Favorite Foods with Chef Michael Symon

Meet Michael Symon:
The Man Behind the Meals.

He's a restaurant owner and chef. He's a TV personality and author. And now, he's the star of Favorite Foods with Chef Michael Symon, a new webisode series from Wisconsin Cheese.

A 1990 graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, Chef Symon's career has truly expanded beyond the kitchen. After working at Player's, Piccolo Mondo, and Caxton Cafe in Cleveland, Ohio, as well as being recognized as Cleveland's hottest chef by The Plain Dealer Sunday Magazine, Chef Symon combined his business acumen and culinary prowess to open Lola Bistro and Wine Bar in 1997. Established with future wife Liz Shanahan, Lola was followed by his Mediterranean-themed restaurant Lolita, in 2005.

In 2001, Chef Symon was profiled in Michael Ruhlman's book, The Soul of a Chef: The Journey Toward Perfection. The two would later collaborate in writing the well-received cookbook, Michael Symon's Live to Cook: Recipes and Techniques to Rock Your Kitchen. Equally comfortable with a pen in his hand as he is with a spatula, Chef Symon has contributed to various publications such as Bon Appétit, Gourmet, and Saveur. He has also hosted Food Network's "Melting Pot" and stars in the Cooking Channel's "Cook Like an Iron Chef."

In 2005, Chef Symon competed on the popular show "Iron Chef America." Two years later, he won the prestigious title on "The Next Iron Chef." 2007 was also the year Chef Symon was named "Best Local Chef" by Cleveland Magazine for his restaurants Lola and Lolita. In 2006, he was nominated for a James Beard Foundation award in the "Best Chef Great Lakes" category. Nominated again in 2009, he took home the distinguished award that year.

Chef Symon's most recent recognition came in 2010 at the Food Network's South Beach Wine and Food Festival. There, his "Fat Doug" hamburger was honored as the "best burger in America."