Michael Symon is the Next Iron Chef!
I wasn't sure he'd make it. His competition (John Besh) was very respectable. I would have been okay if he had won. But he didn't. Because Chef Symon did. Because he is awesome.
Michael Symon is a Cleveland chef who owns both Lola, one of the best restaurants in Cleveland, and Lolita, it's more casual, cheaper little sister. Lola is where B and I spent both our first and second anniversary dinners. Both meals were remarkable. I could talk about the perfection of the vanilla infused salad dressing or the perfectly crisped arctic char skin or the amazing pineapple panna cotta concoction for quite a while, but I won't. (We also visited Lola the night after taking Step I of the United States Medical Licensing Exam, aka "The Boards," but I honestly don't remember that much about that meal. I was too stunned and sleep deprived to appreciate it. After we take Step II, we'll be ordering pizza and watching a low-brow movie. Anyway.)
Cleveland doesn't get much glory. We tend to choke in the final round(s) (I'm looking at you, Cavs and Indians...), so I was kind of surprised to see Cleveland come through this time. Congratulations, Chef Symon. Rock on.