I have a confession. I watch a lot of the Food Network. My favorite shows tend to be the ones that are more competitive in nature. I guess you could chalk that up to the sports fan in me. That is not to say that I don't also enjoy some of the other shows that are less competitive in nature. Shows like Guy Fieri's Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, especially when they feature restaurants local to my area are also a favorite.
As I said, my favorite shows on the network tend to be the more competition oriented shows. I have watched several seasons of The Next Food Network Star, The Worst Cooks in America, and The Next Iron Chef. Needless to say, since I am a fan of The Next Iron Chef that I am also a fan of the original Iron Chef America. One of my favorite Iron Chef's is Michael Symon who one the first season of The Next Iron Chef.
One of the reasons that I like Chef Symon so much is that he has a very engaging personality. He just seems like he is a lot of fun. He also has an infectious and distinctive laugh. Another reason that I like him is his support of Autism Speaks. When appearing on a celebrity version of the show Chopped, his charity was Autism Speaks. Unfortunately, he did not win that competition.
Today, I had the pleasure of getting to meet Michael Symon. He was appearing at the Williams & Sonoma store in Annapolis mall this afternoon signing copies of his new cookbook Carnivore. It has been a while since I attended any kind of signing, so I wasn't sure what to expect as far as a line or wait. I am used to attending signings of sports stars, and have had to wait a couple hours or more to get my autographs.
Symon was scheduled to start signing at noon today. I got to the store shortly after 11 am and bought my copy of the book. It was then that I saw the rather long line waiting to get in to see him. It didn't look that bad. I decided to go ahead and get in line rather than walk around the mall and window shop. It was then that I noticed that they were already allowing people to go in. Symon had gotten there almost an hour early and started signing right away. That has never happened at any signing I have ever attended before.
The line moved pretty quickly, and entered the store right around noon. While waiting my turn, Symon was out of my field of vision, but I could easily hear his distinctive laugh. When it was my turn, he noticed my Benedictine shirt (my son's school) and started a conversation because his father attend a Benedictine school in Cleveland. We had a brief and nice conversation.
The entire event was very well organized. Williams & Sonoma had people who wrote sticky notes to put in the books for how you wanted your book personalized. They had people who would take pictures for you if you had a camera. I have included two of the four pictures they took with my camera phone. I was also impressed that Symon started signing early. I was able to get in and out early enough to get home in time for the Redskins game.
Since I have been home, I have been browsing through the cookbook. There are a lot of recipes that I am looking forward to trying. Unfortunately, my wife could not attend the event with me. I raved to her about how nice a guy Michael Symon was. She now thinks I have a man-crush on him. I don't know if I would classify it as a man-crush, but I do admire the man. Now if I could just get him to fix me a few of these dishes. Michael, I will bring the wine.
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