Here’s What’s for Dinner at ella after 2!


Ella_after 2_menu_finalOne week from this Thursday, Michael heads behind the counter for ella after dinner service again.  He just finished the menu, and wine director Mr. Eric Larkee the wines. We definitely aren’t in Hanoi anymore!  There are a few spots left at 9:15 and 9:30 p.m. on Thursday, August 27.  Click here to snag a ticket before they’re gone!

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Stumbling upon MGFD pastry chef Amy Kalinowski’s first round of hempseed baklava testing!

[RECIPE] Check Mate! Chocolate Chess Pie

It was seriously too good not to share. Last night we OMG’d at O Cinema for the last time this summer thanks to an incredible performance by Harry’s Pizzeria chef de cuisine Daniel Ramirez. The menu was a piece of Michigan food history like hand-held pasty pies  — akin to empanadas closer to home — made into pot pie for family style service.   When Danny mentioned this to Devin, a pastry cook at MGFD, duck fat crust was born.

I was on dessert duty again, this time parchment liner-free (thanks Chef!) and had the self control-rattling task of portioning out MGFD pastry chef Amy Kalinowski’s decadent chocolate chess pie. I knew things would get messy based on past experience with two sheet trays of Banoffee, so this time crema was going to be dolloped to plate.  A triumph!  Chess pie is actually chest pie. Like pies you can stack in a chest for safe keeping.  It’s a southern thing, a piece of food culture that lost the t over time.

Luckily for us here, a guest returned from the theater with a request.  Seconds?  No, a slice of altruism!  She inquired about the recipe, a sweet ending to the meal she will produce this weekend for some very lucky home-bound summer campers.  So here you have it: Danny’s adaptation of Amy’s dessert (with her approval of course!) currently on the menu at MGFD, for your home kitchen.  After a summer at the mess hall, this might actually be dangerous.  Proceed at your own risk!

OMG’d Chocolate Chess Pie

Yields 2, 12-inch pies

2 1/2 cups butter, melted
3 cups semi-sweet dark chocolate, melted
25 ounces evaporated milk
10 whole eggs
2 tablespoons vanilla paste (or 1 vanilla bean)
2 tablespoons coffee extract
5.5 cups of sugar
1 cup cocoa powder
2 packs Oreo cookies
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 pound melted butter

Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat the eggs, evaporated milk, vanilla, and coffee extract for 2-3 minutes on medium speed until incorporated.  In a separate bowl sift the dry ingredients.  Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and whisk to incorporate. Set aside in the refrigerator covered with plastic wrap while you make the crust. Pulverize the oreos in a food processor, like bread crumb size and in a large bowl mix with flour and melted butter by hand until the consistency of wet sand.  Spray pie tins with lots of pam coating. Press the oreo crust into the pans. Make sure it’s nice and tight, and even thickness, about 1/2 inch throughout.  Pour in the batter to fill. It doesn’t rise so do be scared to fill your pans to the level you want. Bake for 30-45 minutes. It should be firm with slight wiggle to it.  Let cool on a rack for about a hour.  Enjoy topped with whipped cream and berries, vanilla ice cream or simply powdered sugar for chocolate heaven. Any way you slice it, you can’t go wrong!

Duck, Duck, Pork: Harry’s BBQ Night Menu is Here!

HP BBQ Night_menu_5.8Make a run for it!  With summer in our sights, it’s time to roll out the smoker again at Michael Schwartz’s casual neighborhood joint in Miami’s Design District and welcome a local brewery to pour for dinner. Harry’s Pizzeria welcomes Wynwood Brewing Co. for a night of local beer and BBQ in Miami’s Design District on Tuesday, May 19 beginning at 6:30 p.m.  We now have a mouthwatering menu certainly fit to chase with beer!

We are also excited to have a guest chef join us important to the story of Michael’s Genuine Home Brew. Chef Leonardo Maurelli of Central in Montgomery, Alabama was there when Michael first met Back Forty Beer Company at a 2011 Auburn University event for tornado relief. A native of the Republic of Panama, Leonardo shares his unique multicultural take on traditional southern dishes and cuisine. We know he will bring the BBQ mojo on a collaborative menu with Harry’s own chef de cuisine Daniel Ramirez!

Click here for tickets ($68 includes it all!) — an indoor and outdoor stationed menu of BBQ, sides and dessert, all you care to drink Wynwood beer (special treatments, too!) from our counter, tax and gratuity. We love mixing it up at Harry’s Pizzeria and couldn’t wait to start the summer off with some BBQ.  See you there!


Amy’s Cinco de Sundae with Tequila Caramel Sauce


Those of you familiar with the Home Brew Sundae know we don’t shy from booze in our desserts at Michael’s Genuine® Food & Drink and are always looking for reasons to celebrate creativity in the kitchen.  Tomorrow we have a little fun with Tequila in our caramel sauce for Cinco de Mayo courtesy of Amy Kalinowski.  You may remember this sweet face peeking out from behind the pastry window.  Amy is back in the house and taking on the role of pastry chef now overseeing desserts at Michael’s flagship restaurant. Amy brings almost 10 years of culinary experience to her new post, including three of them spent in the Miami pastry department under the tutelage of the legendary Hedy Goldsmith.

“We are incredibly excited to have Amy back,” says Michael.  “She lights up the kitchen with her smile and brings her infectious enthusiasm, passion and creativity to our pastry program. I know she will shine in this lead role!”

Amy holds a degree from Johnson & Wales University in South Florida. After a few years working at various restaurants as a night plater and cake decorator, Amy found herself at Michael’s Genuine in 2008, where she honed her technical and practical skills as Pastry Assistant. During this formative time at the restaurant, she found herself working with Hedy to develop the Sweets section for Schwartz’s iconic Brunch service introduced in 2009. Putting out countless, weekly-changing plates during those marathon Sunday shifts on the pastry line stretched her stamina and creativity as she began developing recipes of her own.

“I am looking forward to this next chapter in my career with The Genuine Hospitality Group,” Amy reflects. “Seeing the delight on our guests faces after enjoying our creations is a treat in itself.”

Cinco de Sundae

Cinco de Sundae

For Cinco de Mayo, Amy wanted to use traditional Mexican ingredients in an unusual way, as is her style. Behold… Amy’s Cinco de Sundae with housemade coconut ice cream, tequila caramel, grilled pineapple, and toasted coconut and macadamia nuts. She starts with a whole skinned pineapple on the grill, which just gets a sheen of vegetable oil to help deliver juicy grill marks.  She carefully handles the fruit with a kitchen towel, as pineapple’s high water content means it holds heat!  You want that char on all sides, and Amy insists grilling intact makes for a better final product. Once done, she cuts the pineapple into discs, then into quarters. In the restaurant, Amy grates real coconuts and spreads the macadamia nuts in one layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet, toasting them at 300° for about 10 minutes. To assemble the sundae, Amy starts with a deep chilled bowl and layers the ice cream on the bottom, followed by a generous drizzle of tequila caramel and topped with a sprinkle of as many macadamia nuts, coconut and pieces of pineapple you desire.

Since most of us don’t have restaurant grade ice cream machines at home, choose your favorite brand of coconut and make the toppings — they’re what make this dessert distinctly May 5 and unmistakably Amy’s!  Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

Tequila Caramel Sauce

Makes 2 1/2 cups

1 cup sugar
¾ cup cream
3 tablespoons tequila
¼ cup butter
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon lime juice

Place a sauce pot with ¼ cup of water on the stove, add the sugar and cook over high heat. Do not move the pot until you see the sugar turn a caramel color, then begin to stir the mixture until it becomes a light amber color. When the mixture reaches light amber, turn off the heat and very carefully and slowly whisk in the cream. Once the cream is incorporated, add the tequila, butter, salt and lime juice. Allow to cool to just above room temperature. The caramel sauce will hold up to one month in the refrigerator in a sealed, airtight container.

Treat Yo’ Self & a Friend: BOGO Out Loud this Holiday!

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Treat yo’ self & a friend!  Buy one Baking Out Loud cookbook, get one free on the e-shop ( until December 20, our express shipping deadline.  Executive pastry chef Hedy Goldsmith’s debut cookbook is $27.50 and can come signed or personalized. Click here to add one to your shopping cart, and we’ll match the first purchase per customer. BOGO or go home! Offer good for online purchases only.

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Genuine elves to the rescue! We can help with all your holiday gifting needs, especially The Genuine Hospitality Group Gift Card. Click the slow roasted short rib pizza above to purchase, and follow #TGHGGiftCard on our Instagram accounts @MGFD_MIA, @harryspizzeria, @thecypressroom, and @mghomebrew for a treasure hunt of more genuine treats it can buy!

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Welcoming more luxury, more neighborhood. Whether you’re out for a stroll to enjoy Palm Court’s Buckminster Fuller Dome or on a mission more than mere window shopping, Michael’s elegant American dining room is open for lunch and dinner in Miami’s Design District. Click here for our lunch prix fixe menu and book by calling 305.520.5197 or emailing