As of December 2015, Michael Symon is a chef, business owner and television personality. Symon has won numerous accolades including being named Best New Chef by "Food and Wine" magazine in 1998 and receiving The James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef in the Great Lakes area. Several of Symon's restaurants, most notably Lola and B Spot, have also received awards.
Symon was born in Cleveland, Ohio, in September 1969. He was raised in North Olmstead, Ohio, where he attended St. Richard School. He received his high school diploma in 1987 from St. Edward High School in Lakewood, Ohio. As a high school student, Symon worked his first job in the culinary industry as a part-time cook for Gepetto's Ribs.
After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in New York in 1990, Symon returned to the Cleveland area. He worked at several restaurants over the next several years, including Player's, Piccolo Mondo and the Caxton Cafe.
Symon and his wife, Liz Shanahan, opened their first restaurant together in 1997. The first restaurant, which was named Lola after Symon's aunt, was very successful. Over the next decade, Symon opened a series of restaurants, including Lolita in 2005, Parea in 2006, Roast in 2008, and Bar Symon and B Spot in 2009. Since then, B Spot has arguably become Symon's most popular creation and is now a chain of six locations as of 2015. B-Spot serves burgers, bologna, brats and beer.
Symon's popularity has extended onto television, where he has appeared on numerous television shows on Food Network, the Cooking Channel and ABC.