LA LA Landing | Chef Goes West with Fi’lia by Michael Schwartz at the James West Hollywood

Screen Shot 2016-08-22 at 8.56.20 AM

So happy together…

When Chef and Bradley head to LA on September 10 in support of Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, the City of Angels will get a taste of Fi’lia by Michael Schwartz opening at the James West Hollywood in January 2017.  Michael’s first West Coast restaurant represents a return to the place that inspired his career early on and shaped the simple approach to food for which he is known, based on quality sourcing.  This past April, the two joined Director of Licensing Operations Eric Larkee to tour the construction site, drink wine with friends and eat an Olympic athlete’s load of carbs all in the name of R&D.  Now that’s true dedication to the craft!

Incredibly, verified by a google (email) search, this will be the Genuine Team’s sixth year at LA Loves Alex’s thanks to gracious hosts Chef Suzanne Goin and business partner Caroline Styne (Lucques, AOC, Tavern) along with Chef David Lentz (The Hungry Cat).  The event has raised over $3.2 million to fund childhood cancer research, with more than $1 million from the 2015 event alone!  Click here for tickets and for 2016 chef, winery and mixologist participant list.

The Chefs pose as the Alex Loves Lemonade Foundation hosts a fundraiser at the UCLA campus in Los Angeles, CA on September 12, 2015. (Photo: Alex J. Berliner /ABImages)

The Chefs pose as the Alex Loves Lemonade Foundation hosts a fundraiser at the UCLA campus in Los Angeles, CA on September 12, 2015.
(Photo: Alex J. Berliner /ABImages)

Located on the famed corner of Sunset and La Cienega, The James will be Los Angeles’ newest hotel and the first ground-up project in West Hollywood in approximately 30 years. The iconic property will feature the 286-room and will also boast a luxurious pool and 10,000-square-feet of flexible event space, which will include a ballroom, event facilities, and meeting spaces.  Sbe’s Disruptive Restaurant Group will cultivate and manage the hotel’s restaurants and bars, while Denihan Hospitality Group will operate the hotel under The James Hotel brand.

IMG_9758

WERK

On the heels of opening a first location at the new SLS Hotel in Miami’s Brickell neighborhood in October, Fi’lia will showcase Michael’s fresh approach to Italian food, with handmade breads and pasta, and an emphasis on seasonal ingredients.  Michael moved from his hometown a Philadelphia to Santa Monica in 1986 and landed a job at Chinos working for Wolfgang Puck. He arrived in California without a plan, but was in the right place at the right time at the height of the Asian Fusion movement.

unnamed (36) (1)It was where his passion for sourcing product began to be put into practice, although it probably had a lot to do with his first experience working at a restaurant when he was 15 back in Philly.  Dad Marv helped him get his first job bussing tables at Dilullo’s, a Northern Italian restaurant.  The place was ahead of its time and really swanky, importing expensive, high quality ingredients from Italy.  Fine inspiration for a career in the kitchen, although he didn’t know it then!

For more information on Fi’lia visit filiarestaurant.com and follow @lalovesalexs today when those Angelenos wake up for @chefmschwartz’s takeover featuring what’s in store with this new restaurant concept and next month’s event!

These South Florida Beers Will Hold Genuine Court on Friday, August 12

Screen Shot 2016-08-04 at 12.32.25 PM

At Wynwood Brewing this morning spreading the good word to Luis Brignoni and tap room patrons!

Hop to the Genuine Beer Court.  Our Summer Series finale with the Miami Design District is going out with a tap… or 10!

I’m really excited to bring together such high quality local beer and food at one event,” says Hand of the Beer and TGHG Beverage Manager Amanda Fraga. “While we tried to select different styles to showcase the variety that these guys are known for, the fun should be tasting how different brewers can embrace the same style yet produce such brewery-distinctive results.”

We’re announcing the brew lineup today for our neighborhood’s first beer garden, a unique chance to educate your palate while celebrating the hard work and dedication of our South Florida brewing community!

Wynwood Brewing Company
La Rubia – American Blonde 👑
Magic City – American Pale Ale 👙

Funky Buddha Brewery
Hop Gun – Indian Pale Ale 🇮🇳
Sticky Treats – Rice and Marshmallow Blonde Ale ☁️🍚

8

Amanda and I are proficient at juggling work and beer, with practice at J. Wakefield’s tap room (thanks Alex for the encouragement!)

Biscayne Bay Brewing Company
Saison – Farmhouse Ale 🐄
La Colada – Coffee Porter ☕️

J. Wakefield Brewing
El Jefe – Hefeweizen 🌾
Amber Waves – Amber Ale 🇺🇸

Miami Beer Company
Mega Mix – Tropical Pale Ale 🌴
Tourist Trappe – Belgian Tripel ⛪️

Enjoy all you care to drink of the above; three Michael’s Genuine® Food & Drink and Lynx Grills food stations including Sausage & Onion Hoagie with dijon mustard & sauerkraut, Broccoli Rabe Pizza with chiles & garlic, and Mini Genuine Burgers with secret sauce, shredded lettuce, extra cheese; Housemade Chex-style Mix; and music and games. We’ll also be giving away a Lynx Smoker Box in a raffle drawing on site, complete with a signed copy of the Michael’s Genuine Food cookbook and a few other surprises!

Tickets are $55 plus tax all inclusive and sold in advance through our link at michaelsgenuine.com/beercourt. When you arrive on site, you’ll check in at the door, get your wristband and let the fun begin.  Thanks to our sponsors Cadillac, the official vehicle of The Genuine Hospitality Group and Lynx Grills for going the distance!  Cheers!

 

August of Genuine Events: Announcing Harry’s First Rosé BBQ in the Design District & More!

It’s been a very busy summer, and we’re not letting up!  With Fi’lia by Michael Schwartz poised to open in the fall at SLS Brickell, Michael’s newest concept is making the rounds in Genuineland where it’s been welcomed with open arms… and mouths!  Our second taste of Chef’s simple, honest approach to Italian food wrapped with a packed house at Harry’s Pizzeria last night, so we are pleased to share our next events in the hopper for August that spread the love.  It’s going to be a tasty month!

17715500600_c64658a872_kHarry’s BBQ Night: Rosé Edition Tuesday, August 23 from 6:30 p.m. — Harry’s Pizzeria, 3918 North Miami Avenue, Miami (Design District), 33127  TICKETS HERE

It’s time to roll out the smoker again, and we’re breaking out the rosé for the occasion.  Harry’s Pizzeria is so excited to welcome back The Genuine Hospitality Group Executive Chef Bradley Herron to pop a rosé barbecue dinner at Michael’s neighborhood American pizzeria.  This is the wine we like to drink; it always occupies a special place at the Schwartz table and summertime is no exception.  Here we’ll drink pink three ways, including a sparkling.  Harry’s loves beer too, so its four taps will feature refreshing summer beer styles for the week of the event.  Tickets are $79 and include it all — a stationed menu, all you care to drink rosé and draught beer, tax and gratuity.  You’ll grab a pizza tray and make the rounds to build your BBQ meal visiting the Smoker, Wood Oven, and Counter.  There will be plenty of Sides and Veggies too, and of course Dessert!  Stay tuned for Brad’s menu. All sales are final, seating is communal, and we’ll be open all night long.

IMG_6251Fi’lia Spices Up MGFD | Monday, August 29 to Sunday, September 4 from 5:30 p.m.  Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, 130 NE 40th Street, Miami (Design District) 33137, 305.573.5550

We’ve seen tremendous response from everyone this summer to our embrace of Fi’lia at our restaurants, so with Cypress Tavern and Harry’s Pizzeria events under our belts, it’s time to move the party to Michael’s flagship!  With so much excitement around Miami Spice, especially at Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, we thought it would be fun for Fi’lia take over our Spice dinner menu for a week!  Beginning Monday, August 29 until Sunday September 4, guests joining us from 5:30 p.m. can choose from a 3-course prix fixe dinner for $39 exclusive of tax and gratuity featuring Fi’lia inspired-dishes.  The special menu will also be available Friday and Saturday nights, even though we don’t typically offer Miami Spice during those dinner services.  MGFD’s regular dinner menu will also be available all evenings.

FBB-logo-v3-stackedREDHarry’s Flight Night Welcomes Funky Buddha Brewery | Tuesday, August 30 from 6 p.m. —Harry’s Pizzeria, 3918 North Miami Avenue, Miami (Design District), 33127, 786.275.4963

Flight Night is getting funktified! After a lot of fun with J. Wakefield, Harry’s is getting its community brew on again with a Flight Combo, special menu items from Harry’s for the night, and taps (and more!) from Oakland Park’s brewer of “big, bold flavors, made exactingly with natural ingredients.”  Harry’s a la carte menu will be available all day and there’s no cover charge to pop in! Look for Flight Night’s special insert on the night of, and stay tuned for beer selections and menu!

summer-series-beer-court-071516-FINAL[1]Summer Series Finale! Genuine Beer Court | Friday, August 12 from 6 p.m.  — Palm Court, 140 NE 39th Street, Second Floor “Netscape” Space, Miami (Design District) 33137  TICKETS HERE

Enjoy all you care to drink of two special beers poured from each of five local breweries; three MGFD and Lynx Grills food stations including sausage & onion hoagie with dijon mustard & sauerkraut, broccoli rabe pizza with chiles & garlic, and mini burgers with secret sauce, shredded lettuce, extra cheese; housemade Chex mix; and music and lawn games. We’ll also be giving away a Lynx Smoker Box in a raffle drawing on site, complete with a signed copy of Michael’s cookbook and a few other surprises!  Tickets are $55 plus tax all inclusive and exclusively sold in advance through our link.  When you arrive on site, you’ll check in at the door, get your wristband and let the fun begin. Cheers!

You’re Welcome! Michael’s Menu for Fi’lia Dinner at Harry’s & a Sip of Cocktails to Come

IMG_3974

Cocktailing at TGHG HQ with Eric Larkee, director of licensing ops, as we blow through the list from bottled to spritz for training materials.

Logo-Package_Black BrickellFi’lia’s Pop-Up Dinner at Harry’s is a week away come tomorrow on Tuesday, July 26. With seats filling up, this is your last chance to grab tickets before they’re gone.   Good news is that Michael is ready with your first look at the evening’s menu and our new logo!

IMG_3976

YOUR WELCOME: Orangecello forms the base of Tuesday night’s welcome cocktail. The peels of Sicilian oranges are soaked with sugar and orange juice in pure grain alcohol to make this tangy twist on the classic limoncello.

Of the Fi’lia cocktail program beverage and ops maestro Eric Larkee says, “We wanted a list that is fresh and vibrant, with an Italian touch.”  You’ll have a taste of one cocktail as Tuesday’s welcome featuring Bombay Sapphire Gin, Caravella Orangecello, lime, and soda. Perfect. Remember, tickets to the pop-up include a priority reservation at the forthcoming restaurant and a bottle of chef-selected wine for the table.  The only way to go!  Here’s your link to tickets, with the menu below.

FI’LIA AT HARRY’S
Dinner served family-style

Welcome
Cocktail ~ Bombay Sapphire Gin, Caravella Orangecello, lime, soda

Passed
Soft Egg Crostini braised leeks and anchovy
Charred Eggplant spread bottarga, grilled bread
Snapper Tartare celery, radish, smoked trout roe, parsley sauce, potato chips
Heirloom Tomato Puttanesca Pizza hot sausage, fior di latte
Pizza Braised Rampini Pizza fontina, calabrian chilies

First
Warm Brandade pickled onion, preserved meyer lemon, toasted bread
Pork Tonnato giardiniera

Second
Bucatini bottarga, garlic, chile flake, bread crumb
White Lasagnette braised rabbit, porcini fondue, thyme

Main
Wood Roasted Chicken warm bread salad, mustard greens, pine nuts, currants
Wood Roasted Cabbage with caraway agrodolce

Dessert
Gelato with pizzelle

To Drink
Sparkling, Borgoluce “lampo” Prosecco, Italy
Ribolla Gialla, Talis, Friuli, Italy
Barbera, Giovanni Rosso, Alba, Piedmont, Italy
Cabernet Sauvignon Blend, Guado al Tasso “il bruciato” Bolgheri, Italy

For This Pastry Team, Working Smart Means Cross Training with Donuts

IMG_3692

The 9 a.m. donut handoff! Ella GM Sandra Pepin receives the goodies from MGFD’s pastry chef MJ Garcia.

Every morning Pastry Chef MJ Garcia gets into Michael’s Genuine® Food & Drink around 5:45 a.m. and takes survey of her stock.  Then it’s time to cross train.

“If I ran a special that had pastry cream the day before, I’ll use it for a donut at Ella,” she explains.  “The other day we did butterscotch pudding here, so that became the filling for a chocolate glazed there.”

Restaurants like Michael’s flagship with its vast menu and myriad meal periods require a lot of rotation of product. MJ’s cross training routine makes for a fit operation, one with limited waste not at the expense of creativity. It’s a canvas that offers an outlet for new ideas to develop with discipline and structure because they are built on making something special from what’s around. “If you think about it from the culinary side, donuts are like the soup,” she points out.

Since our light and airy café first opened in late spring last year, the “Ella Daily Donut” (#elladailydonut on Instagram) has become a fixture in the display case, coveted for its surprising array of flavors and formats.  It was around the time MJ rejoined The Genuine Hospitality Group after a four year hiatus from Miami in the wilds of the Pacific Northwest with husband (and now Cypress Tavern Chef de Cuisine) Max Makowski.  Her first placement was at ella, where she learned a tremendous deal about desserts in a retail environment, not to mention the benefit of direct customer feedback at the counter.

Screen Shot 2016-07-11 at 1.32.19 PM

Rainbow of Flavors: Here, lemon and coconut ensconced on their perch in the morning light.

“I noticed things… saw the pastries and how they were behaving.  Fresh fruit like strawberries will look fantastic in the morning but they wilt and go pale by the evening,” she recalls observing.  “You have to think how many hours a particular donut is going to stand up.  At 7 p.m. closing it has to look as good at as it did at opening. So you have boundaries.”

IMG_3693

Sometimes the donuts would be too big or too little.  MJ made note of all these things at ella, and translated them to improvements on that offering, not to mention best practices for her department at large at Michael’s Genuine.

“You have to keep a lot of factors in mind while you do these seemingly simple things,” she continues. “Yeasted donuts are more irregular in the way the dough behaves and there is more room for error.  It can overproof which creates big air pockets which can explode in the frier!  You also have to be careful not to overwork the dough which will develop gluten and produce a tough, dense result.”

IMG_2656

Lemon Meringue donut in all her oozy glory; the perfect ratio of filling to fried dough dusted in sugar and laden with sticky, caramelized meringue topping.

The preparation of the yeasted dough is a one day process with bulk cold fermentation in large tubs to develop flavor, refrigerating overnight. Then she rolls it out and punches it, and waits an hour before frying. But as important as the foundation may be, the ultimate test is in the merchandising… read: decoration.

“Decoration is everything,” MJ agrees.  “We eat with our eyes, so when building the donut we play with color, texture and form, from punched or filled, to toppings like chocolate crunch balls and Oreo cookie crumbles.  If I made lemon lavender syrup and I have lemon juice, I’ll make a Lemon glaze and add coconut flakes. People love cookies and cream, and chocolate always makes sense on weekends!”

MJ says her team, helmed by pastry assistants Alexandra Sarria (lead) and Chelsea Hillier, “harass the Instagram” for feedback from customers, as well as those who post their own photos of the donuts. This feedback mechanism is invaluable, since they aren’t at the café to interact when people are eating them.

“Cypress sometimes gets leftovers, so my husband will let me know how they are and what his team thinks. It’s hard sometimes, so we take what we can.  Of course there’s the morning crew at Genuine. Those guys are a great source of feedback, especially when you catch them sneaking the scraps!”