Michael Symon Back to Keynote Mid-America Restaurant Expo

COLUMBUS, OH (May 3, 2018) Back by popular demand, Celebrity chef, restaurateur, James Beard award winner and television star Michael Symon returns as keynote speaker for the 2019 Mid-America Restaurant Expo.

The Expo is the premier Midwest regional restaurant and foodservice industry tradeshow that focuses on innovation, technology and trends, and is scheduled for January 13-14 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. Symon's keynote speech at the Expo will take place on Sunday, Jan. 13.

Michael Symon is a Cleveland native who owns and operates several restaurants in America's heartland including Lola, Mabel's BBQ, Roast, Bar Symon and B Spot. He also shares his exuberant and approachable cooking style with viewers as an Iron Chef on the Food Network and as a co-host on ABC's The Chew. He has also published four cookbooks.

While Michael shines on television, he is a genuine hometown guy. When he's not working, he can be found riding his motorcycle through Cleveland, cooking at home, playing golf, thinking about his next tattoo, gardening in the backyard and spending time with his wife, Liz, and their Old English bulldog, Ozzy.

A high-resolution photo is available by emailing

More about the Mid-America Restaurant Expo

In its third year, the Mid-America Restaurant Expo, operated by the Ohio Restaurant Association, attracts more than 4,000 experts, exhibitors and operators from throughout the Midwest to discuss the latest trends and topics driving the restaurant industry. Its exhibit hall showcases the newest equipment and tools created specifically for restaurants, in addition to the most innovative food and beverage products available. Centered on collaborative education, the Expo features more than 50 educational seminars. For more information,

"Not only are we thrilled to have Michael Symon back as our keynote speaker, but we have more innovative and dynamic features to showcase in 2019," said ORA President & CEO John Barker. "Our Expo is ground-breaking and a game-changer for attendees and exhibitors alike."

The Expo will feature multimedia demonstrations on four stages, exciting head-to-head culinary competitions and thought leadership provided by industry innovators, as well as two brand-new areas: Farmers Crossing and the Emerging Tech Pavilion. The show is geared toward independent operators, regional chains, and is perfect for start-ups and veteran operators alike.

Click here for more information for attendees. Potential exhibitors should click here.

More about the Ohio Restaurant Association

The Ohio Restaurant Association (ORA), founded in 1920, is the leading business trade association promoting, protecting and partnering with Ohio’s $21 billion restaurant and foodservice industry. The ORA represents the third-largest private sector employer in the state, including 22,000 locations and more than 574,000 employees, and helps members build customer loyalty, rewarding careers and financial success with a range of services and thought leadership. For more information, visit