Michael Symon’s Live to Cook

by Michael Symon, Michael Ruhlman

ISBN-10: 0307453650
ISBN-13: 9780307453655
Region: USA
Publisher: Clarkson Potter
Publication Date: November, 2009
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Publishers Information

About Michael Symon’s Live to Cook

Publisher Web Link: http://www.randomhouse.com/crown/clarksonpotter/index.php

Michael Symon's Live to Cook: Recipes and Techniques to Rock Your Kitchen

Hometown boy turned superstar, Michael Symon is one of the hottest food personalities in America. Hailing from Cleveland, Ohio, he is counted among the nation’s greatest chefs, having joined the ranks of Mario Batali, Bobby Flay, and Masaharu Morimoto as one of America’s Iron Chefs. At his core, though, he’s a midwestern guy with family roots in old-world traditions. In Michael Symon’s Live to Cook, Michael tells the amazing story of his whirlwind rise to fame by sharing the food and incredible recipes that have marked his route.

Michael is known for his easy, fresh food. He means it when he says that if a dish requires more than two pans to finish, he’s not going to make it. Cooking what he calls “heritage” food–based on the recipes beloved by his Greek—Italian—Eastern European—American parents and the community in Cleveland–Michael draws on the flavors of traditional recipes to create sophisticated dishes, such as his Beef Cheek Pierogies with Wild Mushrooms and Horseradish, which came out of the pierogies that his grandpa made. Michael translates the influences of the diverse working-class neighborhood in which he grew up into dishes with Mediterranean ingredients, such as those in Olive Oil Poached Halibut with Fennel, Rosemary, and Garlic; Italian-style handmade pastas, like Linguini with Heirloom Tomato, Capers, Anchovies, and Chilies; and re-imagined Cleveland favorites, such as Mac and Cheese with Roasted Chicken, Goat Cheese, and Rosemary.

Part of Michael’s irresistible allure on the Food Network comes from how much fun he has in the kitchen. To help readers gain confidence and have a good time, Michael Symon’s Live to Cook has advice for cooking like a pro, starting with basic instructions for how to correctly use techniques such as braising, poaching, and pickling. There’s also information on how caramelizing vegetables and toasting spices can give dishes a greater depth of flavor–instead of a heavy, time-consuming stock-based sauce–and why the perfect finishing touch to most meat or fish dishes can be a savory hot vinaigrette instead.

With fantastic four-color photography throughout and tons of helpful “Symon Says” tips, Michael Symon’s Live to Cook is bound to get anyone fired up about getting into the kitchen and cooking up something downright delicious.

Author Information

About Michael Symon

Author Web Link: http://www.lolabistro.com/

Renowned in the culinary world and adored in his hometown of Cleveland, Michael Symon is the chef and owner of critically acclaimed Lola and Lolita restaurants in Cleveland, Ohio. Michael’s pedigree started upon graduating from The Culinary Institute of America in New York in 1990. Michael quickly began revitalizing the Cleveland palate, while practicing in some of Cleveland’s up and coming restaurants, such as Player’s, Picolo Mondo, Giovanni’s and The Caxton Café. In these venues, he found success as well as a loyal following and fan base.

In 1997, Michael opened his own restaurant, Lola, collaborating with his future wife, Liz. Lola opened just west of downtown Cleveland in the community of Historic Tremont, receiving glowing reviews. To compliment Michael’s menu, Liz brought an unpretentious elegance to both the design of the restaurant and unique wine selection from lesser-known boutique vineyards that made Lola Cleveland’s destination of the year. In 2005, Michael, Liz and Doug Petkovic gave birth to a new concept of Lola so they could open Lolita. They once again revitalized a new section of Cleveland with the re-opening of Lola in the heart of downtown Cleveland on E. 4th St. in 2006, becoming once again, the cornerstone and darling of the Cleveland dining scene.

Michael has earned much attention through the years for his thoughtful cooking style and his attention to detail. He was named National Rising Star by Restaurant Hospitality magazine (May 1997 issue), he was named one of the Top Ten Best New Chefs by Food & Wine magazine (July 1998 issue), America’s Best Restaurants in Gourmet magazine (Oct. 2000 issue), featured in Michael Ruhlman’s book The Soul of a Chef (2000), nominated for best chef-great lakes region by the James Beard Foundation (2006), as well as making appearances on WKYC-TV (Cleveland) on Mondays with Michael and iVillage Live on NBC. He has hosted over 100 episodes of The Melting Pot on Food Network, in addition to appearing on episodes of Sara’s Secrets with Sara Moulton, Ready, Set, Cook and Food Nation with Bobby Flay. In 2007, he competed on the reality competition series The Next Iron Chef and won, securing his place as a permanent Iron Chef on Food Network’s hit series Iron Chef America.  (http://www.foodnetwork.com/)

Cookbooks by Michael Symon


About Michael Ruhlman

Author Web Link: http://ruhlman.com/

The best things in life happen when you get carried away. I went into a cooking school to write about what it means to be a chef, and instead I became a cook, got a job line cooking, lucked into one of the great restaurants of the world to work with the chef on his book, and I kept on writing about food. I got carried away, and it’s made all the difference.

The facts are these: Born 1963 in Cleveland, graduated Duke in 1985 with a BA in literature, worked at The New York Times as a copyboy where I managed to slip some stories into most sections of the paper, departed after fewer than two years to pursue a desultory life of writing, travel and odd jobs, returning to Cleveland with my wife, Donna, a newspaper and magazine photographer, in 1991. Found work at a local magazine covering arts and cultural scene and here began writing about chefs and cooking.

My first book, Boys Themselves (1996), revealed life at an all-boy day school that was defiantly all-boys at a time when anything all-boys was considered toxic and anything all-girls was great for girls.

A committed cook since fourth grade, I proposed to the Culinary Institute of America, the oldest and most influential professional cooking school in the country, that I be allowed into its kitchen classrooms in order to write a narrative of how the school trains professional chefs. The school agreed, and I wrote The Making of a Chef (1997), rereleased in 2009 in a new paperback edition.

I became so fascinated by the work of the professional cook and the culture of the restaurant kitchen that I continued to pursue the work and wrote a book about chefs and cooking, The Soul of a Chef (2000). I co-wrote The French Laundry Cookbook (1999) with Thomas Keller at the same time, and he and I subsequently wrote a food column for the Los Angeles Times for two years.

In February 1999, I moved with my family to Martha’s Vineyard to research and report on life at a yard making plank-on-frame boats for the book Wooden Boats: In Pursuit of the Perfect Craft at an American Boatyard (2001). In October 2000, I began work at the Cleveland Clinic’s Children’s Hospital for the book Walk on Water (2003). I wrote it concurrently with A Return to Cooking (2002), with Eric Ripert, chef-owner of Le Bernardin, the Manhattan four-star restaurant.

Other books include House: A Memoir, about the purchase and renovation of a 1901 house in Cleveland and an exploration of the nature of home in our vagabond culture, and The Reach of a Chef: Professional Cooks in the Age of Celebrity. Other cookbooks include Bouchon, written with Keller and the others from the French Laundry Cookbook team, about French comfort food, and Under Pressure, the first American cookbook to explore the possibilities of sous vide cooking. I was a contributor to the Alinea, Grant Achatz’s tour de force on the new new cuisine. I wrote Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking and Curing–a thinly veiled love song to the pig, to animal fat and salt, sausages, confits, pates, terrines–with my friend, the Michigan chef Brian Polcyn.

I have been on several television shows, “Cooking Under Fire” on PBS, and, on the Food Network, I was a judge on the “Next Iron Chef,” appear occasionally as a judge on “Iron Chef America,” and have been a featured guest on the Travel Channel’s “Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations,” Las Vegas and Cleveland episodes.

In 2007 I published The Elements of Cooking: Translating the Craft for Every Kitchen, “an indispensable compendium of cooking information for both professional and amateur cooks constitutes a precise, unpretentious, unencumbered culinary handbook” (Booklist). I realized one day leaving a food writers symposium that I’d spent so much time in kitchen and so much time with the country’s best chefs that I had a huge amount of knowledge about cooking, information that would be valuable to anyone who cared about cooking, from professional chefs to committed home cooks. Needing a structure for all this information I turned to one of my favorite books about the craft of writing, Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style. The book contains essays on the fundamentals of cooking and a deeply opinionated glossary of important cooking terms we all need to know.

My most recent book is Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking, a book devoted to understanding the relationships between our most basic ingredients and how those relationships form the backbone of the craft of cooking.

This fall two new cookbooks I’ve had a hand in will be published: Thomas Keller: At Home with Ad Hoc, the fourth from this team, and Symon Says: Live to Cook, a cookbook from my friend, fellow Clevelander, Michael Symon, chef-restaurateur (Lola/Lolita) and an Iron Chef Food on Network’s “Iron Chef America.” Donna and I continue to live in Cleveland Heights with our two kids, writing, shooting and cooking.  (http://blog.ruhlman.com/)

Cookbooks by Michael Ruhlman


Recipe Index

Recipe index coming soon.