Chef Mike Symon '90 Bio:

Renowned in the culinary world and adored in his hometown of Cleveland, Michael is the chef and owner at the critically acclaimed Lola and Lolita restaurants in Cleveland. A graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, Michael's pedigree includes being included as one of the Ten Best New Chefs in America by Food & Wine (1998), a memorable performance as an Iron Chef contestant (2005), and hosting Food Network's popular Melting Pot series.

Former host of Food Network's Melting Pot series, Michael has also appeared on, Sara's Secrets with Sara Moulton,Ready, Set, Cook and Food Nation with Bobby Flay. Michael has been seen as a frequent guest on iVillage Live on NBC, and on "Monday's with Michael" on the WKYC Cleveland. Michael has been featured in national magazines such as Gourmet, Bon Appétit, Saveur, Food Arts, Esquire and O., The Oprah Magazine. Michael has also worked with Vita-Mix as a spokesperson and is a brand ambassador for Calphalon.

Michael has garnered a host of awards, including Restaurant Hospitality magazine's national 'rising star' (1997), Northern Ohio Live magazine’s Best Restaurant and Chef in Northeast Ohio (1998) and one of Food & Wine magazine's Ten Best New Chefs in America (1998). Cleveland Magazine selected Lola as its Best New Restaurant in 2007, also naming Michael as Best Local Chef for Lola and Lolita. He was nominated for a James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef Great Lakes (2006). Michael likes to unwind from his frenetic schedule with a zip on either of his dual vintage Harleys along the back streets of Cleveland.

Podcast with Michael
Chef Symon tells us how his CIA education helped him to win the coveted title of Iron Chef.