Since he first appeared on Food Network in 1998, chef Michael Symon has become an integral part of many of the network’s successful series. The Chew host won viewers over with his down-to-earth personality and love for his family. Michael has been happily married to his wife, Liz Symon, since 1998. He has also served as a mentor and role model to Liz’s son Kyle Shanahan, from a previous marriage.
Before taking on the role of stepdad, the James Beard Award winner met his future wife when they were working together at a restaurant called Players in 1990. They quickly established a great friendship between them. Their working relationship continued when they were both hired at another restaurant called Caxton Café. Kyle was 6 years old at the time when his mom and stepdad began dating.
“We’d get done with work, the staff would go out together, we’d get drinks, then we’d make out and think, ‘That was a bad idea, we should just be friends,’” Michael told the New York Times in January 2018 about falling in love with Liz. “Then a week would pass, we’d go out again, and the same thing would happen.”
After moving in together, Michael proposed and the pair were married in 1998. They have opened up several successful restaurants together, even influencing Kyle to follow his own culinary passions. He opened up Grindstone Coffee & Donuts in 2016. The name of the shop was inspired by his grandparents.
“When I was little, my grandmother and I would hike through the river where the workers tossed the remnants of broken grindstones and carving stones,” he said in a March 2018 interview. “I would hunt for them as if they were ancient treasure. It’s one of my favorite memories.”
Kyle’s brioche donuts have become a hit with the patrons of his Sag Harbor establishment. The shop sells thousands of donuts each day, an outcome the culinary genius never anticipated. But, opening up a donut shop of his own was always a dream for the Ohio native. “I grew up in the industry — I had no choice, really,” he joked in an August 2016 interview with The Southampton Press.
Along with being a successful business owner, Kyle is a proud husband and father of two. He welcomed his first child, daughter Emmy, with his wife, Krista, in December 2018. His second child, son Butch, was born in October 2021. Michael absolutely loves being a grandfather and is constantly showing his social media followers adorable pictures of his growing family.