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NY Food Festival Lead
Credit: Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images

Cleveland native Michael Symon (the super chef credited with saving his hometown’s restaurant scene, establishing popular joints like Lola Bistro and B Spot Burgers) recently hosted New York City Wine and Food Festival’s Meatopia event, a platform for dozens of world-famous chefs who work wonders with, well, meat. Dishes ranged from classic tender brisket cuts and massive caveman-like beef ribs to more daring executions, such as scoops of Chorizo Caramel Swirl ice cream from Brooklyn's OddFellows Ice Cream Co.

The beef-centric event was somewhat of a lay-up for Symon, who did, after all, write Michael Symon’s Carnivore: 120 Recipes for Meat Lovers back in 2012 ($23; amazon.com). In between bites of slow-smoked pork belly and porchetta fried rice, we asked Symon a few of our burning culinary questions.

Last meal on earth: What would it be?
My mother’s lasagna.

Favorite kitchen gadget?
I’m a simple person: a great chef’s knife, a bench scraper, and a microplane are really all you need.

Favorite ingredient?
I think it’s impossible to pick a favorite ingredient. It depends on the season. For fall, butternut squash or pumpkin are hard to beat.

What will you be sipping this fall?
Probably an Old Fashioned, with great bourbon.