So You Think You Can … Cook Like an Iron Chef?

Iron-clad cook: Michael Symon shows how it's done on the new set of Cook Like an Iron Chef.

Iron-clad cook: Michael Symon shows how it's done on the new set of Cook Like an Iron Chef.

On Iron Chef Japan, the secret ingredient is theatrics. On Iron Chef America and Next Iron Chef, the secret ingredient is competition. On this all-new soon-to-be-cult-favorite Cook Like an Iron Chef from Cooking Channel, the secret ingredient is …

Michael Symon. Owner of several restaurants (like Lola Bistro and Lolita near his homeland of Cleveland, Ohio), Symon stepped into kitchen stadium as an Iron Chef in 2007, going head to head in battles with Chefs Batali, Flay, Cora and Morimoto. Now he’s stepping up to another stove, pantry and chopping block to share secrets with you. Why does duck fat make everything taste so good? He’ll tell you. How to perfect scrambled eggs? Not as easy as it seems, but Symon’s ready to demo to devotees. Grab your knives for this one–the other secret ingredient is: You.

(Hungry for his wizardry already? Try one of his fans’ favorite recipes, like honey-brined chicken, mac and cheese or smoked salmon and horseradish cheesecake–yup, you read that right.)

Meantime, here are 5 things to know about mix-master Mr. Symon:

1. Does not think offal is awful. But might raise an eyebrow at the wardrobe of some other chefs, given that jeans and funky t-shirts are his choice.

2. Has tattoos. A lot. Guess how many. Seriously.

3. Restaurants: Lola, Lolita, Roast, Bar Symon (where pigs fly!), and B Spot Burgers (his Fat Doug was chosen as the best in America at the 2010 South Beach Wine and Food Fest).

4. Rides a very special bike. Fast.

5. Soft spot: puppy love.

Follow Chef Symon on Facebook for more deets. And then consider how much better duck fat can make roasted potatoes taste, or how eggplant dip can be ethereal or how scrambled eggs can surpass simplicity. He’ll show you how.

Bonus real-life moment. I met Chef Symon recently and was woozy listening to him talk about food not only as art but as science, suggesting that, in order for its art to be beautiful, the science has to be mastered first. Food. For. Thought. Coming in July on Cooking Channel — can’t wait.

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