Chef Michael Symon via Knob Creek Bourbon

We’re halfway through this football season and well into a beautiful autumn. Whether you’re a college football fan or a devotee of the NFL, here’s hoping you got your backside out to a game and enjoyed some traditional tailgating. If you haven’t, you’ve got weeks of pigskin action yet with plenty of pre-game party opportunities.

To drive you into the second half of this campaign we’ve brought on a ringer — guest editor Chef Michael Symon, a veteran of Iron Chef on the Food Network.

Since being named a Best New Chef by Food & Wine Magazine in 1998, Michael and his restaurants received numerous honors. In 2010, he was the first chef to host the annual Farm Aid benefit concert. Bon Appetit magazine included B Spot on their list of “Top 10 Best New Burger Joints,” and B Spot’s Fat Doug burger won the People’s Choice award at the SoBe Wine & Food Festival. In 2009, Michael earned The James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef Great Lakes and the Detroit Free Press named Roast “Restaurant of the Year,” and in 2000 Gourmet magazine chose Lola as one of “America’s Best Restaurants.”

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In September 2011, Michael joined the cast of The Chew on ABC as one of the show’s six hosts. Throughout 2010, Michael appeared on four Food Network and Cooking Channel shows, hosting Food Feuds and Cook Like an Iron Chef, judging season three of The Next Iron Chef and competing on Iron Chef America. Michael won season one of The Next Iron Chef in 2008, earning him a permanent spot on the roster of Iron Chefs. He made his debut on the network in 1998 with appearances on Sara’s Secrets with Sara Moulton, Ready, Set, Cook and Food Nation with Bobby Flay, before being tapped to host over 100 episodes of The Melting Pot.

Michael published his first cookbook, Michael Symon’s Live to Cook – Recipes and Techniques to Rock Your Kitchen, in 2009.

This week, Chef Symon is teaming with Knob Creek Bourbon to offer tailgate-friendly recipes with a little kick. Stay tuned for Chef Symon’s contributions and you’ll be ready for any pregame celebration this week or any week to come.