Michael earned The James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef Great Lakes.
Michael’s television career is full of appearances and hosting gigs, starting back in 1998 when he made his debut on the Food Network. You might remember him on The Melting Pot, Sara’s Secrets and hosting Cook Like an Iron Chef, among many others over the years. In 2008 he went on to win The Next Iron Chef, earning him a permanent spot on the roster of esteemed Iron Chefs. In September 2011, he joined the cast of The Chew on ABC as one of the show’s five hosts. The Chew ran for seven seasons and received widespread critical acclaim including Daytime Emmys in 2015 and 2016, and as well as the hearts and stomachs of audiences across the US. In 2015 Michael traveled throughout the United States and hosted Burgers, Brew and Ques, on Cooking Channel, tasting the best of America’s classics.
Partnering up with his best pal, Bobby Flay in 2019, they engaged in some healthy competition in Food Network’s BBQ Brawl: Flay Vs. Symon. In June 2020 Symon’s Dinners Cooking Out premiered on the Food Network and his fans quickly fell in love with watching Michael use his grilling and BBQ skills in his very own backyard. Most recently, Michael traveled across the U.S. to check out some of the nation’s most prestigious BBQ competitions to get an inside look at some of the competitors and their techniques for BBQ USA.
While Michael shines on television, he is a genuine hometown guy who made his name cooking in his acclaimed restaurants. Lola opened in 1997 and was a cornerstone of Cleveland’s dining scene for 24 years. Roast brought Michael’s meat‐centric cooking to Detroit’s Westin Book Cadillac in 2008 and was immediately named Detroit’s Best Restaurant and credited with reviving Downtown as well as named one of the ten best steakhouses in the country by Playboy. Mabel’s BBQ opened in 2016 and introduced a new style of mustard-‐based barbecue Clevelanders could call their own and was quickly recognized nationally as USA Today called their ribs the best in the U.S. A second Mabel’s opened at the Palms In Las Vegas in 2018 to more rave reviews with critics calling it the best BBQ in Vegas. In 2017, he opened Angeline at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City which was named Atlantic City’s best new restaurant and is a nod to his Italian mother, Angel.
Michael 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. Since Michael’s first cookbook release, he has also put out Carnivore, dedicated to meat lovers, 5 in 5, inspired by a popular speed-‐cooking segment on The Chew, 5 in 5 For Every Season. Michael’s latest releases include Playing with Fire and Fix It with Food and Fix It with Food: Every Meal Easy. Playing with Fire is a cookbook focused on BBQ and live fire grilling, while both versions of Fix It with Food came out of his own experiences in addressing auto-immune diseases and inflammation. All of Michael’s cookbooks were hugely successful and Carnivore, 5 in 5 and Fix It with Food made The New York Times Book Review best sellers list.
When he’s not working, Michael is playing golf, gardening in the backyard and spending time with his wife, Liz, their granddaughter Emmy, grandson Butch and English staffie, Norman.