Those who pay attention to the local food scene know that Michael Symon will now be dividing his time between his two Cleveland restaurants — Lola, the new and even cooler incarnation of the original, scheduled to open in May on East Fourth Street, and Lolita, his more affordable, year-old spot in Tremont — and Parea, a Greek-themed restaurant in New York City. What’s worth noting about this is that a Cleveland chef was tapped to head up a Big Apple restaurant. Symon’s innovative ideas and unique talents were a standout even in a city overflowing with culinary stars. It’s often true that people on the coasts set dining trends and we follow. But sometimes, great things originate here.
Symon, who talks with his old buddy Mike Longo and writer Greg MacLaren (page 19) has also been nominated by the local chapter of Slow Food USA, along with Dominic Cerino, chef/owner of Carrie Cerino’s Ristorante in North Royalton, to attend the Terre Madre conference in Turin, Italy, this fall. We wrote about the 2004 gathering in the first issue of Feast! You can access the story on our Web site, www.feastmagazine.net, along with some news about how Zagat’s rates Cleveland restaurants.
These are just the kind of accomplishment we like to celebrate in the pages of Feast! In this issue we highlight three new books by local authors, the opening of the area’s first cooking school for those on the pro track, and a fresh “crop” of great hometown products and recipes.
Clevelanders have plenty of reasons to strut when it comes to the world of food. We’re running with the big dogs of the culinary establishment, and sometimes we even lead the pack. Feast! is here to tell you all about it.