Friday, May 4, 2012

[NY Post] Flee to the Cleve

By now a familiar face to anyone watching the cable cooking shows — and now finding an even broader audience as the co-host of ABC's food-centric daytime talkshow, "The Chew," Michael Symon — or, rather, make that Iron Chef Michael Symon — began his career far out of the spotlight, in his hometown of Cleveland.

There, he was one of the city's earliest and most vocal advocates for revival, opening a restaurant, Lola, in Cleveland's Tremont neighborhood back in the 1990s, at a time when the area was still plagued by arson and the occasional car bombing. Since then, Symon has watched the city's urban core redevelop, one neighborhood at a time.

Symon, who says his New York friends like to poke fun at him for selecting struggling Rust Belt cities like Cleveland and Detroit for his restaurants, shrugs it off, proud of what the city's become.

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