In this new series, we're asking celebrity chefs to tell us about their first kitchen jobs. Our first subject is Michael Symon, the James Beard Award-winning cook behind Lola, Lolita, Roast, and B Spot. You've probably seen him on Food Network, judging The Next Iron Chef or competing himself on Iron Chef America. Below, he recounts his time as a teenage rib cook in Cleveland. We'll be publishing more first-job installments in the coming weeks, so keep an eye out for interviews with your favorite TV chefs about their humble beginnings.
I was a rib cook at Geppetto’s when I was 14. It’s a chain out in Ohio, but when I was there, they only had one. My friend’s Dad owned the place. He was just a complete character. When I was a teen he was the coolest person I’d ever met and I just wanted to be him.