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July 21, 2008


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I caught the preview ep of DI last night and, Chef Symon - I have to say, you and your team did amazingly well. Wildwood is a place that is near and dear to me so to see you kick it off at one of my favorite places on the shore, kudos.


I can't wait to see the new and improved DI! I love your philosophy of doing amazing things but still having fun. Very cool!


Yep, stayed up to watch the preview last night. I am paying for it today with a 5 o'clock wake up, but it was worth it. Looked crazy and is a much better show than the old one.

Bacon boy! Heh.


My wife and I watched DI last night. We are excited to see the new angles you bring to this show. We enjoy watching you on IC and look forward to seeing you compete more.
We will be in Cleveland for the Browns season opener (I'm a Browns fan, she loves the Cowboys). Although we will only be in town for a few days, we will definitely be stopping into Lola and Lolita for dinner and drinks. Are there any specific menu items that you personally prefer. We checked out the website and both menus look great. Maybe see you there the first weekend in September.

Mr.+Mrs. B


Hey Michael!

Thanks to the Chef's Widow I got the heads up that DI was on last night. My husband and I caught it at 8pm, since we live in California. I'm a big fan - Can't wait to see the rest of the season and I'll also be watching Iron Chef this season too!

Everything on the boardwalk looked amazing, we were especially intrigued by the bacon dessert - sounded yummy! Your team member cracked us up as he taste tested many pieces at the chocolate shop - hilarious!

I grew up in Parma and can't wait to visit my family this year, so I can also check out your restaurants.

I have been following the Cleveland Restaurant Scene via blogs for a bit and I cannot believe how things have changed in the last 12 years (how long I've been away). AWESOME - Go Cleveland Chefs!

Well Done..................

Natalie Sztern

Tsk Tsk..when u start a blog u are supposed to be committed to it...your readers are starving for content and a chef cannot leave his followers starving....alas in the words of my fellow quebecers, vous ĂȘtes pardonnĂ© cette fois.

How's bout u get donna ruhlman to shoot u some nice pictures?


I was really impressed with your creativity on Dinner Impossible. Fudge covered bacon? I never would have thought of it.

We're really looking forward to seeing this showcase for your talents.


I thought it was great... you have brought a sense of fun to DI that was lacking before... And thank goodness they got rid of the annoying timer soundtrack =)

I edit your page at TV.com and have been a fan of yours since Next Iron Chef so I am really looking forward to your season start next month!

Keep up the good work!!

Evelyn Jerome Alexander

Hi Michael -
I have an idea for a DI challenge show - I am working with a nonprofit group that gives disabled kids the opportunity to fly in small planes - on October 18th we will have 20+ private pilots flying more than 135 kids (one at a time - the kids get to be co-pilot!) and we would love for you to feed the kids, their parents, our volunteers and pilots lunch! It's in the Los Angeles area. I have e-mailed Food Network but hoping you read comments here as well - please get in touch!! Thanks!!!


I stayed up past my bedtime and watched DI. It was a blast. The bacon dessert - heaven help me. You are a joy to watch Chef Symon.


Chef Symon said: "We all work super hard and still have alot of fun. Ive never been a believer in a kitchen has to be like a boot camp to put out great food"

Strange, a most used acronym for "DI" is Drill Instructor. Maybe the Food Network should do a visit to a military base and record all of the work it takes to feed a thousand hungry troops three times a day inside of of a Mess Hall.


I'm so disappointed that I'm in Australia now and can't get the food network anymore! I've been looking forward to seeing both new shows.
Maybe I'll have to finangle some internet tv or something. Who knows...


Loved the new Dinner Impossible with you as the chef! It's so refreshing to watch a chef (and team), faced with an almost impossible dinner, approach the challenge with such glee and optimism. So much of television loves to report negative news, that I applaud the Food Network for turning DI around and giving it the positive slant you bring to it Michael. I look forward to the rest of the episodes!


As much as I enjoyed watching you and your crew run your butts off in the Dinner Impossible preview, I think my favorite aspect was the voice-over commentary that you had to add. It seemed to get us into your head... but please, tell me that someone ELSE didn't write that script for you. ;]

J. R.


This is what D:I should have always been. Controversy aside, I think the previous host's military background led to a mostly humorless kitchen, and you and your "motley crew" have changed that, making a once (merely) good show both truly enjoyable and can't miss. My only complaint was that the sneak peek was merely a half-hour!

I hope that this new show brings you further success, both for yourself and the restaurants, but also allows you to enjoy those trappings of such busy success.

Thank you for a highly enjoyable half-hour, and the future episodes of ICA and the new D:I.

By the way - market that bacon fast! As you said on D:I: Money!

Chef Norville

You cannot replace Robert Irvine and (frankly) you shouldn't have let them put you in that position. You need to cultivate your own niche, instead of stealing a rep from Chef Irvine. Remember when the "Today" show pushed Jane Pauley off the air to make room for Deborah Norville? How'd that work out for her?


"Ive never been a believer in a kitchen has to be like a boot camp to put out great food"

I watched the show on Sunday and loved it. I think you were so much more fun to watch than Irvine ever was - specifically because you were nice, fun and happy the whole time.

@Chef Norville - I've got to play devil's advocate on this one... How about Jon Stewart taking over for Craig Kilborn on The Daily Show?

It's clear already that D:I will be a completely different experience with Symon at the wheel. And based on feedback I've heard from people even outside the Cleveland area, it's a very welcome change.


I had to Tivo Sunday's episode and watched it last night - awesome! It was so much better than with the last host - he was mean and awkward to watch. You and your crew looked like you were having a blast and that menu was fab. Very creative with the marg machine and the "shrimp dogs".

When will the chocolate covered bacon be on Lola's menu?

Can't wait to see more!

JoP in Omaha

Hey, Chef, I loved the DI episode that was shown on Sunday. Lots of fun to watch....and it seemed like you were having fun doing it. I'm so glad to be able to watch you work....even if only on TV.

And, I gotta try that chocolate covered bacon. I'm a fan of sweet / salty, so to me this sounds incredible!


My favorite chef and the vacation spot I have been to every year of my life, it doesn't get any better!
I was dreaming about bacon covered in chocolate this AM, then my alarm went off!

Neal L.

Anytime I think of dessert now, chocolate covered bacon with almonds will always come to mind as an option. Awesome

Chef Norville

@Laurel ... the analogy breaks down immediately, since Craig Kilborn was wholly forgettable. Chef Irvine was decidedly not. He produced an outstanding show. It bears his mark. Legalities aside, he owns that concept and Symon will ALWAYS be seen as an interloper in Irvine's shadow; an also-ran who got the job because he happened to be walking past the board room when they were making the decision to fire Irvine. And please notice -- I have said NOTHING to besmirch Chef Symon's vast talents. They just happen to lie elsewhere and he deserves a different program to properly showcase them. The frantic pace, constant juggling, improvisation and perpetual looming catastrophe of "Dinner: Impossible!" was *perfect* for Irvine's temperament.

mr big

chef norville, I am really surpised by your comments. irvine doesnt hold a candle to symon neither in personality or cooking chops. i dont even think he could hold symons knife. the guy used instant mashed potatoes once!!?? he was essentially a hack country club chef with a bad temper and big muscles. i like the new "bond better"

Chef Norville

@mr. big ... And Rachel Ray isn't qualified to sharpen Sakai's ginsu -- so what? People don't watch her show for gourmet cooking tips. Her strengths are in another arena and (as her popularity attests) she has nothing to apologize for. Same for Irvine. The cooking -- though important -- was secondary to the drama and is what made the show compelling.

Chef Norville

@mr. big ... And Rachel Ray isn't qualified to sharpen Sakai's ginsu -- so what? People don't watch her show for gourmet cooking tips. Her strengths are in another arena and (as her popularity attests) she has nothing to apologize for. Same for Irvine. The cooking -- though important -- was secondary to the drama and is what made the show compelling.

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