Hello My Name Is… Amy Kalinowski, Pastry Sous Chef

Amy making Payday candies on Tuesday.

Maybe if I wear a Don’t Feed the Animals sign around my neck, Amy will stop sneaking me oozy chocolate chunk cookies, lemon-pistachio biscotti, and other naughty nibbles out of the oven when I pass by her station during the day. Don’t we all become just a little Jurassic at the sight or smell of fresh pastries?  For even the most disciplined, it’s hard to exercise much self-control with Hedy Goldsmith and her a.m. and p.m. teams churning it all out around the clock.  And most of that clock is under Amy’s watch!  Persimmon cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, homemade newtons with fresh local fruit jams, shiny soft pillows of meringue for lemon pies, sheet trays of Snickers…  Amy’s baking up a storm for our indulgence, daily.  To top it all off, she’s as sweet as 10x sugar and always puts up with my curiosity and constant photo-snapping, never once kicking me out when I ogle Oreos or inquire about icing. Read more about her below…  And Amy, you’re stuck with me because I will NEVER wear such a sign by the way!!!

Going All Au Naturel with Lake Meadow Naturals Eggs

Lake Meadow's chickens are exclusively Rhode Island Reds. Here one is dusting to keep cool.

I’d like to switch all Sysco eggs to Lake Meadow Naturals eggs. They will ship with wild ocean seafood. I know they only come once a week bit we can stock pile and store outside in storeroom. Matt, can you please coordinate with Dale from Lake Meadow? Jumbo is the size. Questions?

Michael sent this email on November 3, and today we will receive our first delivery from Lake Meadow Naturals, an Ocoee, FL farm that specializes in free range, heritage eggs, from chicken and duck to guinea fowl and goose.  It’s their geese you see on our new website’s homepage photo rotation.

Is it Frankie the dog or the curious perched chicken in charge here?!

Of course this is a big commitment, but an important one we are willing to make. The eggs are more than double the cost of the factory eggs from Sysco on which we were relying to supplement what Alice Pena’s boutique operation at PNS Farms could handle of our 120 dozen per week volume. Moving forward, we will serve 100 percent free range Florida chicken eggs.

We were introduced to owner Dale Volkert through a television production company we’re working with.  It’s so cool when such a partner also becomes a forager, identifying new sustainable sources that we are able to incorporate into the restaurant!

You might be interested in the notes compiled by executive producer Rochelle Brown and her team about the history and ins-and-outs of Dale’s operation.  We’ve included them below, and you can see his vision come to life in our Flickr set here.

Michael shoots his first scene on-location at postcard perfect Lake Meadow Naturals.

Continue reading

Hello My Name Is… Ryan Goodspeed, Beverage Manager

Take that, Brian Flanagan! When it comes to cocktails, we got our own a mover and Grey Goose Shaker of the Year behind the bar here at MGFD.

We are proud as peacocks that our beverage manager Ryan Goodspeed has just secured Miami Eater’s popular vote, and editors have confirmed, that 2010 is the year of the Goodspeed.   He was already is the sea salt rim to our Margaritas and the kimchi spicing up our Bloody Marys.  Mr. Bulleit Proof Manhattan himself!

Satiate your thirst for more, with Ryan’s answers to our staff questionnaire below.

Continue reading

Yes, You’re on the Right Page.

One big happy family: iPad, iPhone & Blackberry-friendly.

Welcome to our new website!

Besides a site that’s for sore eyes (and looks a lot more like we feel these days,) form meets 21st century function. Here are some core improvements:

Enjoy 100% access to our website on the go. Yep, you heard us. No more Flash! Gone is the sad, empty maroon landing page that you saw when you went to our website on your iPhone, BlackBerry, or Android.

More about who we are and what we do is organized all in one place and updated at warp drive. Say hello to our new Michael’s Genuine Flickr account and find The Genuine Kitchen blog on the homepage, too.

Our organic tees and more genuine propaganda is available to you worldwide, on-demand at our e-store.

The handwriting you see on the site is Michael’s, which can be downloaded as a typeface, Genuine Michael.

Thank you to our talented digital designer Ilysa Corns for the excellent work; we’ll interview her on the blog tomorrow!

Nicholas Arehart, Artist Behind the Bar

Nick (left) with his girlfriend in his work "Newport Pleasure," to be raffled off tonight at Locust Projects' Smash & Grab Fall Fundraiser. Details after the jump!

Up until now, like me, you may know Nick as one of our bartenders. See him – and IKEA’s products – in a new light, at this conceptual multimedia artist’s debut solo exhibition in Miami, Nicholas Arehart: Improving Everyday Life for the Majority (also the Swedish retailer’s tagline.)

I went for a look last Sunday at Christopher Miro Gallery.  You can too, through next Sunday, November 14 (71 E. Flagler St., downtown Miami; 305-741-0058.)  Trust me, it’s worth checking out before it’s too late — especially if you can finagle getting Nick there to offer insight into the making of each work.

Continue reading