Time to Get Happy Hour at Michael’s Genuine Pub!

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Welcome to Michael’s Genuine® Pub, the first American gastropub on the seas onboard Royal Caribbean’s new Quantum-class Ships!  Quantum of the Seas will sail out of the New York Harbor from her homeport of Cape Liberty on 7- to 12-night itineraries during the winter 2014/15 season. Anthem of the Seas will call Southampton, UK, home in April 2015 and offer cruises to the Mediterranean.  It’s been a lot of hard work to get to this point of being able to finally share it with you, and we have lots more cut out for us from now until the first sailing this fall but it’s time to celebrate with a little homecoming after yesterday’s New York City reveal!  Please join us next week for happy hour on Thursday, April 3 from 4:30-6:00p.m. where complimentary Michael’s Genuine Home Brew will be flowing with snacks from the Pub menu from our flagship kitchen.  First sailing is the Transatlantic crossing from Southampton, UK on October 31 after we train in Bremerhaven, GR!

A bar with a galley of its own, the Pub offers a menu of Michael’s signature savory snacks and sweets, artisan charcuterie and cheeses, specialty cocktails, craft beer on tap and in the bottle like Michael’s Genuine® Home Brew and a small but focused wine and spirits list. The Pub is a place to meet for food and drink made fresh, simple and pure using only the best ingredients sourced from America’s best producers. We kinda can’t hardly wait to sidle up to the bar for the first time and settle into our neighborhood on the high seas!

And there’s a bonus with this news — a chef we respect immensely for his fresh approach and social entrepreneurialism also joins the Quantum Class as a partner, Britain’s Jamie Oliver, bringing aboard rustic, homemade favorites at Jamie’s Italian. Lots of learning and fun in store with our new mates, and we are excited to get to know his team as we work to bring both projects online. I know where we’re eating onboard when we aren’t at the Pub!

Visit michaelsgenuine.com/PUB for more information including background on the project, our menus and multimedia. CHEERS TO SHIPLIFE!

[RECIPE] Wake-Up Call: Capturing the Hidden Creativity of Our Morning Persons

At 8:00 a.m. last Thursday morning, busser, porter and now receiver Chris Caballero was commanding his new post as deliveries trickled in.  He paused for a coffee break — a hospitable one, to cue up two cappuccinos for photographer Catalina Ayubi and I.  It was an early morning for us, but not for Chris nor the pastry department. Hours aren’t the most forgiving in this business, and it’s no more apparent than the hours bakers keep.  The 6:00 a.m. call time is just the morning routine, and on some days, part of the allure of this line of work. It’s when Kelly Russell, executive pastry chef Hedy Goldsmith’s assistant at Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, puts together her prep list for the day.

Kelly and our beloved workhorse, the Hobart mixer.

Kelly and our beloved workhorse, the Hobart mixer.

“Monday is ice cream and sorbet day, a big day for prep,” Kelly says. “The weekend is busy, especially with Sunday brunch. We place our orders then. Chocolate and nuts that we buy in bulk. We can buy produce any day of the week except Sunday.  Orders come every Monday and Thursday. Two people come in every morning, with one pastry plater for dinner service and two at night on the weekends.”   Is your head spinning yet?

My caffeine hadn’t kicked in, and but the team was trucking, staffed up, in the throws of two recipes already, and simultaneously explaining all of this to me.  We were at the flagship to capture its creativity in these now not so wee hours.  Chef de cuisine Niven Patel and his crew were there, foraging for spices, mise’ing the country pate and marinating pork for patties on the day’s lunch special salad.  But our sites were set on the Hobart and the Doyon, oft doubling for savory applications such as roasting porchetta, but at this particular moment sweet.

Kelly giggles at Niven in his happy place, the spice corner.

Kelly giggles at Niven in his happy place, the spice corner.

Kelly was making sheet pans of sour cream coffee cake, a classic layered breakfast pasty that hits all the right notes — nutty, sweet and just-a-touch-salty in the streusel crumble. The occasion is CreativeMornings, which I like to say are the TEDx talks of the creative world, a morning speaker series on a new topic each month simultaneously presented in each of the organization’s myriad chapters across the globe by a special guest.  It attracts intellectuals, cultural subversives, curious cats, social entrepreneurs, artists, designers both in the audience and on stage and is the best exercise for the mind that I’ve ever encountered pre-10:00 a.m.  Doors open at 8:30 a.m., you eat (where Hedy’s coffee cake comes in,) you listen (where Camila Ramos of Panther Coffee comes in,) and you are in the office in a timely fashion ready to claim the day.

The second we heard of this brilliant event from Michael’s new assistant and my partner in crime Jessica Gross, it was time to take Miami host Malik Benjamin out to a proper Michael’s Genuine lunch. We were hungry for more and wanted to get involved, in ways more than making sure folks left belly full.  The light bulb eventually went off.  Panther Coffee was the missing link.  I pitched, and they bit.  It was a no-brainer brainer, and thanks to the support of owners Joel and Leticia Pollock, we secured the lovely and talented head barista and store manager Camila Ramos to present her Hidden Sources, not only of beans but of her passion for them.  [Look for her her complete and utterly mesmerizing  talk which took place this past Friday to be posted here, shortly!]

The recipe below, straight from the pages of Hedy’s Baking Out Loud cookbook, takes the classic sour cream coffee cake we make last week to the next level with coffee and chocolate in the topping.   Have a creative morning at home and bake one fresh for yourself, to share with friends, or as the happiest wake-up call I can think of… baking smells! Wait, where is that iPhone App, because I want it?!  A set of Cat’s images from our own creative morning at HQ are accessible at this link. Follow Creative Mornings @creativemorningsmia on Instagram and Twitter for the latest talks and links to sign up to attend.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake
Recipe from Baking Out Loud by Hedy Goldsmith

Serves 12

For the streusel
¾ cup (packed) dark brown sugar
¾ cup coarsely chopped walnuts
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate (preferably Valrhona Caraïbe 66%), chopped into ½-inch pieces
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon (preferably Saigon, see note below)
1 tablespoon finely ground espresso beans
For the cake
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1½ teaspoons vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream, at room temperature

1. To make the streusel, combine the brown sugar, walnuts, chocolate, cinnamon, and ground espresso in a small bowl, and stir until well blended.

2. T o make the cake, position an oven rack in the middle of the oven, and preheat the oven to 325°F (325°F if using a convection oven). Line the bottom and sides of a 10-cup loaf pan with foil and grease it lightly (preferably with Pam).

3. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together.

4. Using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed for about
3 minutes, until soft and smooth. Add the granulated sugar and beat on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until well blended. Add the vanilla and mix until combined. Add half of the flour mixture and beat on low speed until just combined. Add the sour cream and mix until blended, about 1 minute. Add the remaining flour mixture and mix until just combined. Do not overmix.

5. Scrape half of the batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly. Evenly distribute half of the streusel mixture over the batter. Then spoon the remaining batter evenly over the streusel, and spread it evenly. Scatter the remaining streusel evenly over the top.

6. Bake for 68 to 70 minutes (50 to 60 minutes if using a convection oven), until the topping is browned and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

7. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 20 minutes. Lift the cake and the foil liner from the pan, peel away the foil, and return the cake to the rack to cool completely. Using a serrated knife, cut the coffee cake into 1-inch-thick slices.
Note: Saigon cinnamon contains the highest percentage of essential oil of all the varieties of ground cinnamon. It packs the most flavor, making this one the finest and most exotic of all cinnamon types.

Pull Up the Bermuda Yacht & Shuck the Island Creek Oysters: Announcing The Ordinary Pizzeria Menu

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Welcome to Charleston, South Carolina, home of a rich seafaring history and The Ordinary fancy oyster hall. That’s the greeting James Beard Award-winning chef-owner Mike Lata will offer in his welcome cocktail at Harry’s Pizzeria on Tuesday, April 8.  His city in a glass.  In 1997, to celebrate the shared heritage and cultural ties of Bermuda and Charleston, the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club (est.1884) first sponsored a 777-nautical mile race between the ports every two years. The official drink of the club and race – and pretty much America’s southern starboard – is its namesake.

Ordinary-09The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club combines Mount Gay rum, falernum, Cointreau, and lime juice and dates back to the 1940s, as it should given all the sugarcane spirit flowing through its port.  Toast to life on the water with a taste of history in the recipe below and get ready for Mike’s menu, shuck-full of deep cup oysters from our friends at Island Creek. Purchase tickets here which include the menu, drinks, tax, tip, and The Ordinary’s Duxbury oyster knife to-go gift.

Royal Bermuda Yacht Club
1 3/4 oz Mount Gay Rum
3/4 oz lime juice
1/3 oz velvet falernum
1/3 oz Clement Creole Shrub
Combine all ingredients and shake, double strain into a coupe.

Avocado toast, Bulls Bay Sea Salt, Chili
Wood Oven Roasted Island Creek Oysters, Wild Fennel, Florida Bottarga
Smoked Coosaw Cup Oysters, Saltines, Hot Sauce
Pizza of Capers Clams, Green Garlic, Mustard Greens, Fresh Mozzarella

Pickled White Shrimp
Marinated Razor Clams, Green Apple, Jalapeño, Cilantro

Fritto Misto, Green Garlic Aioli
Crunchy Spring Vegetable Salad

Salt-Baked Dayboat Fish, Artichoke, Lemon-Butter Vinaigrette, Greens
Carolina (Gold Rice) Ice Cream

Sticky Sorghum Cake with Calvados Ice Cream

To Drink
Sparkling – Patrick Piuze, Val de Mer Cremant
White – Nigl, Gruner Veltliner, Freiheit
Red – Occhipinti SP68
Red – La Torre Rosso di Toscana “Ampelio”

Slam Dunk: #harrys2heat with #car2go

Creativity is king in Genuineland and when we find like-minded individuals and organizations committed to innovate in their industries, it’s love at first sight.  Such is the case with global car sharing company car2go, with whom we are partnership during the month of March for some fun only Harry’s Pizzeria could have. After the Harry’s High Five and Superhomey Home Brew Schwartz Delivery comes #harrys2heat.

The idea is simple. Join us at Harry’s to pre-game before Miami Heat home games for a chance to win a $100 TGHG gift card plus 60 free car2go minutes. Bring your car2go and park with ease, then take it to the “drop zone” (special car2go designated area) located at 701 North Miami Avenue a short walk to the American Airlines Arena. To be eligible, customers must be members of car2go or sign-up on site at Harry’s with our friendly car2go representative. Winner must be present to claim the prize when the random drawing occurs. Whether you have tickets to the game or not, good food and drink is in-store, and who doesn’t love free car2go minutes for use anytime!? Come one, come all during the following pre-game slots:

Sunday 3/16 – #harrys2heat entry opens 1:30, winner announced 2:30PM [3:30PM game time]
Monday 3/24 – #harrys2heat entry opens 5:30, winner announced 6:30PM [7:30PM game time]
Monday 3/31 – #harrys2heat entry opens 5:30, winner announced 6:30PM [7:30PM game time]

A car2go is always a pleasure to drive: just take it, drive it, park it. Simple and straightforward. You can always find a vehicle in your area. You open it with the member card you receive after signing up. You go from A to B, park your car2go again and that’s that. It’s fun, saves money and helps the environment. Become a member and never have to worry about parking, insurance, maintenance and gas.

Pizza, cheer, chance to win and free designated parking.  @harryspizzeria will be instagramming (hopefully some amazing pizza-meets-car2go chalkboard drawings by our server and local artist Jose Feliz Perez) and tagging @car2gomiami #harrys2heat, and we’re excited to support innovation and our own Miami Heat.  Let’s inject some fuel when our guys need it most!

Knife Work: Turning Japanese

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A Japanese knife primer, from Roel’s line-up (top to bottom): Boning, Petty, Suntuko, Deba, Demascus Gyuto and Carbon Steel Gyuto

Chefs and their knives. Certainly a topic taken seriously. A knife is a tool. It’s an appendage, an extension of a cook’s body and, as such, an expression of his or her personality.  A knife individuates.  This essential element pretty much dictates a cook’s ability to perform their job.  Knives are so ubiquitous in the kitchen, it often disappears into the daily fabric of life in the restaurant business. Focus your attention and you can’t go one second in our world without encountering a blade or two, even in our corporate office.

This isn’t not the first time we’ve wielded the “Chef Toys” category on the blog but it certainly deserves more attention.  On a recent rare morning visit to The Cypress Room, I happened upon chef de cuisine Roel Alcudia sharpening his set of Japanese knives.  There are different knives for different tasks.  There are brand and style preferences. But perhaps the most telling of all traits is their care.  A cook can have a great collection of carbon and stainless steel, but if not properly maintained they will quickly fail, from rust to uneven wear, and equally fail the ingredient meant for batonnet or brunoise, and ultimately the final product at the table.  Once a day, Roel works the soft side of his Togiharu sharpening stone. Once a month on the hard side. It’s a time to reset.

“I think about almost everything relevant in my life.  Paying bills, knocking out prep lists, menu ideas… It’s not unlike rolling out pasta. My mind just wanders.”

Take care of and protect your investments, the Korin website says.  Roel reminds me the honing blade is for just that and that alone – straightening the blade; it can dangerously wear down a knife if improperly (usually too frequently) used.

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In addition to their hardness, Japanese knives are in large part distinctive for their single bevel and its cutting performance suitable to traditional Japanese cuisine and its ingredients. “Yanagiba” is well designed for slicing and preparing the raw sashimi without loosing shape and freshness. The “Usuba” is suitable design for cutting, peeling, also thin and precise cutting for vegetables.  But it’s not so black and white.  As western culture and foods were brought to Japan beginning in the Meiji Period (late 1800s to early 1900s,) western-style European knives featuring the double bevel blade were brought to Japan to handle the cutting of meats. With increasing demand, Japanese knife makers have started to make western-style knives with the experience and techniques of Japanese sword-making and Japanese traditional-style knife-making. So where will our knife exploration lead next, with the chefs of Genuineland as our guides? We shall see, right Michael?!