Michael Symon (birth name – Michael D. Symon) is an American author, television personality, restaurateur, and James Beard Foundation Award-winning chef, who has a few successful restaurants throughout Cleveland, Ohio.
Symon was the host of Dinner: Impossible’s fifth season. Also, Michael appeared regularly on Iron Chef America and The Chew. In addition, he was a commentator on the cooking show The Chew.
He was born on September 19, 1969, in Cleveland, Ohio, USA.
Michael is the son of Dennis Symon and Angel Symon. Symon has Sicilian, Italian, and Greek descent.
He attended St. Edward High School in Lakewood as well as St. Richard School in North Olmsted.
During high school, Symon started cooking when a broken arm ended his competitive wrestling days.
In 1990, Michael attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York.
Later, he returned to Cleveland and started to work at The Caxton Cafe, Giovanni’s, Picolo, and Mondo.
In February 1997, Symon opened Lola in Cleveland.
Michael recently said:
”When I first opened a restaurant 22 years ago, I never thought about whether or not there was a good place at the location where someone could take a picture on Instagram.”
In 2005, Symon converted Lola into Lolita. In 2006, he reopened Lola in downtown Cleveland.
In the same year, he opened a third restaurant, Parea, in New York City.
On August 27, 2007, he appeared in the “Cleveland, OH” episode of the TV series ”Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations.”
In autumn 2008, Michael opened ”Roast,” a restaurant at the Westin Book Cadillac Hotel in Detroit, Michigan. He said:
”My first restaurant outside of Cleveland was Roast, which is still there in Detroit since 2007. It’s a wood-fired meat house.”
On July 1, 2009, Michael opened a restaurant called Bar Symon in Avon Lake, Ohio.
In 2011, he opened two BSpot locations, one in Westlake and another in Strongsville.
In 2012, he was paired with American actress and producer Eva Longoria for promoting Pepsico’s Lay’s potato chip named – “Do Us A Flavor.”
On June 25, 2012, in partnership with The Paradies Shops and United Concessions Group, Michael opened a Bar Symon in Pittsburgh International Airport-Airmall.
On November 21, 2015, Michael opened Symon’s Burger Joint in Austin, TX close to The University of Texas.
In the follow-up year, he opened Mabel’s BBQ on East 4th Street.
In May 2017, Michael opened Angeline at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City.
Donald Trump Ban
In 2016, it was announced that Donald Trump is banned from dining at any of chef Symon’s acclaimed restaurants.
During an interview, Michael said:
“I’ve been fortunate or unfortunate enough to meet him through the years and I’m not going to lie, he creeps me out a little bit.”
Symon went on to say:
“There’s not a chance I’d let him into one of my restaurants.”
His released books are:
- 2009 – Live to Cook: Recipes and Techniques to Rock Your Kitchen Michael Symon’s Live to C;
- 2013 – 5 in 5: 5 Fresh Ingredients + 5 Minutes = 120 Fantastic Dinners: A Cookbook;
- 2015 – 5 in 5 for Every Season: 165 Quick Dinners, Sides, Holiday Dishes, and More: A Cookbook.
Michael Symon is married to Liz Shanahan. He said:
”When I first met Liz, she was one of my favorite people to be around, and she still is.”
Symon has one stepson, named Kyle.
“Ever since I was a little boy, Greek yogurt has been a staple in my kitchen.”
”Jonathan Waxman and Alice Waters. Those are the two that I’ve always looked up to the most.”
”My wife hates it, but I love Miracle Whip so much! It’s tangy — it’s got a nice mustardy tang to it.”
”My summer cocktail is Knob Creek Rye with a little splash of Aperol on ice.”
”I follow my dad’s happy-marriage advice: “Any argument you think you’ve won, you’ve actually lost.”
In 2019, longtime friends Symon and American celebrity chef Bobby Flay competed against each other on Food Network’s BBQ Brawl: Flay vs. Symon.
Bobby Flay said:
”Well, we’ve been good friends for a really long time and it was something I had been talking to the network about in terms of like a barbecue competition.”
In 2010, Symon was the first chef ever to host the annual Farm Aid benefit concert.
Michael has the words “Got Pork” paired with 2 pink pigs tattooed on his chest.
His grandfather was an inspiration for his love of food.
Symon likes to play golf.
Michael was featured on the Food Network programs ”The Best Thing I Ever Ate” and ”Food Feuds.”
In 1998, he was named a Best New Chef by Food & Wine magazine.
His wife is a vegetarian.
In 2005, Michael was named one of the top five new chefs, by Food & Wine magazine.
He appeared on:
- Burgers, Brews & ‘Que;
- Food Feuds;
- Symon’s Suppers;
- Cooking Channel’s Cook Like an Iron Chef;
- All-Star Academy;
- The Best Think I Ever Ate;
- Dinner: Impossible;
- Food Nation with Bobby Flay;
- No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain;
- Cook program;
- Sara’s Secrets.
In 2000, Gourmet magazine chose Lola as one of “America’s Best Restaurants.”
He is credited with helping to “save” the restaurant scene in Downtown Cleveland.
Michael Symon – Net Worth
Symon earns most of his wealth from his chain of restaurants. So far, he has open – Angeline at the Borgata in Atlantic City, Roast at the Westin Hotel in Detroit, Bar Symon located at the Washington Dulles International Airport, Mabel’s BBQ in Cleveland, three locations of B Spot Burgers, and Lola.