In the Genuine Kitchen with… Iron Chef Michael Symon

Clearly the guys didn't have their handlers in mind on this one! My Michael says... Your Michael should... Initials aren't even an option. Ha!

Next Saturday, February 26, chef Michael Symon will again visit Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink during the South Beach Wine & Food Festival. But instead of enjoying himself in our dining room, this time around he’s signed up to go to work behind the line.

Now what was he thinking with that move?!

Something delicious, actually, like Wood Oven Roasted & Smoked Quail with creamy mascarpone polenta & pickled chili salad. It’s just one of the courses guests will enjoy at Wine + Dine + Design, the Festival’s second annual Design District dine-around, as groups of 100+ cycle through MGFD, SRA. Martinez, & Fratelli Lyon for their progressive supper.

This year guest chefs enter the equation, and having penned his cookbook forward, Symon was Schwartz’s first choice. The Michaels will also present Seafood Stew with fennel confit, fregola, shaved fennel & radish salad, saffron aioli, & toasted sourdough and Braised Deep Creek Ranch Beef Cheeks with whipped carrot, local vegetable giardinere, & salsa verde.

We wanted to grill Symon just a little before go-time, and he kindly obliged us with a quick interview last week.  See you soon MS!

1.) What does chemistry in the kitchen mean to you? Who do you work best with?

Chemistry is the key to any great kitchen… regardless of peoples skill level or the ingredients if there is no chemistry there won’t be great food.

2.) Rank the following in level of importance in the kitchen:

Ingredients (2)
Personnel (1)
Time (3)
Equipment (4)

3.) The chef teams for this event are: Bernstein-Besh, Symon-Schwartz, and Lyon-Carmellini. Are these good matches and why?

I am honored to be included in this great group of chefs and I think the beauty of it is no matter how they were mixed and matched you would get a fabulous meal.

3.) If you could gather a team of friends to be guests at a progressive dinner where you hop from one restaurant to another, who would you invite, and what three restaurants would you hop to if location wasn’t a factor?

Jonathan Waxman, Bobby Flay, Doug Petkovic, Scott Feldman, Lawrence Ketchmer and of course all of their lovely wives. They would go to St. Johns, Vetri and Avec.

4.) If you could be Michael Schwartz for a day what would you do?

Run my fingers through my cool hair.

5.) I’m sitting with our sommelier and he said his nightmare is not being able to find a bottle of wine in the closet. Our chef de cuisine has nightmares about expediting. What is your kitchen nightmare?

That I have to cook a meal and I am limited to the frozen food section.

6.) What’s one thing you’d change about food in America today?

I would eliminate pop and biggie orders.

7.) Heirloom tomatoes are an ingredient we are fond of here at the restaurant. Give me 3 dishes you’d make with it.

Greek Salad / Cavatelli Pomodoro / A Stupid Good Bloody Mary!!

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