Chef Michael Symon is on his way to becoming a household name. Not only does he run Lola, one of Cleveland’s best restaurants, but he also makes regular appearances on Food Network (as an Iron Chef) and co-hosts The Chew on ABC.
At this year’s New York City Wine & Food Festival, being held from Oct. 17 to 20 at locations all throughout the city, Symon will be hosting a cooking demo during the Grand Tasting on Oct. 20, as well as a Times Talk with Mario Batali on Oct. 17. We had a chance to chat with him about what he’s looking forward to at the event, the New York dining scene, and The Chew.
The Daily Meal: What are you most looking forward to this year?
Michael Symon: I'm looking forward to seeing all my chef friends. I only get to spend time with them a couple of times a year.
How does it compare to the other festivals, like in Miami?
The festivals are so different... In Miami you get the amazing weather and beaches and fans who mark the date on the calendar a year in advance. In New York City, you get more hardcore food-centric people who are still having a blast, but, want to keep their street cred, so they are a bit slower to show their excitement.
What are you planning for your demo at the Grand Tasting?
I'm not even sure yet... I like to fly by the seat of my pants!
What do you think makes the New York dining scene different from any other in the world?
It is the best food city in the world bar none; no other place has the variety in culture, flavor, and price points.
What do you love about cooking in front of a crowd?
Pure energy, I feed off their enthusiasm.
How are things going at The Chew?
Unreal! We just had four straight weeks of record viewers.
What do you have in the works these days?
Now, if I told you it wouldn't be a surprise!