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Refrigerator Look Book: Michael Symon

Michael Symon is a celebrity chef, an Iron Chef, and a hometown guy whose several Cleveland restaurants show his love for approachable, delicious cooking, plate after plate.

Like a lot of chefs, Symon’s fridge ingredients vary wildly from what he stocks at work—um, Iron Chef secret ingredient: pretzels?!—to what’s stocked at home.

“At home we tend to eat healthier. You can’t always make the right choices while on the move,” says Symon. (Don’t we know it.)

That means kale has a place, as do fresh herbs, Greek yogurt, and—double-take alert—a cup of bacon fat.

See what Symon and his wife Lizzie are cooking up at home…

That’s quite a forest of fresh herbs on the top shelf. Is there a reason they get so much real estate in your fridge? Yes, I never cook with dry herbs and I feel that nothing beings a dish to life like fresh herbs.

That’s a lot of eggs on the door. Are you a fan? Eggs are to me the most versatile item in your kitchen, they are a great source of protein and are good for any meal of the day.

Michael Symon FridgeI see a lot of Greek yogurt. I’m waiting for an Iron Chef episode devoted to it, since I’ve become obsessed. How do you like to eat it? Ever since I was a little boy, Greek yogurt has been a staple in my kitchen and something I eat every day. My grandmother would make it from scratch. I personally like Dannon Oikos Greek nonfat yogurt because it reminds me of the creamy, thick texture and fresh taste I enjoyed as a kid. Plus, it is a simple swap out for higher fat ingredients, like sour cream, without sacrificing taste.

What’s in the giant mug on the middle shelf? Oh, that is a giant mug of bacon fat.

Woah, a mug of bacon fat. Okay, while we’re on the subject, tell me about your meat drawer. It looks like it’s all high-end dogs and bacon? Are they for something special or regular faves at your place? No, nothing special. Just a regular part of what we normally have in the house.

I’m starting to get a picture of how it is at your place. Tell me about the two huge bunches of kale. How are you using it? I love a raw kale and fennel salad and have it a couple of times a week. I also use it in braised dishes.

Not in smoothies? We are a smoothie-free house.

No smoothies?! Okay, what healthy foods or trends are you into and which could you live without? I do believe in equal real estate on my plate for veggies. And this is not a trend, but I could do without turkey bacon.

What’s your typical too-lazy-to-cook meal? The kale salad I mentioned earlier comes together really quickly, and I will often throw together yogurt with granola and bananas.

Um, is that Miracle Whip on the door? Why, yes, it is. It’s my dirty little secret. I blame it on my father. —Melisse Gelula