Renowned in the culinary world and adored in his hometown of Cleveland, Michael Symon is the chef and owner of critically acclaimed Lola and Lolita restaurants in Cleveland, Ohio. Michael's pedigree started upon graduating from The Culinary Institute of America in New York in 1990. Michael quickly began revitalizing the Cleveland palate, while practicing in some of Cleveland's up and coming restaurants, such as Player's, Picolo Mondo, Giovanni's and The Caxton Caf. In these venues, he found success as well as a loyal following and fan base.
In 1997, Michael opened his own restaurant, Lola, collaborating with his future wife, Liz. Lola opened just west of downtown Cleveland in the community of Historic Tremont, receiving glowing reviews. To compliment Michael's menu, Liz brought an unpretentious elegance to both the design of the restaurant and unique wine selection from lesser-known boutique vineyards that made Lola Cleveland's destination of the year. In 2005, Michael, Liz and Doug Petkovic gave birth to a new concept of Lola so they could open Lolita. They once again revitalized a new section of Cleveland with the re-opening of Lola in the heart of downtown Cleveland on E. 4th St. in 2006, becoming once again, the cornerstone and darling of the Cleveland dining scene.
Michael has earned much attention through the years for his thoughtful cooking style and his attention to detail. He was named National Rising Star by Restaurant Hospitality magazine (May 1997 issue), he was named one of the Top Ten Best New Chefs by Food & Wine magazine (July 1998 issue), America's Best Restaurants in Gourmet magazine (Oct. 2000 issue), featured in Michael Ruhlman's book The Soul of a Chef (2000), nominated for best chef-great lakes region by the James Beard Foundation (2006).
Micahel has made appearances on WKYC-TV (Cleveland) on Mondays with Michael and iVillage Live on NBC. He has hosted over 100 episodes of The Melting Pot on Food Network, in addition to appearing on episodes of Sara's Secrets with Sara Moulton, Ready, Set, Cook and Food Nation with Bobby Flay. In 2007, he competed on the reality competition series The Next Iron Chef and won, securing his place as a permanent Iron Chef on Food Network's hit series Iron Chef America.
Michael secured his place as one of the most recognizable celebrity chefs with the 2011 premiere of ABC's daytime talk show "The Chew" which he co-host with Mario Batali, Clinton Kelly, Carly Hall and Daphne Oz.
Michael is the chef and owner of more than 18 restaurants, including Lola and Mabel’s BBQ in downtown Cleveland, locals of B-Spot Burgers throughout the Midwest, and Angeline at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City.
Michael is also the author of five cookbooks, including Playing with Fire and New York Times bestseller Fix it with Food, a guide to managing inflammation and pain with 125+ recipes proving that you don’t need to sacrifice delicious food to eat healthfully and be pain free.