My wife, Liz, and I met in 1989 at Player's in Lakewood, Ohio where I was the sous chef. We worked together for several years, and just like the stories of so many other chef-turned-restaurant-owners, we worked for other people for a very long time, and we just wanted to try our hand at it.
Opening day, we didn’t know what was going to happen. We opened the doors and the whole place was packed in 30 minutes. It has been full ever since.
We opened Lola in the neighborhood we lived in called Tremont, which at the time was nothing like it is now. Now, it is an incredible restaurant section of Cleveland. We were the first upscale restaurant to be in the neighborhood. We loved the neighborhood even though everyone told me I was insane for opening a restaurant there.
It took us over a year to build and open Lola, and on opening day, we didn’t know what was going to happen. We opened the doors and the whole place was packed in 30 minutes, and we had an hour and a half wait! It has been full ever since.
Lola soon led to Lolita which led to Roast, Bar Symon and B Spot. While restaurants are where I got my start and still at the heart of my career, I love sharing what I do with viewers on Food Network's Iron Chef America and as a co-host on ABC’s The Chew.
This week, I'm so happy to be able to share even more as I launch my third cookbook, based on my segment "5 in 5" on The Chew. 5 in 5: 5 Fresh Ingredients + 5 Minutes = 120 Fantastic Dinners features recipes to help get a meal made from scratch on the table in 5 to 10 minutes. It is about having the ability to prepare a meal quickly so you can still enjoy that family time on a daily basis.
I'm also excited to share a bit more of myself with you as Kitchen Daily's Guest Editor. Explore my favorite cooking tips, learn how I named my restaurants, find some recipes from my new book and get cooking!