Michael Symon is known for hosting several Food Network programs, such as Iron Chef America, The Best Thing I Ever Ate, and Food Feuds. Additionally, he has written several cookbooks and contributed to magazines including Gourmet and The Oprah Magazine.
For the residents of Cleveland, Ohio, Symon is more than just a chef. He is recognized as one of those responsible for “saving” Cleveland’s culinary culture. Lola and Mabel’s BBQ is one of the local eateries that Michael owns.
- 1 Liz married Michael Symon for the second time
- 2 Gordon M. Grant and Kyle Shanahan for The New York Times
- 3 Michael Symon was persuaded to try vegetarianism by his wife
- 4 He says he hasn’t quite mastered his mother’s baklava
- 5 Michael had to alter his diet
Michael’s Ex-wife and the couple tried to be friends, but it didn’t work out
Liz Sanderson, Michael’s wife, and the couple tried to be friends, but it didn’t work out.
When Michael Symon first met Liz, she was the restaurant manager and he had just graduated from culinary school. Symon believed Liz was attractive and had a “presence,” but he never made a romantic move on her. As their friendship grew, Michael relocated to Caxton Café in 1994.
Michael suggested Liz for the management position at the establishment because it was vacant. Liz accepted the gift, and over time her relationship with Symon deepened. They eventually reached a point where their deeper shared experience prevented them from remaining friends. According to Symon, The New York Times:
“After work, the employees would go out together, get drinks, make out, and then decide that it was a mistake and that they should just be friends. After a week had passed, we would go out once more, and the same thing would occur.
After giving up on attempting to be friends, the couple began dating. When Symon couldn’t afford to buy a ring, he borrowed one from a friend and proposed two years later. At Cleveland’s Pilgrim Church on November 1, 1998, the pair exchanged vows. According to Symon’s statement to The New York Times, his wife is the most unique person he knows. He stated:
It’s fun to chat with her and listen to her. We feel more connected, passionate, and able to communicate. Why are you with your wife if you don’t think she’s the most special person in the world?
Liz married Michael Symon for the second time
Liz married Michael for the second time. Kyle, Michael’s stepson, is a product of her first marriage. Michael cared for Kyle as if he were his child, and he insisted that his family eat meals together. After Michael and Liz launched their first restaurant, it became more challenging to juggle family and work obligations, but the family made an effort to have meals together.
Family is the most important thing in the world to Michael. He discussed how he incorporates his nieces and nephews in food preparation in an interview with Newsday. He admitted that his family is more important to him than career progress in a piece he wrote for Medium. Symon penned:
Since I started working in the restaurant and television industries when I was 19, I’ve put in a lot of 80- to 90-hour work weeks. Finding the right balance between pursuing your goals and putting your family first is difficult.
He assisted his stepson in New York in creating a prosperous coffee and doughnut shop.
Gordon M. Grant and Kyle Shanahan for The New York Times
Given that he was raised by two excellent chefs, it was virtually a given that Kyle would follow his parents into the restaurant industry. After assisting with the opening of a café in Lakewood, Ohio, Kyle began making plans for his business. After relocating from Cleveland to East Hampton, New York, he expedited his preparations.
He began looking for stores, but the ones he discovered were overpriced. To pay for daily expenditures, he worked at a historical society thrift shop in the interim. He finally located a cheap storefront in Sag Harbor after three years of looking. Kyle wanted to build a coffee shop, but there were already a number of them in the neighborhood.
He asked Michael for guidance, and Symon suggested that he add sandwiches and donuts to his shop’s menu. Kyle remarked to Food Network Magazine:
“I was immediately smitten with the notion when Michael brought up doughnuts. Doughnuts are enjoyable, and people would notice us if we were carrying one.
Kyle established Grindstone Coffee and Donuts in August 2016. His investment and his father’s counsel were profitable. Kyle can rely on Michael’s assistance whenever he needs it, as well as the culinary prowess of his father. Magzter claims that whenever Michael is in town, he frequently works a shift at Kyle’s restaurant.
Michael Symon was persuaded to try vegetarianism by his wife
Michael attempted to adopt a strict vegetarian diet around the end of 2015. He stopped eating meat and started eating more fruits and vegetables. Michael tweeted that he was in excellent health and had no desire to eat. However, he revealed his genuine sentiments about becoming a strict vegetarian in an interview with The Miami Herald in February 2016. He stated:
“I tried going three weeks without eating meat, but it didn’t work for me. I won’t lie to you. It irked me. I wasn’t feeling well. You must follow your own plan of action.
Every time he and his wife are alone, Michael eats vegetarian meals twice a week. He clarified in a piece he published on Medium:
“I have always been a vegetarian on two of the seven days. I can always add something to the vegetables when I have a large supper at home. When I’m entertaining, I make vegetarian dishes that I can top with proteins, but when Liz and I are alone, we only eat vegetarian food.
He says he hasn’t quite mastered his mother’s baklava
Michael was raised in a Greek and Sicilian household with a passion for food. He was motivated to begin a career as a chef by his grandma and mother. Despite being one of the most well-known and respected chefs in the world, Symon insists that he has not yet perfected his mother’s baklava. According to him, Food Network Magazine:
“My mother is the only one who can properly prepare the baklava according to a family recipe. Since I was 4 years old, I have watched her prepare it, but every time I goof up and “over-chef” it.
When Michael’s mother sees him acting improperly, she still corrects him. She served as the model for Symons’ restaurant, Angeline, which bears her name. The restaurant serves food made from family recipes, and its signature dish is lasagna from mom. Michael stated to Food & Wine:
“Lasagna night was a Wednesday tradition at my parents’ house that all of my friends begged to attend. On Wednesday, the only night of the week I was genuinely delighted to arrive early for supper, you could practically smell the lasagna baking from houses away. I’ve had lasagna from all around the world, but none has ever compared to Mom’s.
Michael had to alter his diet
To manage his lupus and arthritis, Michael had to alter his diet.
When Michael was in his 20s, he discovered that he had rheumatoid arthritis and external lupus. He acknowledged that he would have to live with pain and drugs for the rest of his life in his book Fix it With Food. However, he made the decision to try different diets to see if they madecideds. He said to Salon:
“So I just started experimenting with my diet to see if I could change anything or if it would affect how I feel. I thus conducted a 30-day reset where I simply took out anything in my diet that had anything to do with inflammation when I did it for the first time and when I first started figuring it out, which was terrible. I was furious. For 30 days, it seemed as though I could not eat anything I enjoyed.
The reset made him angry, but it also allowed him to reintroduce foods to his diet and identify his triggers. He discovered that dairy and sugar were his triggers. Michael began to rely less and less on painkillers after eliminating these foods from his diet because the pain subsided with time.
Symon was motivated to write Fix it with Food by his personal experience. The book provides a variety of diets to assist readers in identifying and avoiding their triggers while still enjoying delectable meals.
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