Cleveland restaurateur and chef Michael Symon, who has long been a Toledo favorite with his participation in Taste of the Nation events, has taken his culinary talent to a whole new arena. The Cleveland Cavaliers and ARAMARK have teamed up with Symon to bring his signature cuisine to Quicken Loans Arena.
Mr. Symon, who is the chef/owner of Lola and Lolita in Cleveland and Roast in Detroit, is also an Iron Chef on Food Network's Iron Chef America.
As part of the Cavaliers partnership, two Symon-branded dining destinations at The Q will be open for all Cavaliers games and for most arena events. Customized catering packages featuring Mr. Symon's signature menu will be designed for arena suite-holders.
The B Spot ... burgers, beers, and brats, named after Mr. Symon's soon-to-be-opened restaurant at Eton in Woodmere, Ohio, will be on the main concourse. It includes Bacon Burger, Symon Says fried bologna burger, and Lola fries. Bar Symon at the Q is on level four and is named after his recently opened establishment in Avon Lake, Ohio. Featured items include Pork Pastrami, Mac & Cheese, Symon Fried Chicken, and house-made chips.
Mr. Symon also has written a cookbook with Michael Ruhlman, Michael Symon's Live to Cook: Recipes and Techniques To Rock Your Kitchen (Potter, $35). Sizzling pork may be among the chef's trademarks with the likes of pork cheeks with chili, greens with bacon, and pork belly with polenta and wild mushrooms. He lists five things you should never buy: boneless, skinless chicken breast halves because "eating chicken without skin is like riding a bike without wheels;" lean turkey bacon; butter substitutes; beef tenderloin or filet mignon - instead buy a "beautifully marbled rib eye," and peeled chopped garlic which he says lacks the actual flavor of garlic.
Signature dish Beef Cheek Pierogies with Wild Mushrooms and Horseradish can be prepared with beef cheeks or cubed beef shoulder or pork shoulder can be substituted.
Mr. Symon is not the only restaurateur promoting a cookbook this fall.
For Chicago aficionados, The Berghoff Cafe Cookbook by Carlyn Berghoff with Nancy Ross Ryan (Andrews McMeel, $24.99) presents a new collection of classic dishes from the cafe founded by the author's grandfather more than 100 years ago. Recipes range from the Alsatian Onion Soup to the Berghoff Buffalo Cobb salad to Ranch in a Jar (dressing). Daily specials include Classic Salisbury Steak with Mushroom Ju Lie and Spaetzle and Schnitzels.
Fort Worth restaurateur and chef Grady Spears has written Cooking the Cowboy Way (Andrews McMeel, $29.99) showcasing cowboys across North America. At Perini Ranch Steakhouse south of Abilene, Texas, recipes include Ranch-Rubbed Prime Rib and Squash and Hominy Casserole. Canadian cowboys from Homeplace Ranch in Calgary, Alberta are included with Buffalo Sliders with Canadian Cheeses and Ranch Potato Pancakes. Florida's cowboy culture is noted with the Bellamy Brothers Ranch near Tampa. This cowboy food includes Roasted Oysters with Tropical Pico cooked on the grill. Lonesome Pine Ranch in Bellville Texas features Mama Elick's Kolaches with assorted fillings.
The Hot and Hot Fish Club Restaurant in Birmingham, Ala., features the seasonality of the menu. Thus Hot and Hot Fish Club Cookbook: A Celebration of Food, Family, and Traditions by Chris and Idie Hastings (Running Press Books, $35) begins in May and June with seasonal Boiled Peanuts and Shrimp and Avocado Salad. In November and December, you'll find Oyster Shooters, Hearts of Palm Salad with pink grapefruit and avocado, and Pecan Tart.
Kathie Smith is The Blade's food editor.
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