On a chilly Sunday evening in New York City, rising smoke obscured the skyline as top chefs cooked mass quantities of meat over open fires. The aroma of sizzling steak, slow-roasted pork and smoked BBQ drifted across the highway and teased hungry guests as they made their way to Pier 92 for the New York City Wine & Food Festival’s Meatopia. In addition to celebrating the great meat-focused chefs across the country, the night was also a tribute to the late Josh Ozersky, founder of this famous meat festival.
Tag: Michael Symon
Many people know Michael Symon as the meat guy on Food Network. If you’ve ever heard him talk about meat, you would never think he even eats vegetables. So when FN Dish caught up with the host of Burgers, Brew & ‘Que and asked him to offer up some surprising facts about himself, Michael was a little skeptical, saying, “I feel like I’ve been on TV so long that they know everything.” However, even we were surprised to hear some of the facts he revealed: Let’s just say even the meat guy gets in his greens.
Get to know Michael Symon better and discover some aspects about his life that might surprise you.
On Food Network’s new series Burgers, Brew & ‘Que (Fridays at 10:30|9:30c), Iron Chef and All-Star Academy mentor Michael Symon takes viewers through his favorite cities, introducing us to his ultimate foodstuffs, i.e., burgers, barbecue and beer, among other meaty and nonmeaty things. However, it’s his love for meat that Michael is well known for — that’s no secret. But Michael reveals what he really eats seven days a week, which many people might find shocking.
FN Dish recently caught up with Michael at Hill Country Barbecue in New York City to chat about his show and his favorite topics — which, of course, center around barbecue. We also got into some possible cook-off smack talk regarding his friend Bobby Flay. Can Michael Symon Beat Bobby Flay?
If the name Meatopia isn’t clear enough, its subtitle, The Carnivore’s Ball, definitely explains what the festival, hosted by Michael Symon, is about. Ten years in, it’s still bringing the meat lovers in full force. This year Meatopia partnered with the New York City Wine & Food Festival. Michael, Josh Ozersky, the event’s founder, and Lee Brian Schrager (pictured above) introduced the event. “When Josh started this 10 years ago I thought it was brilliant,” says Michael, a self-professed meat lover. The festival began simply to bring together meat-devoted chefs to cook their best dishes. With this new partnership, explains Michael, “not only is it a wonderful gathering of chefs … but the money goes to a great cause to boot,” calling it “the perfect event.”
The first thing festivalgoers saw upon entering the tents was (vegetarians need not read further) an entire steer roasting over coals, which definitely brought out the carnality in the crowds atop Pier 92 as the sun set on a chilly Sunday afternoon in New York City. Chefs from as far as London were on hand to put their best meaty dishes on display. And the food offerings weren’t just limited to the four-legged variety like pork, beef and lamb, as birds of a feather such as chicken, duck and quail were also included.
As one of Bobby Flay’s first-ever special guests on his all-new series Beat Bobby Flay, Michael Symon was tasked with finding a rival that could outcook the host; after all, no one knows Bobby and his cooking style quite like his longtime colleagues. While Bobby and Michael work together, they’re also close friends and have been known to spend time together offscreen. FN Dish recently caught up with Michael on the set of Beat Bobby Flay to learn more about their friendship and to get an insider’s look at what the famed Iron Chef Flay is like off the clock.
Fans know that you and Bobby are great friends. How did your relationship start?
Michael Symon: Originally we met on my first Food Network show — in 1998 — with Wayne Harley Brachman. Wayne was Bobby’s pastry chef for, like, 15 years, so Bobby and I met then, and we’ve been friends ever since.
What are some things about Bobby that viewers might not know or see on TV.
MS: He’s a pretty quiet guy. [There’s] the personality they see on TV of Bobby — he’s very outgoing on television, obviously — but in real life he’s a pretty quiet guy. Pretty to himself, quiet guy. Very thoughtful guy — a great friend.
Michael Symon may be a guru of all things pork, but at the 2014 South Beach Wine & Food Festival, he switched the focus from pig to chicken as he demonstrated to a standing room-only crowd the fundamentals of fried chicken. “If you learn the technique, you can make a thousand dishes,” he said, explaining his philosophy in the kitchen, which surely applies to the batter-fry process of chicken. He offered sun-soaked fans on the beach a how-to for making the crispiest, juiciest fried chicken yet — a set of must-know strategies that will yield consistent results every time. Read on below to learn Michael’s secrets, then after mastering his approach, update the process with your own ideas to accommodate your tastes.
1. “Buy the best chicken that you can afford.” The overall taste of the dish will be affected by the quality of ingredients that you use, and he says of the meat, “If it can be organic, great.”
2. Proper and frequent salting is key to any recipe. Not only does it add bold flavor, but it also acts as a tenderizer. “Make it rain,” he suggests of this crucial seasoning.
3. He opts for “a quick brine” of buttermilk to offer moisture and enhanced taste when making his fried chicken. This process is different from a traditional long brine, which many do to Thanksgiving turkeys, as this will not break down the meat too much.
Whether it’s the bone-chilling weather, the short, darker days or the cozy sweaters and puffy coats, winter practically necessitates comfort food. And while you likely reach for all things cheesy, warm and hearty to feel soothed this time of year, so, too, do Food Network chefs. FN Dish caught up with Bobby Flay and Michael Symon at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, and we asked the guys to share their favorite sweet and savory indulgences. What we found out is that when it comes to comfort food, tried-and-true classics reign supreme.
Both Michael and Bobby agreed that a classic roast chicken is among their top dishes, but for Bobby, it has to come with the works. “I want the roasted chicken with all the roasted vegetables alongside of it that you cook with it [and] the pan sauce right out of the roasting pan,” he explained.
It’s Thursday, and while that means everyone is just one day away from the weekend, it also means it’s time to throw back — to an earlier period in Food Network’s history. Check back on FN Dish every Thursday to find the latest #tbt of your favorite chefs and get a retro look at their earliest days on TV.
Now a long-standing Iron Chef, Michael Symon had to earn his place in Kitchen Stadium through weeks of hard-fought battles on the first-ever season of The Next Iron Chef. He faced off against top rival chefs in the hopes of claiming the ultimate prize, and finally in 2007, Michael joined the ranks of The Chairman’s elite. He’s been battling competitors with sweet and savory Secret Ingredients ever since.
When it comes to his cooking style, Michael often celebrates the flavors of his Greek heritage and is especially keen on pork — any and all cuts of it. This meat man doesn’t shy away from bold flavors, letting everyday seasonal ingredients shine in order to create the freshest dishes, like Stewed Escarole with Feta, Grilled Rack of Pork with Cabbage, and Chicken-and-Dumpling Soup. Fans appreciate Michael’s straightforward approach to his recipes and ability to combine Kitchen Stadium-worthy flavor with home cook-friendly techniques — not to mention his signature, unmistakable laugh.
Whether it’s enjoying Grandma’s sprinkles-dusted sugar cookies and marshmallow-studded hot cocoa by her fireplace, singing along with your favorite carols in the car, or curling up on the couch and watching timeless Christmas movies, holiday rituals are an essential part of the season. For many, the celebration simply wouldn’t be complete without certain traditions. Just in time for the upcoming holidays, FN Dish sat down with Iron Chef Michael Symon during a recent trip to Atlantic City’s Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa to find out how he celebrates the season. Although much of his work takes him to New York City, he’ll be celebrating in his hometown of Cleveland this year, and when it comes to his seasonal sipper of choice, he’ll reach for rich hot cocoa over eggnog any day. Read on below to hear from Michael and learn more of his holiday must-haves.
Hot cocoa or eggnog: Hot cocoa
Gingerbread or sugar cookies: Gingerbread
The movie Christmas Vacation or Elf: Christmas Vacation