Chef Nathan Lyon is known to television viewers across the country for his simple, innovative cuisine featuring fresh, seasonal, local ingredients. Chef and co-host of Growing A Greener World (PBS), Nathan was the creator and host of A Lyon in the Kitchen (Discovery Health and Fit TV), among the final four on the second season of The Next Food Network Star, and appeared as a guest chef and expert on Home Made Simple (TLC) and Real Simple Real Life (TLC).
After graduating from James Madison University with a Bachelor of Science in Health Science and a minor in Public Health, Nathan backpacked his way across Europe, learning about local customs, culture, and cuisine. Although every town and country along Nathan’s journey provided its own culinary lesson, the watershed moment occurred in an outdoor market just outside of Florence, Italy: an old woman, agog at the massive amount of produce Nathan was stockpiling, eagerly asked, “Why are you buying so much food? Why not just buy fresh every day?” Nathan immediately dumped out half his basket and began pondering those two simple questions. It was in that market, clutching a wheel of cheese, that Nathan discovered his truth: great food starts fresh.
Laden with ideas and information, Nathan headed home, eventually opting for culinary school at Le Cordon Bleu in Los Angeles, where he earned a Culinary Arts degree. Since that time, Nathan has worked in many restaurants, both in and out of the kitchen, and has also worked with local growers in California farmers markets for over a decade.
Nathan recently (December 2011) came out with his very first cookbook, Great Food Starts Fresh, which has been quoted by Alice Waters and Graham Kerr, in addition to other esteemed chefs. Great Food Starts Fresh is a seasonal cookbook featuring 135 recipes broken down into the 5 seasons: spring, summer, autumn, winter, and…chocolate!
Nathan has cooked for the Inspector General, cooked and spoken at numerous charity functions, is one of the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s 2011 Sustainable Seafood Ambassadors, and has even written and co-illustrated (with his older brother, Craig) a children’s adventure book, Sam the Clam.