Whole Hog, Full Circle | Chef Matt Hinckley’s Fancy Meats Kickstarter Campaign is Live

Planting new seeds. The Schwartz family hosted a little homecoming BBQ in the spring with Matt. He brought goodies.

Matt back in the day in his happy place, the oven station at MGFD rocking a brunch tortilla.

The prolific marriage of inspiration and efficiency can’t be found in the vacuum of one dish alone.  It’s the full circle approach where sourcing is king that Michael lives by, and that produces the kind of menu that makes sense.  You know it because it defines Michael’s Genuine®.  This too speaks to nature of the talent that is drawn to work in our restaurant and comprise a team that will practice it every day.  A simple way to guarantee action, that this idea actually plays out, is by bringing ingredients in WHOLE… to work with everything, and in that, know where they were raised, how and by whom.  It’s a built in way to keep us honest and a tool for cultivating this culture in the kitchen both for veterans and newcomers.  Today we celebrate the whole big picture, which when we are lucky, extends to those who have moved on from the seed of Genuine to sew their own.  Like Chef Matt Hinckley.

Matt’s Orlando-based operation, Hinckley’s Fancy Meats is taking a next big step to completing its own circle.  He has secured approval by the Florida Dept of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) as a Retail Meat Market and is putting the systems in place to begin shipping his nose-to-tail, sustainably-sourced products — with a focus on charcuterie made with heritage hog breeds that are responsibly-raised on small farms in Florida — nationwide.  Click here to support his Kickstarter campaign, which went live this morning.  You have 29 more days to donate for one-of-a-kind opportunities like a Michael’s Genuine Trunk Show when Matt returns to the wood oven at Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink for one night only. Hinckley’s Fancy Meats will have a pop-up trunk show with a sneak peek at what you can expect in the mail. $100 guarantees you a reservation, a menu signed by the whole team, and a pound of Hinckley’s Fancy Bacon.  But what of that $7,500 or more pledge for a Caja China Superbowl Fiesta wherein he sources a sustainably-raised 60-70 lb. heritage breed pig from a small, independent Florida farm and roasts it whole for you and up to 60 of your closest friends at your 2018 Superbowl party!?  Butcher’s block and a bunch of condiments, service right off the coals, included.

For me, Matt was always the resident food anthropologist during his tenure as Sous Chef at Michael’s Genuine® Food & Drink from 2009-2011 (and later opening chef of the original Harry’s Pizzeria®.)  Thanks to Matt, Lamb stew would become something way more than an aromatic pot of goodness.   It was a trip not just to Africa, but specifically Morocco in the cous cous and Ethiopia in the awaze.  His dedication to knowledge has been transportive, taking him around the world and bringing it to the table for all of us to enjoy.  In a December 2010 post on The Genuine Kitchen, he wrote of our pasta program and how it expressed what MGFD was all about — a perfect canvas for cross utilizing product and using different parts of one animal, like a whole pig. “Food tastes better when you are in touch with the source,” he would explain, and as such cooking begins long before ingredients are in the kitchen.

This is Hinckley’s Fancy Meats’ rallying cry, providing fresh cuts of meat as well as various types of charcuterie and smoked meats. Popular signature items thus far have been Tasso Ham, Hinckley’s Fancy Bacon, Florida Ham, Grass-fed Pastrami, Breakfast Sausage, and Andouille.  Matt makes seasonal creations and limited runs, a nose-to-tail butcher shop, but with plenty of familiar offerings as well, crafted with the home cook in mind.  The funding will help Hinckley’s Fancy Meats purchase the necessary equipment and supplies to expand its business model and steward the mission. By offering shipping and delivery, Matt will be able to drastically expand his market and work toward making a better and more transparent food system.  It’s about opening access for the home cook to have access to the same quality ingredients that chefs use in the best restaurants in the country.  We can all get behind that.

 

Red Rooster Brunch at Cypress Tavern with Chef & New York Times Best Selling Author Marcus Samuelsson

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Sunday Tomato Eggs

Sunday Tomato Eggs (credit Bobby Fisher)

A relaxing Sunday full of soul is coming to Cypress Tavern as Michael welcomes chef Marcus Samuelsson to celebrate the debut of The Red Rooster Cookbook: The Story of Food and Hustle in Harlem with a special brunch!  Join us November 13  from 11-3 pm at our American Grill & Cocktail Bar in the Miami Design District by making a reservation here or calling the restaurant at 305.520.5197.

Conjuring the familiar scenes and smells of Spanish Harlem, to the soulful comfort of Southern food with its layers of flavor and history, chef Max Makowski and the Cypress team will highlight a selection of delicious dishes (and we hope cocktails!) from the New York Times best-selling author’s iconic Harlem restaurant, as featured in the cookbook.  Copies will be available for sale on-site, along with an author eager to sign them!

Neighborhood vibes.

Neighborhood vibes.

The Red Rooster Cookbook is more than a volume of recipes; it’s a celebration of the delicious result of diversity, with music woven throughout and sections prefaced with a playlist by theme (El Barrio, Sunday Jazz, Family Meal…)  Pages that juxtapose historic and contemporary Harlem reveal the essence of Marcus and his approach to cooking: that food and community are one in the same, inseparable and forever bound by tradition and the fabric of people that care for it.   Sharing a moment with his friend and Jazz band leader Nate Lucas (whose Nate Lucas All Stars have a regular gig on Sundays at the Red Rooster), the chef also describes this music’s place in Southern foodways, or the cultural, social and economic intersection shaping food traditions.

Experiencing this music makes me think about the connections between jazz and Southern food. Both travelled north and were transformed. Both come from a deep tradition of what it means to riff on what you think you know. I listen to “Bitches Brew” and think gumbo. It’s a dish that can be a fridge cleaner or can break your piggy bank if you let it. Onions, bell peppers, shrimp, tripe stirred into the patience of a whiskey-colored roux.  Like me, Nate knows what it feels like to play and improvise; to feel scared and arrogant at the same time.

The Breakfast, featuring shiro (an Ethiopian stew made with chickpea flour), candied bacon, grits, and a poached egg with a golden yolk to run into everything.

The Breakfast, featuring shiro (an Ethiopian stew made with chickpea flour), candied bacon, grits, and a poached egg with a golden yolk to run into everything (credit Bobby Fisher)

When he opened Red Rooster on Harlem’s Lenox Avenue, Marcus envisioned so much more than just a restaurant. He wanted to create a gathering place at the heart of his adopted neighborhood, where both the uptown and downtown sets could see and be seen, mingle and meet – and so he did, in a big way. Ever since the 1930s, Harlem has been a magnet for more than a million African Americans, a melting pot for Spanish, African, and Caribbean immigrants, and a mecca for artists. Named after a historic neighborhood speakeasy, the modern Rooster reflects all of that, from the local art showcased on its walls, to the live music blaring from its performance spaces, to the cross-cultural food on its patrons’ plates and the evocative cocktails in their hands.  Sounds like a perfect way to spend a Sunday.  We can’t wait to bring this spirit to life at Cypress Tavern!  Follow along @marcuscooks and #redroostercookbook for the latest!

Serious Case of the Roman Munchies | Katie Parla’s Viceland Street Food Tour & What You’re Eating at Her Harry’s Pizzeria Pop Up Dinner

Watch and learn people.

Watch and learn people.

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Chef Chris showed us how to make a Capricciosa inspired pie for us yesterday on Facebook Live.

Heat wave, anyone?  F*ck yes, said any Miamian never!  But record breaking temps never stopped Katie Parla from an adventure, especially when it’s showing a little culinary hospitality to Mario Batali and Action Bronson plus ones and twos.  That’s just how one denouements the Italian episode of our favorite new guilty pleasure on Viceland — an epic Roman street food tour of the Eternal City in 110°F weather.

Lucky for Katie and you, it’s cold front season in Miami when she visits Michael’s neighborhood American pizzeria on Wednesday, November 16 to share her delicious new book with us.  You can read all about the infamous Trapizzino and other amazing Roman specialities in your very own signed copy of Tasting Rome, while enjoying bite after transportive bite under one cool roof — Harry’s Pizzeria in the Miami Design District.  Katie’s releasing the menu today.  Check it out below, click to buy some tickets, and watch her show us all how to Roman Holiday and toast with pizza.  Cin cin!

WELCOME COCKTAIL
CINQUIÈME ARRONDISSEMENT DEL GIN CORNER — Gin, St. Germain elderflower liqueur, lemon, egg white, red wine
PASSED
BUTTER & ANCHOVY CROSTINI crostini con burro e alici
BRUSCHETTE WITH SQUASH AND PECORINO ROMANO
bruschette con zucca e pecorino romano
SQUASH BLOSSOM PIZZA pizza romana con fiori di zucca
RICE CROQUETTES WITH PECORINO supplì cacio e pepe
ANTIPASTI
BAKED VEGETABLES WITH BREAD CRUMBS
verdure gratinate al forno
FENNEL, RADICCHIO AND PEAR SALAD
insalata di finocchio, radicchio, e pera
PRIMI
ROSCIOLI’S RIGATONI ALL’ AMATRICIANA
BRAISED OXTAIL GNOCCHI gnocchi al sugo di coda
SECONDI
VITO BERNABEI’S PORCHETTA
ROMANESCO CUSTARD sformatino di broccolo romanesco
DESSERT
APPLE CROSTATA WITH ALMOND CRUST crostata di mela
WINE
PROSECCO Borgoluce, Italy
PECORINO Tiberio, Abruzzo, Italy
LAGRIEN BLEND Manincor “Reserve del Conte” Alto Adige, Italy
NERO DI TROIA Indigenous, Puglia, Italy
“…I am constantly curious about how a cook arrives at his or her personal
recipe. Why does one use pancetta instead of guanciale in carbonara or
introduce Parmigiano Reggiano into the cacio mix? What drives half of Rome’s
chefs to use cocoa powder in their coda and others to leave it out? Tasting Rome
answers these questions. Katie Parla, my dear friend and expert on all things
Rome—particularly food, wine, and beer— has distilled the local culture as only
the most informed and devoted observer could and shows how traditions are ever
evolving.”
~ Mario Batali, foreword

Wine Wednesday | Amanda Fraga on Her Slow Fires Dinner Pairing & StarChefs Somm Slam

ct_slow-fires-cookbook-dinnerFraga got right to the point. “To be honest, this has been one of the most difficult pairings I’ve had to do here.  Sometimes you look at a menu and it’s more obvious the direction I want to go, like the dishes ask for certain wines. I’ll just say that’s not how this went down!”

Consider it part of our Beverage Manager’s preparation for this weekend’s Star Chefs 7th Annual Somm Slam in NYC, where she’ll be representing Miami as one of 12 sommeliers from across the country going for the title (“somms are just competitive by nature!”) and tested on categories including Tasting, Pairing and Wine Theory.  We’re speaking of the current test at hand, the menu for this coming Tuesday’s Slow Fires cookbook dinner with Chef Justin Smillie.  Tasting the pairings will be that much more delicious with a little back story, as I like to think is true of the experience of wine in general.

“When I’m faced with a really eclectic menu with lots going on, my first instinct is to focus, even oversimplify, each course into one key flavor attribute — usually the strongest one — and pair to that,” Amanda explains of the process.  “Then I can extrapolate from there, to make sure each dish is taken into account to offer a balanced pairing.”

Salads, I learn, are actually one of the most challenging of a meal.

“You want something bright, and a little acid to open up the palate at the beginning of the meal.   But dressing can be highly acidic, so you really need to be careful on the level there,” Amanda continues. “You also have an oil cure on the tuna in Justin’s Riviera Salad, which can be quite rich.  So it’s really all over the place.”

Amanda decided that citrus balanced with pronounced fruit would be a good way to go, so she chose the Sauvignon Blanc, La Garde, Pessac-Leognan, France 2011.  She tells me this wine also brings enough richness and round mouthfeel to match the tuna.

Amanda's current gem

Amanda’s current gem

For Slow Fires’ second course, Fraga’s laser beam fixed on Grilled Quail with broccoli rabe and coal-roasted garlic first, and set Clams with avocado and chile butter off to the side, to be contemplated after.  In Amanda’s estimation, something with fuller flavor, fruit and backbone would work well and Bourgogne came calling.

“Leroy (pronounced Le-wah) is my favorite wine right now at Michael’s Genuine,” Amanda says. “I named one of my fish after the winemaker, Lalou.”

Lalou Bize-Leroy was running the operation at Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, making some of the most expensive wines in the world.  Known for vineyard holdings dating back thousands of years to its abbey days, DRC is steeped in tradition and aggressively harvests, which means they are highly selective when it comes to what fruit is picked.  One shouldn’t be surprised to see many grapes still on the vine when all is said and done.  Amanda knows, she was in Burgundy for the harvest back in 2014.  Ms. Bize-Leroy, who went off and started her own project, continues similar practices — aggressive harvesting and organic viticulture — but in a much more accessible form [read: we can actually afford to drink it!]

“People look at the label and think it’s basic. But the game changes when Bourgogne is coming from a producer who is so good they can compete with the AOCs out there,” Amanda says.  “Ms. Bize-Leroy’s wines very terroir driven, this one in particular. The 2009 vintage is ripe and fleshy which is why I thought it would go great with the quail. It has body to it, but not enough to overpower the clams. This is when the second dish comes into play to ultimate decide on the pairing. It has to all work together.

Short rib cover shot and our main dish at Cypress Tavern's Slow Fires cookbook dinner.

Short rib cover shot and our main dish at Cypress Tavern’s Slow Fires cookbook dinner.

Amanda accessed her short rib know-how (yes, she has plenty from working Genuine’s menu over the years!) for the entrée course and went with a Grenache blend, Barroche “Signature” Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, 2013.

“CDP, and this one in particular, has really great acid so it’s light on its feet,” Amanda adds.  “That lemon we serve on the side with the classic preparation of Michael’s short rib is so important to use it. It cuts the fat, and that’s the role the wine plays here.  CDP has 13 varietals and people usually work with 3 of them, Grenache, Syrah and Mouvedre.  Here the Syrah plays with the spice of the peppercorn.  There’s a smokiness in tar and tabacco, too, which will always work well with Cypress Tavern’s wood grill fire.”

For tickets, visit cypresstavern.com/slowfires, and follow Amanda’s Wine Wednesday and Thirsty Thursday posts this week as more tasting and pairing notes unfold for next Tuesday’s special dinner, including its Bill Pay Buck cocktail featuring Absout Elyx.

When in Tasting Rome | Food Historian Katie Parla Pops a Cookbook Dinner at Harry’s Pizzeria

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Michael was in Philadelphia on a quick business trip this past spring and found us a pop up.  As La Dolce Vita would have it, one actually ran into him!  Katie Parla happened to be in town on her book tour making the requisite Vetri Family stop where Chef was catching up with Marc, Jeff and his team.  A few bowls of pasta at Amis Trattoria later, Katie is bringing some serious Roman game to Harry’s — we are so happy she found room in her crazy schedule to add a visit to Miami in November!

Following an esteemed list of nearly 40 guest chefs over the past five years, including Gabrielle Hamilton, Jonathan Waxman, Marc Vetri, and Mike Solomonov, Michael Schwartz welcomes Rome-based writer Katie Parla to his Neighborhood American Pizzeria in the Miami Design District on November 16 at 7 pm for Tasting Rome Pizzeria!

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Nduja in Carozza – crispy, delicious fresh sausage snacks!

A family-style menu will highlight Katie’s Rome and its historic and unique cuisine featuring recipes from Tasting Rome: Fresh Flavors and Forgotten Recipes from an Ancient City (Clarkson Potter/2016). A signed copy of Tasting Rome, family-style dinner including welcome cocktail, passed snacks and four courses including dessert and four wines for the night are included in the ticket price with tax and gratuity.

Katie, a New Jersey native, moved to Rome in 2003 in pursuit of a sommelier certificate and a masters degree in Italian gastronomic culture. Katie has written about restaurants, drinks, and food culture for more than a decade, and her travel writing, food criticism, and recipes have appeared in the New York Times, Saveur, Food & Wine, and Australian Gourmet Traveller. She is the author or National Geographic’s Walking Rome, two mobile dining apps, and the Saveur-nominated food and travel blog KatieParla.com/blog.

Caio e Pepe

As classic as it gets: Cacio e Pepe

She has appeared as a Rome expert on the History Channel, Travel Channel, Viceland, and the university lecture circuit.

Seating for Tasting Rome Pizzeria is first come, first served. Making new friends is encouraged and easy during this family-style dinner when you’ve got a welcome cocktail in hand, wines and Harry’s tap beers flowing freely!   Stay tuned for the menu and click here to join us!