How Michael Symon Got Started On Food Network

Irreverent, opinionated, and incredibly talented, Michael Symon is the breakout Food Network star and celebrity chef who has launched himself an impressive career, seemingly out of nowhere. Most widely recognized for his role on "Iron Chef" and stint co-hosting the wildly popular "The Chew" from 2011 to 2018, Symon is one of the most recognizable chefs in America (via IMDb).

Symon is a powerful presence in the culinary world and boasts a reported net worth of $6 million (via Celebrity Net Worth). He owns and operates several successful restaurants in Ohio, including The B Spot, Lolita, and the recently shuttered Lola, which was closed due to challenges related to the pandemic (via WKBN). Along with his ongoing career on the Food Network as the co-host of "Throwdown," a reboot of the original with Bobby Flay, he is also an accomplished cookbook author who maintains his celebrity status with guest appearances and his active social media profiles.

Humble beginnings to celebrity chef stardom

Hailing from the Midwest, Symon was born in 1969 in Cleveland, Ohio, where he was raised in a family steeped in Greek and Sicilian heritage (via Food Network). And, according to Biography Scoop, he first began his road to success with a move to New York City, where he graduated from the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in 1990. Symon was later named Best New Chef by Food & Wine magazine, which he credits for launching his television career (via Food Network). "My big break was in — Food and Wine magazine names me one of the top 10 young chefs in America, and then I won a James Beard Award. So from a culinary standpoint, that's really what launched me," Symon said in an interview with Cleveland news station WKBN.

According to his official Food Network bio, Symon first started popping up on the channel in 1998. He was featured on shows such as "Sara's Secrets" with Sara Moulton, "Ready, Set, Cook", and "Food Nation" with Bobby Flay. This ultimately culminated in his winning the first season of "The Next Iron Chef" in 2008.

From the Food Network and beyond

After his initiation into the Food Network family, what followed for Michael Symon was a head-spinning slew of hosting gigs on Food Network hits. These include "The Melting Pot," "Iron Chef America," "The Best Thing I Ever Ate," "Food Feuds," and "Cook Like an Iron Chef," as well as his tenure on "The Chew," where he received a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Informative Talk Show Host for his efforts in 2015 (via Celebrity Net Worth).

His official website states that Symon currently is a chef for ABC, is co-hosting "BBQ Brawl" on Food Network, and is in his eighth season of "Burgers, Brew, & 'Que" on Cooking Channel. In addition, fans can easily access his six cookbooks via the website, including his New York Times bestseller "Fix It with Food." At the heart of it, Symon is someone who has parlayed his Food Network celebrity status into an enviable career, and we cannot wait to see what he does next.