Food Network Chef Michael Symon Joins Farm Aid 25: Growing Hope for America

Oct 01, 2010, 18:41 ET from Farm Aid

Historic Benefit Concert to Stream Live on YouTube

MILWAUKEE, Oct. 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Farm Aid and Food Network today announced that Michael Symon, star of the upcoming Food Feuds and The Next Iron Chef, will serve as Features Host of Farm Aid 25: Growing Hope for America, the organization's historic benefit concert scheduled for October 2, at Miller Park. Symon will join host Tavis Smiley for the live concert broadcast on DirecTV's 101 Network, which will air at 5:00 p.m. CDT. The DirecTV broadcast featuring Symon and Smiley will also stream live on Farm Aid's YouTube channel beginning at 5:00 p.m. CDT.

The first chef to host Farm Aid, Michael Symon will be joined onstage by Farm Aid board members Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Neil Young and Dave Matthews with Tim Reynolds, as well as Kenny Chesney, Norah Jones, Jason Mraz, Jeff Tweedy, Band of Horses, Jamey Johnson, Amos Lee, Robert Francis, BoDeans, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Randy Rogers Band and The Blackwood Quartet.

"Chefs are helping shape the way people think about food," said Carolyn Mugar, executive director of Farm Aid.  "When chefs like Michael Symon talk about where food comes from, they help families at home learn more about family farmers and the value of seeking out foods grown on family farms. We're proud that Chef Symon will be the first chef to host Farm Aid and we look forward to building a long relationship with Food Network to help more people think critically about where their food comes from."  

"I was honored to be asked to join these artists that I have admired for both their musical abilities and their commitment to family farmers," said Iron Chef Michael Symon. "I hope my role at Farm Aid 25: Growing Hope for America will help to encourage chefs and cooks across America to buy their food from farmers who take such pride in the best ingredients."  

The all-day festival will be a celebration of music, family farmers and good food and will again feature HOMEGROWN concessions—family farm-identified, local and organic foods. Farm Aid's HOMEGROWN Village will showcase hands-on activities that give concertgoers a chance to meet farmers, get their hands dirty and learn how family farmers are growing good food, protecting our natural resources and connecting us to our roots.

Tickets for Farm Aid 25: Growing Hope for America are available at the Miller Park box office, by phone at (414) 902-4000 or online at For those outside the Milwaukee area, the concert will be broadcast live on DirecTV's The 101 Network.

Join the Farm Aid conversation on Twitter at For more information about Farm Aid, visit  

About Michael Symon

Renowned in the culinary world and adored in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, Michael Symon is the chef and owner of critically acclaimed Lola and Lolita restaurants in Cleveland. Michael's pedigree started upon graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in New York in 1990. Michael has earned much attention through the years for his thoughtful cooking style and his attention to detail.

He was named National Rising Star by Restaurant Hospitality Magazine (May 1997) and one of the Top Ten Best New Chefs by Food and Wine Magazine (July 1998), and listed among America's Best Restaurants in Gourmet Magazine (October 2000), featured in Michael Ruhlman's book The Soul of a Chef (2000), nominated for Best Chef—Great Lakes Region by the James Beard Foundation (2006). In 2007, he competed on the reality competition series The Next Iron Chef and won, securing his place as a permanent Iron Chef on Food Network's hit series Iron Chef America.  This October he joins Season three of The Next Iron Chef as a judge and will also host a new series Food Feuds.  He can also be seen on Cooking Channel's Cook Like an Iron Chef.

About Farm Aid

Farm Aid's mission is to build a vibrant, family farm-centered system of agriculture in America. Farm Aid artists and board members Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews host an annual concert to raise funds to support Farm Aid's work with family farmers and to inspire people to choose family farm food. Since 1985, Farm Aid, with the support of the artists who contribute their performances each year, has raised more than $37 million to support programs that help farmers thrive, expand the reach of the Good Food Movement, take action to change the dominant system of industrial agriculture and promote food from family farms.