What’s Brewing: Good Things, Now in Smaller Packages!

Good things come in smaller packages now! One year after putting his fresh, simple, and pure philosophy into a bottle and on-tap for the first time with Michael’s Genuine Home Brew®, Michael is reading his classic American Ale for a regional rollout with new 12-ounce format 4-packs!  The now officially trademarked beer is craft-brewed in Gadsden, Alabama by Back Forty Beer Company with brown rice and sugarcane, marking the first time Florida-grown ingredients have been used for the grain bill of a commercially-marketed beer. After a successful first year on- and off-premise in the Florida market with 22-ounce bottles and draft, it is time to focus on 12-ounce bottles available in 4-packs with an MSRP of $9.99. Our first shipment of Michael’s Genuine Home Brew 12oz bottles has left Back Forty Beer Company’s warehouse and should arrive to Brown Distributing early this week.  Cheersing is in order, and we have a little celebratory action planned for the introduction first in Miami as follows.  Come toast with us, and stay tuned to the Home Brew section of the Michael’s Genuine website for updated retail and restaurant availability!

Thursday, October 17: Home Brew Happy Hour
Join us where it all began at MGFD #HQ (130 NE 40th Street, Design District, Miami) from 4:30-6:30 p.m. when Michael and beverage director Ryan Goodspeed will be behind the bar serving complimentary 12oz bottles and snacks from the kitchen! Tag it up! #homebrew #happyhour

Saturday, October 19: Grovetoberfest
Come one, come all to Peacock Park (Coconut Grove, FL) from 1:00-4:00 p.m. and visit the best booth in town!  Michael’s Genuine Home Brew will be doling out brews, bites and new tattoos!  For a taste of the fun, check out our photos from last year. The whole gang will be there to ensure a great afternoon, especially TGHG executive chef Bradley Herron who is thinking puffed sem-chi rice salad with coriander, dried mango, and some spices… served in little paper cups.  I’m thirsty, how ’bout you!?

Bitten By the Bug: When The Wine Director Met The Wine Mosquito

The wine at The Cypress Room is corked, and it is cause for celebration, not a heart attack.   To understand why we haven’t completely lost our marbles, The Genuine Hospitality Group’s Wine Director Eric Larkee explains how the Coravin, his fun new toy at The Cypress Room, is improving our wine service like never before leaving the cork in the bottle and the oxygen out.  We are so happy that Michael encouraged him to scratch the itch.

TGK: Where did you first hear about Coravin?
EL: I read about it on a blog back in 2011 (don’t remember which one) back when it was called “The Wine Mosquito”. The device resurfaced this spring on ny.eater.com as the Coravin in a post about its use at Del Posto.

TGK: Who invented it?
EL: Greg Lambrecht, a Boston biomedical engineer

TGK: How does it work?
EL: The Coravin pierces the natural cork with a medical grape needle and extracts the wine, replacing it with argon, an inert gas which is heavier than air. The wine bottle is never actually opened. The fatal flaw with preservation systems is that the wine is exposed to oxygen at some point, even if CO2 or argon is applied at some point the wine will react with the available oxygen.

TGK:  How long will the bottle last for opened via Coravin?
EL: When used properly the Coravin would have no ill affect on the wine, and while the manufacture won’t make this claim for obvious liable reasons, logically using the Coravin once could actually help a wine to last longer because the argon would create a protective barrier.

TGK: Why do we have one at The Cypress Room?
EL: The original thought was so we didn’t have to worry about waste with the Tasting Menu, we could make the best pairing possible and not feel like we might waste the wine if we needed to open a new bottle for the last table of the night. We’ll also use it to pour (its kind of funny how the Coravin changes my language usage, I can’t say “pop open” or anything like that) older Bordeaux, Barolo and high-end whites by-the-glass.

TGK: Describe three special wines we can now pour by the glass and any plans you have for bringing in new wines for this reason that you may not have been able to pre-Coravin.
EL:  All three of the following wines will be available by-the-glass starting on Saturday. We’ve poured high-end wines at Michael’s Genuine before with some good results but what my biggest fear is a guest going from glass 4 of a bottle to glass 1 of a fresh bottle. Odds are the experience will not be the same, the Coravin creates consistency.
Domaine Christian Moreau, VaudÉsir grand cru, Chablis 2009
Château d’Armailhac, Pauillac, Bordeaux 2004
Oddero, Rocche di Castiglione, Barolo, Piedmont 2008

A Tale of Two Falls: Adventures in Seasonal Foraging from MIA to NYC

This time of year is an exciting one as a chef and a diner no matter where you live in the country. Farm to Kitchen’s Chris Padin just stopped by The Genuine Hospitality Group office here in Miami’s Design District to pick up his budget for today’s Homestead farm run. At 4:00 p.m. he’ll return with a van full of produce, stopping first at The Cypress Room, then to Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, and finally Harry’s Pizzeria. 1,276 miles away in New York City’s Union Square, where the farm comes to the restaurant, Mo of Gramercy Tavern is visiting vendors and collecting orders on his morning market run. Same strokes for different folks. And thanks to Instagram, we get to follow along.

So what’s being harvested and what is growing in these parallel universes?

Here in Miami, we are still squeezing the last of this particularly drawn out summer season which means okra, calabaza and even mangoes are still coming in – like the third wave of them – and this time it’s the gorgeous specimens that are the huge Kents and vibrantly colored Keitts. Passion fruit and avocado, sporadic year-round crops, are currently plentiful. And all the while our typical fall crops are kicking in and hitting menus like beans of all kinds, squash, chard, kale, carrot and eggplant. Check out Chris’ full local product availability list for this week, here. Winter’s seeds are still incubating, from cucumber and peppers to oodles of our favorite crop, local heirloom tomatoes. This year we’ve got a new one we haven’t tried, but native to South Florida for ages, the Everglades tomato. Teena’s Pride has offered to grow this tiny treat for Slow Food Miami’s Ark of Taste event on January 28, and we’ll be serving it in every course!

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Meanwhile up in New York City, tomatoes are at their peak. There are beans, beans, beans… even strawberries… We have the best of both worlds here at Genuine HQ. Not only do we enjoy diverse year-long growing season with staples and tropicals, but we are heading to the Big Apple all next week to enjoy its bounty before it’s gone! Our berries are in the ground and will fruit when the north is blanketed in snow.

The main event is Lemon: NYC for Alex’s Lemonade stand on Tuesday, October 8, but there will be extracurricular activities sprinkled throughout our stay, including yummy meals of fresh product cooked close to the source by the best in the business. Joining Michael to represent The Cypress Room up in NYC for the first time is chef de cuisine Roel Alcudia. His menu is looking killer, and we can’t wait to see what local product will grace it. There will be bottles of our brand new 12 ounce Michael’s Genuine Home Brew and other Back Forty Beer Company brews for our table of 10 should bottling get completed in time (fingers are crossed!) We can remember last year’s event, the second hosted by the one and only chef Jonathan Waxman and produced by one of our favorite pint-sized juggernauts, Barbuto GM Jennifer Davidson. Roel, then still living and working in NYC, had chaperoned Michael and Bradley’s ridiculous Striped Bass to perfection. What a difference a year makes.

Happy Friday from all of us at The Genuine Hospitality Group, and see you soon New York City!

The Big Bad Chef Sends Out Harry’s 2013 Pop-Up Season with a Bang & His First Cookbook

JC(dpi adjusted) 097photo(32)It is our distinct pleasure to announce that tickets are now LIVE at this link for City Grocery Pizzeria with the big bad chef himself, John Currence!  Please join us Tuesday, November 12 at 7:00 p.m. as this James Beard Award-winning chef pops Harry’s for the last time in 2013!  In addition to a welcome cocktail, passed snacks including a Big Bad Pizza, four courses, and free-flowing wines, you’ll go home with John’s brand spanking new (and shockingly FIRST!) cookbook — Pigs, Pickles & Whiskey: Recipes from My Three Favorite Food Groups!  John would rather “punch you in the mouth with his fantastic flavors than poke you in the eye with fancy presentation” says the online summary.  Pigs, Pickles & Whiskey is packed full of 130 recipes organized by 10 different techniques, such as Boiling/Simmering, Slathering, Pickling/Canning, Roasting/Braising, Muddling/Stirring, Brining/Smoking, and Baking/Spinning, just to name a few. John’s fun-loving personality rings true throughout the book with his personal stories and history, and his one-of-a-kind recipes for Pickled Sweet Potatoes, Whole Grain Guinness Mustard, Deep South “Ramen” with a Fried Poached Egg, Rabbit Cacciatore, Smoked Endive, Fire-Roasted Cauliflower, and Kitchen Sink Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches.  What a bomb title, too!!!  All that tax and gratuity are included in the ticket price of $150.

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John prepping his dish for Country Music Television’s 2010 Artists of the Year event in Nashville, TN. He joined Michael and RJ Cooper, a trio of James Bearded chefs each putting out a course during the awards show. I distinctly remember a visit to Robert’s Western World on the itinerary as well!

John was born and raised in New Orleans, LA to a family that loved to cook and spend time in the kitchen. His mother’s travels with his father during his childhood, combined with the family’s several years in Europe, brought the dishes of the world to their dinner table, while time spent hunting and fishing in South Louisiana began the education in the foods of his home.  Now settled in Oxford, Mississippi, his City Grocery Restaurant Group has become a landmark in the dining scene. His flagship, City Grocery’s exposed brick walls and heart pine plank floor augment the candle light and white linen staging some the most inventive and interesting food in the South. And he’s a just down right fun guy we have loved hanging out with in the past!  The bar was set pretty high and now will be raised even higher.  Lucky all of us that it’ll be on our home turf!

newlogo.cleanSo after esteemed visiting guests Gabrielle Hamilton, Jonathan Waxman, Marc Vetri, Jonathon Sawyer, Kevin Sbraga, Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, Paul Grieco, Chris Hastings, Hugh Acheson, Andrew Carmellini, Mindy Segal, Paul Kahan, April Bloomfield, Bill Telepan, Joey Campanaro, Jeff Michaud, Matthew Accarrino, Michael Solomonov, and Ben Ford, Michael is thrilled to invite James Beard Award-winning chef John Currence to take over Harry’s Pizzeria… Have a great rest of October, and let’s round out our 2013 pop-up season with a big bad bang.  We seriously cannot wait for this one. Seriously!