Chef Michael Symon new headliner for Cleaver and Cork ’23

by Tallahassee Table
Iron chef, author and philanthropist will be the celebrity chef for the TCC Foundation fundraiser.

It’s time again for the big reveal. Michael D. Symon, an Iron Chef on the Food Network, television personality, author and philanthropist, will be the 2023 celebrity chef headliner for the 8th annual Cleaver and Cork Cleaver and Cork event, which will launch with a progressive dinner on Feb. 26.

Symon will be the latest Food Network chef to headline the annual event, presented by the TCC Foundation. Previous Cleaver and Cork events have drawn Food Network stars Aarón Sánchez and Chef Marc Murphy, (2022’s guest chefs), Geoffrey Zakarian, Marcus Samuelsson, Alex Guarnaschelli and Chef Amanda Freitag.

Chef Michael D. Symon. Photos courtesy of Michael D. Symon

From Chef Symon’s bio and other sources:

“Chef Michael Symon cooks with soul. Growing up in a Mediterranean & Eastern European family, the Cleveland native creates boldly flavored, deeply satisfying dishes that not only reflect his heritage but the city he was raised in. Lola, Mabel’s BBQ, Roast, Bar Symon, Angeline and B Spot Burgers are all wonderful examples of not only how Michael was raised but how food shaped him.

“He also shares his exuberant, approachable cooking style and infectious laugh with viewers as an Iron Chef on the Food Network, Burgers, Brew & ‘Que and as ABC’s resident chef. He is also a former co-host of the Emmy-winning TV show, The Chew. Michael is the author of six award winning cookbooks, four of which have landed on The New York Times Best Seller list. When he’s not working, Michael is cooking at home, playing golf, thinking about his next tattoo, gardening in the backyard and spending time with his wife, Liz, Kyle, Krista, their granddaughter Emmy and staffy bull terrier Norman.

Chef Symon and his wife Liz started The Michael D. Symon Foundation in 2010 focused on assisting the Cleveland culinary world and the many charitable needs supported by the restaurant and hospitality industry. 

Cheers! Chef Michael D. Symon was the first chef to host the annual Farm Aid benefit concert.

“Since being named a Best New Chef by Food & Wine magazine in 1998, Michael and his restaurants have been awarded numerous honors: in 2000 Gourmet magazine chose Lola as one of “America’s Best Restaurants;” and it has been named Cleveland’s Best Restaurant on 18 occasions.

Chef Michael Symon earned the 2009 James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef: Great Lakes

“In 2010, Michael was the first chef ever to host the annual Farm Aid benefit concert; Bon Appetit and Food & Wine magazines included B Spot on their list of “Top 10 Best Burger Joints;” B Spot has also won the People’s Choice Award at the SoBe Wine & Food Festival on five occasions. In 2009, Michael earned The James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef: Great Lakes and the Detroit Free Press named Roast “Restaurant of the Year.” “

A culinary team from Kaiser University at the Cleaver and Cork 2022 Food and Wine Festival. Photo / Tallahassee Table

Cleaver and Cork will include three events over the course of the week.

Events include:

· Progressive Cocktail Party – Participating venues will be Black Radish, The Huntsman – Tallahassee, Mimi’s Table Tallahassee, Poco Vino and Savour (Sunday, February 26)

· Signature Dinner (Friday, March 3)

· Food and Wine Festival, which includes classes and demonstrations (Saturday, March 4)

Proceeds from Cleaver and Cork events will directly fund student scholarships. Tickets are on sale at

For more information, see…/tcc-names…/10530560002/

Photo of Chef Michael D. Symon / Provided

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