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Chef Michael Symon Says He's Inventing a New Style of Barbecue

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Is Cleveland-style barbecue destined to be the next big thing?

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Chef, restaurateur, TV personality, and cookbook author Michael Symon hopes to add a new feather to his chef's hat: Inventor of a brand-new regional barbecue style. Symon is currently working on a new restaurant in his hometown of Cleveland called Mabel's BBQ, and there — the chef tells Playboy — he hopes to make Cleveland-style barbecue famous.

According to Symon, Cleveland-style barbecue will pay homage to the city's Eastern European population with kielbasa and sauerkraut. As for the meat, it will be smoked over applewood "because of the large amount of apple orchards in northeastern Ohio." It will also include its own signature style of barbecue sauce. Symon reveals:

Because ketchup is made in Pittsburgh, we would never serve a tomato-based sauce in Cleveland. Cleveland’s known for its mustard, and I wanted to use that as the base of our sauce. But instead of the classic, Carolina, yellow-mustard BBQ sauce, I’m using Cleveland’s famous brown mustard, Bertman’s.

Originally slated to open in Fall 2014, Mabel's opening was pushed back and the Cleveland Scene estimates it will now open in August. In addition to barbecue, the small 700-square foot restaurant will serve craft beer, whiskey, and moonshine.

Besides working on a new regional barbecue style, Symon also has a new TV show in the worksBurgers, Brew and ‘Que will feature Symon on "a summer road trip to taste the best of the American classics: burgers and BBQ — and beer to wash it all down."

Eater Video: Barbecue styles, explained

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