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Chef Michael Symon Reveals Favorite Summer Foods

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As event season rolls on in the Hamptons, a local favorite is quickly approaching, Dan's Taste of Summer [July 17th-18th]. We're happy to report that the host of The Chew Michael Symon has been added to the roster as a co-host of Taste of Two Forks. We caught up with the Iron Chef and chatted about his newest ventures, all things barbecue, and his favorite summer ingredients.

We're pretty psyched that you're co-hosting Dan's Taste of Two Forks! What are you most excited about?
I'm excited to co-host with Katie Lee and to hang with so many awesome local farmers, chefs and winemakers.

You've got so many new projects going on right now that it's tough to keep up. Which one are you finding most challenging?
I never feel challenged, only excited, and I'm thrilled to be opening Mabel's BBQ. We're looking forward to introducing Clevelanders to a new BBQ style they can call their own. I've been working hard to nail the sauce, source the best local wood for the smoker, test recipes and finalize the menu. I can't wait to open the doors later this summer.

With so much expansion, could you ever see yourself opening a restaurant in the Hamptons?
No.

Why not?
It's a place that I love to visit and relax; our son lives there, so if he ever wanted to open a restaurant, I'd be happy to help him, but I'm a Midwest guy!

As for your new show, "Burgers, Brew and 'Que", will you be touring your favorite barbecue and burger joints, or will you be teaching us how to cook in this style?
I'll be traveling to find and eat my way through some of the best All-American spots for burgers, barbecue, and local beers. We'll also be showing viewers some great technique.

Since you are a co-host of The Chew and you are also a James Beard Award winner, do you currently view yourself as more of a TV personality or as a restaurateur?
I view myself as a chef first, then restaurateur, and TV personality. I wouldn't have had the opportunity to open restaurants or cook on TV if I didn't work my ass off in the kitchen.

For the summer, what ingredients do you think are underutilized by most people?
Radishes right from the garden with sweet butter and sea salt; simply grilled eggplant with olive oil, basil and crumbled feta; and melon with savory dishes—grilled cantaloupe and honeydew or watermelon and mint.

What's your favorite meal during the summer?
A huge slab of meat on the smoker, grilled corn and a big tomato salad.