The Culinary Institute of America

Michael Symon, CIA culinary arts alumni, is chef and owner at the Lola and Lolita restaurants in Cleveland, has been winner of the Food Network’s The Next Iron Chef, and host to the Food Network’s popular Melting Pot series.

Spotlight On: Michael SymonAOS Culinary Arts

Chef Owner of Lola and Lolita and Iron Chef
Class of 1990

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), hosting Food Network’s popular Melting Pot series, and the 2007 winner of the Food Network’s The Next Iron Chef.

Former host of Food Network’s Melting Pot series, Michael has also appeared on, Sara’s Secrets with Sara Moulton, Ready, Set, Cook, and FoodNation 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). Chef Michael Symon ’90 returned to campus for a special event with current students, where he demonstrated techniques that helped him earn the title of Food Network’s The Next Iron Chef and shared his pressure-packed experiences on the hit reality show in an open Q & A session.

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