Coffee Talk: RoosRoast in Miami

Lovin the lobsta at MGFD.

At a back corner banquette during a packed Friday lunch, while the Harry’s pizza oven chefs waded through the weeds; two old friends, chefs, and coffee connoisseurs caught up on a haphazard history of restaurants and road trips, while I learned that the man behind RoosRoast Coffee is as passionate about coffee as he is about pizza, meatballs, and his wardrobe choice (bleach stained from cleaning the shop.)

(Left to right) Eric, me, Jackie and the bossman aka the TGHG welcome wagon yesterday at Harry’s Pizzeria, playing dress-up, RoosStyle.

A few minutes before, Michael Schwartz had picked up his friend John Roos, wife Kath, and their 2-year old son Jozo, from Miami International Airport, after landing from 100°F Ann Arbor, Michigan. The first stop, of course, was Harry’s Pizzeria. Roos is in town for a coffee training at Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, which serves his ”Lobster Butter Love” roast as its exclusive drip.  Two years ago, when MGFD began carrying RoosRoast, Jackie interviewed John here, and today while “mmm”ing over the meatballs, polenta fries, orange & radish salad, and  slow roasted pork and rock shrimp pizzas (on the rock shrimp, “Dude, that’s an award-winning pizza,”) John filled me in on what’s new at RoosRoast.  And what’s never going to change.

Continue reading

Fruit Forward: Hedy Goldsmith Reveals the Secret Behind the MGFD Homemade Jams

Homemade jams at MGFD, with lovely food styling by Trew Sterling

“Oh, hi!” Executive Pastry Chef Hedy Goldsmith exclaimed, swiftly turning away from the ice cream machine at MGFD. I had just stumbled into the kitchen to surprise Hedy and Trew Sterling at the bustling pastry station. Hedy was finishing a meticulous cleaning of the ice cream machine, as Trew carefully shuffled between the oven and the cooling rack, transferring a batch of warm chocolate chunk cookies.

“I wanted to talk homemade jams this week,” I explained, taking a peak around, attempting to keep my composure among the sweet surroundings. On the small green chalkboard to the far left were listed the day’s ice cream flavors, including Hedy’s famous buttered popcorn, and a guava creation too. Pots de crème were cooling, as was a huge tray of peanut brittle and those warm classically decadent cookies with Hedy’s telltale sprinkle of Maldon salt on top. With all that around us, the two began opening up about just one of the many delicious creations from the pastry kitchen, explaining exactly how the homemade jams are made and showcased at MGFD.

Continue reading

[VIDEO] Family Trees: Fresh, Locally-Grown Lychees from Grove to Ship

150 Central Park chef de cuisine Luciano Bonci walks the JLS Lychee Farms grove in Homestead with owner/farmers Roland Samimy (right) and Harry Miller (left.)

Michael’s summer menus have been underway at 150 Central Park aboard Oasis of the Seas since June 2, with new local products cropping up on dishes from Florida Royal Red Shrimp sourced from Port Canaveral’s Wild Ocean Seafood in a local lychee salad with Vietnamese flavors, to Lychee “Tres Leches” with Homestead goat farmer Hani Khouri’s goat milk sherbet and biscotti crumbles.  And as you can tell, local lychees are everywhere!  We also have a new chef de cuisine at the helm, Luciano Bonci, as MGFD alum Jamie Seyba returns to our Miami kitchen after a stellar tour of duty.  Luciano is originally from the U.K. and had an early start in the restaurant industry working weekends at his uncle’s Italian restaurant from the age of 14.  He  graduated from Newcastle University with a degree in Culinary and Patisserie Arts, and before joining the Royal Caribbean team a couple of years ago, worked in restaurants in London, as well as at the three Michelin Star restaurant The Fat Duck.  His love of both modernist cuisine and classic cooking makes him a great fit to continue the work Jamie did to make Michael’s fresh, simple and pure food come to life in the upscale setting of 150 Central Park.

The “ditch witch” in 1992 making rows for baby lychee trees. It takes 5-6 years before they can bear their first fruit!

To get ready for this transition, Luciano trained at Michael’s Genuine in April where he worked closely with chef de cuisine Bradley Herron, and he also had the opportunity to take a trip down to Homestead to check out the fruit of the summer crop still ripening on the tree. Click the image above to learn about the grove’s family tree and what goes into getting the fruit to the table!

Pop Goes Bradley! Let’s Toast Our Eater Young Gun with Dr. Loosen While Perusing His Riesling Pizzeria Menu


When there is occasion worth toasting, try Dr. Loosen, Riesling Sekt, Germany NV instead of champagne.

A standout value in the sparkling category on our wine list at MGFD, it’s what we’re whipping out on July 17 to toast guest chef Bradley Herron’s recognition as a 2012 Eater Young Gun, as one of the pairings for his passed snacks at Riesling Pizzeria.

Our man of the hour, here on Saturday serving wild board sausage, snakehead fish crudo, and charcoal grilled python with snake bone sauce at Fertile Earth’s UnderGROUND Miami invasive species event.

With a nose of fresh cut green apple and elderflower, this Sekt (or sparkling) comes from the world-renowned Loosen wine estate in Germany on the steep, slate-soil vineyards of the Mosel region. The resulting wine offers a beautifully weighted, delicate palate with a juicy touch of sweetness left to balance its naturally brisk acidity.  Drink it alone as a celebratory aperitif, or with us at the start of a great evening.  Bradley’s full menu is now available below, complete with a Riesling vinegar he’s been aging for several weeks to our delight.  Get your tickets here while they last!

Continue reading

[Recipe] OMG! with Manny’s Old School New York Pot Roast & Gravy

The eye-of-round, a marbled and fatty cut of beef best for low and slow cooking.

For a taste of 1890s New York without a time machine, purchase a ticket for tomorrow night’s 7:00 p.m. Dinner & a Movie at O, Cinema featuring the Carnegie Hall apartments documentary, Lost Bohemia, and feast on Harry’s Pizzeria chef de cuisine Manny Sulbaran’s dishes inspired by the cuisine of the era.  Served buffet style, the menu includes Smoked Fish Dip & Chips and Iceberg Lettuce with pickled red onion, watermelon & blue ranch dressing; Pot Roast & Gravy with Goat Cheese & Scallion Mashed Potatoes; and Hedy Goldsmith’s Angel Food Cake with mango jam and a snack of spiced popcorn.

According to John Mariani in the Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, pot roast is meat that is browned and cooked with vegetables and gravy in a deep pot or saucepan, usually covered. The term dates in print to 1881. Pot roast was once an appetizing way to cook beef from beasts that have been working animals rather than food animals or other inferior cuts of meat. Today, the availability of good beef makes pot roast a delicious hearty dish, though lesser cuts of meat are still used for the cooking. Beef brisket, bottom and top round, and chuck are the usual choices.

With Manny’s recipe below there is no reason not to give your dormant turn-of-the-century cooking skills a whirl and invite some people over to enjoy the result.  That’s what we’re doing tomorrow night at O, Cinema, so try it out without lifting a finger in the kitchen first!

Continue reading