Michael Symon Wants to Win the SoBeWFF Burger Bash for a Fourth Time

I've seen people hugging you, kissing you. What's that like?
It gets a little crazy. It's fun, though. It's better than having people throw stuff at you or having nobody in your line. Some of the other chefs put on a real show. Guy Fieri was at the top of his station. Spike Mendelsohn had girls dressed in bikinis, We don't do that. We just try to give them a good burger and be friendly.

You're also hosting the carnivorous dinner with Peter Vauthy from Red the Steakhouse in Miami Beach. Can you tell us about that?
Peter's a sweet guy and a wonderful chef. I've known Peter and his business partner for 30 years now from Cleveland. I go way back with those guys. I'm going to do a couple of courses and Peter's going to do a couple of courses. A few dishes we're doing will be a cavatelli with lamb Bolognese and fresh mint, and slow smoked short ribs over some creamy polenta with a salad of shaved fennel, oranges, and watercress.

The Chew became a breakout success. What's that like?

It's great. Mario and I have known each other 15 years. We have fun. We make each other breakfast every day. We've all gotten to be friends and we do a lot outside of the studio together. We actually found out we had the highest rated week since we started the show, so it's been an overwhelming success.There had never been a cooking talk show on network television and we took the place of a show that had been on for 41 years. It was a challenge, but it's been even more successful than we ever thought. I can't even put into words how much I enjoy it.

What are you looking forward to the most at SoBeWFF this year and where in south Florida do you like to go when you have a free moment?

Day one I'll make sure I'm at Michael's Genuine. I always make sure I have lunch at Joe's Stone Crab -- I can eat my weight in those claws. The festival gets us out of the cold. It comes at that time of the year when I am so sick of snow. Look, If it were the Cleveland Wine and Food Festival It would be a tough draw to get all those chefs together in February.

If you could create your own party at next year's festival, what would you do?

I would do sausages. The world's greatest hot dog and sausage sandwiches.

You want to do a sausage fest in Miami Beach?
I wouldn't word it that way, but yes. It would be themed around sausage and beer, because there's nothing better. The hamburger is an American classic and you can eat it on the go The hot dog or sausage is the same exact way. You can grab it, and walk and drink while eating you customized hot dog.

Michael Symon is co-hosting Saturday evening's sold-out Carnivorous Dinner at Red the Steakhouse on Saturday, February 23, at 7 p.m. with Red's chef/partner Peter Vauthy, in addition to participating in the Burger Bash on Friday, February 22, at 7:30 p.m. (also sold out). Symon will also participate in Sunday's Grand Tasting Village (tickets $125 and $225).

Follow Laine Doss on Twitter @LaineDoss and Facebook.



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Red the Steakhouse

119 Washington Ave., Miami Beach, FL

Category: Restaurant

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