We Couldn’t Fuggetaboutit! Katz’s Pastrami on Rye Pizza Returns to Miami at Schwartz’s Pizzerias In September for Two Weeks Only

Look for the signs.

Homer, a pizza cook at Miami Design District, couldn’t believe his eyes!

Start spreading the news. Miami will have what the Big Apple is having… AGAIN!  Back by popular demand, the Katz’s Pastrami Pizza on Rye Crust that Michael conceived last summer will be available at all four South Florida pizzerias and new Atlanta location beginning Monday, September 17 until Sunday, September 30. Chef and Katz’s Delicatessen owner Jake Dell connected on a recent trip to NYC and hatched a plan to give the people what they want for the second year in a row.  We are positively verklempt — especially our pizza cooks who couldn’t get enough of this specialty inspired the icon’s famous sandwich the first go around.

Katz’s Deli famous pastrami, sauerkraut, rye pizza crust, mustard sauce, gruyère 18

“The original Lower East Side location is an obligatory stop on every visit,” Michael says. “Katz’s pastrami on rye sandwich is legendary — and one my all time favorites. I have to pinch myself that it’s going to be back in our pizza ovens!”

It’s always a pleasure to bring a taste of New York City’s iconic Katz’s
Delicatessen to the 6th Borough.  The Pastrami on Rye pizza will be available all day long during regular business hours, as well as delivery and takeout — until Michael has to call Jake for more meat!  Visit genuinepizza.com.com/locations to plan your visit and share the Jewish Deli love at #pastramionpie.  And remember you’ll never run out of pastrami at home by ordering your own at katzsdelicatessen.com – Katz’s ships nationwide.

 

Three New Ways to Focaccia at Harry’s Pizzeria®… Genuine Sandwiches!

Mark your calendars, Miami!  After rolling out at Genuine Pizza® Aventura and Atlanta, three new sandwiches are closing in on the tender, freshly-baked focaccia at a Harry’s Pizzeria location near you.  You’re going to need both hands!

Chicken Pesto, Fresh & Roasted Veggie and Meatball launch next Tuesday, July 24 for $12 each in Downtown Dadeland, and the following Tuesday, July 31 Coconut Grove and Miami Design District.  Along with the new Sandwiches section, more new menu items include two new tasty pies, Italian Sausage and Four Cheese & SpinachBaby Spinach Salad with tomato, walnuts, roasted red peppers, egg and bacon tossed in a creamy feta dressing, and Red Pepper Cheese Dip, a beer-worthy snack to spread on toasty focaccia soldiers.

Visit the Harry’s Pizzeria’s Instagram to watch how the Sausage Pizza and Meatball Sandwich are made, featuring super delicious, high quality pork and beef you can feel good about eating from Niman Ranch (rasied with care!)

 

Kneading Lessons & a Learning Legacy on the Road with the Vetri Family

Growth happens when we are exposed to new things — or sometimes, the same things but new ways of doing them.  When we have those with the experience, passion and patience to teach us, something beautiful happens in the exchange.  An invitation to cook at the annual Great Chefs Event for Alex’s Lemonade Stand in Philadelphia last week presented such an opportunity for The Genuine Hospitality Group culinary assistant Dillion Wolff — to stage at Vetri Cucina, thanks to Michael and friend Marc Vetri.  A chef respected by his peers for his talent and heart, Marc has cultivated a stable of acclaimed chefs and restaurants since his flagship Vetri Cucina opened in Philly in 1998. It’s hard enough to be a for-profit business in this business, so 20 years is many lifetimes in the restaurant world, especially when you are also running a foundation in tandem.  Vetri Cucina set the tone and proved a solid foundation from which to build, recognized for the level of care taken in honoring and elevating the traditional Italian kitchen.  Its special tasting menu has minted this gem in the canon of American dining and won multiple James Beard Awards for its offspring, Jeff Michaud and Mike Solomonov to name a few.  If Marc is the OG progenitor, Vetri Cucina is the primordial Italian wedding soup.

The dining experience at Vetri is an ode to the mother country and its love of food unlike any other. In addition to the dining room, guests can arrange for private dinners, as well as partake in cooking classes on site.  As Dillion found out, perhaps the education most important happens daily among its cooks in service — a recipe of teamwork and technique.  It’s a place where bread, pasta and even polenta made from scratch means milling the flour in house.

“Going into it there were a few things I was curious about, like making fresh pasta, for example,” Dillion reflected on the phone Monday.  “How they run service is so different than Harry’s or Genuine Pizza — even Michael’s Genuine or Amara.  We are talking a 30 seat restaurant where 40 covers is a crazy busy night.”

TGHG Culinary Director Bradley Herron snagged Dillion for his team in February 2017 from Michael’s Genuine, where he had been working the line for a year after interning there during culinary school.  The culinary assistant role is a unique one, providing support to all Genuine group entities — from Amara at Paraiso to Fi’lia in the Bahamas to our commissary kitchen — with ongoing training, their chefs with last minute help on the line, working Michael Schwartz Events including private parties from cocktail receptions to cooking classes and off-site catering, and handling special projects.  Really everything under the sun.  Most recently, Dillion worked with the Genuine Pizza cookbook team on a week-long photoshoot.  The 150 pictures of recipes and lifestyle shots due to publisher Abrams Books quickly became 180, including several step by step instructive images for which he and colleague Brandon Green served not only as prep cooks but subjects.

Some of the Genuine Pizza cookbook photo wall, most of Dillion’s hands!

“This job requires flexibility and versatility, but it demands a good attitude,” Bradley explained.  “You have to be able to jump in to help and get things done at a moment’s notice, and they need to be done right. Dillion is as fast as he is proficient, but these are strengths that as a cook you always want to be improving upon.  That comes with experience, time on the line and repeated exposure to new environments and things.”

Dinner at Vetri is conceived based on each table, and everything isn’t the same.  The on the fly structure is part of the challenge, the fun and the instruction.

“It was cool to see how dynamic the approach is with the tasting menu,” Dillion reflects.  “It’s not just what the chef wants to do, it’s trying to make the diner’s experience as custom and to their tastes and food preferences as possible.”

The first day, Dillion was a fly on the wall for service, and they would make him an extra of each dish to taste. Tuesday was spent with the baker, milling fresh flour and baking bread.  He worked service with “pasta guy” and also helped with private events upstairs.

“Matt, the executive chef… On Monday he was the dishwasher.  I mean, it really sets the tone when the first courses come in heavy and the pasta cook comes in to help put it out.  You could tell in the kitchen that it was a huge team effort,” he reflected. “Everyone will do whatever. The whole operation is impressive, the attention to detail and craft but also people being genuine with each other — and incredibly welcoming to me.  They didn’t want to ask me to do things, like the stuff that’s not glamorous, and I’m there to work and to do anything. I had so many questions and no one got annoyed with me!”

The City of Brotherly Love indeed. Something we can all benefit from emulating!  Follow Dillion on Instagram @dillion_wolff.

Nose to Fruit: New Seasonal Salad, Pizza & Sangria Specials Now Summering at Harry’s Pizzeria® & Genuine Pizza™

We look forward to the smells of summer — the way the air gets thick and sparkly after a tropical sun shower, and sunscreen’s dreamy imprint on our memory banks beached in laughter and salty ocean breezes. This is a season that lets you know it’s here — and in a hurry.

In Florida, our fruit trees are heavy now with mango, lychee and even peaches.  And when it comes to the fragrance of the season, a good peach can’t be beat in its intensity and truth.  Putting nose to fruit is a pro tip you’ll notice chefs doing as second nature, because it’s a pretty great clue to ripeness.

The sniff test on guava at Miami Design District’s market last year.

“We shop for ingredients just like everyone else does, and we do a lot of smelling in the process,” explains chef Bradley Herron.  “Finding a good peach is essential for this salad to work.”

To know what’s inside without breaking the skin, you have to trust nose more than your eyes or even fingers.  If it’s good and ready, you’ll get the same zesty sweetness found in the flesh just by smelling it.

As we roll out summer specials at the pizzerias, the start of the season is always an interesting one as things get going. Early product coming in has been smelling strong so far – a good sign.  Enjoy the Peach & Burrata Salad and Peach & Gorgonzola Pizza with our new Sangria, because lighter alcohol “cocktails” and summer go hand in hand when you want something refreshing and festive with which to cool off!  Refreshing in its simplicity, ours combines your choice of three wines with San Pellegrino’s sparkling blood orange soda.

Brighten up your day and get a jump start on summer time — visit our website for hours, menu and to order online.  For a genuine anthology of peaches, explore this archive on the blog, or a primer on summer fruit and how peaches came to cultivation here in the Sunshine State in a 2014 chat with then Michael’s Genuine chef de cuisine Niven Patel.

Plant Based? Plant Yourself at Genuine Pizza™ and Harry’s Pizzeria® with New Vegan Mozzarella Cheese

For Chef Schwartz quality is king and so are happy guests.  With 93% of people in American eating pizza at least once a month, and many with dietary restrictions, it is important our restaurant menus make guests feel at home — just like our dining rooms.  Now Genuine Pizza and Harry’s Pizzeria are more vegan-friendly than ever, thanks to the introduction this week of vegan mozzarella “cheese” that can be added to any pizza. The choice was popular brand Daiya, an industry leader in plant-based products and also serious about quality, to provide us with their premium Mozzarella Style Shreds.

Schwartz says, “Making our pizza restaurants more welcoming to more people is a win and something like vegan cheese is a big deal to a lot of folks.  We’re mindful of that. We’re also excited about how well the mozzarella-style melts.”

The margherita and “cheese” pizzas can be made vegan — adding caponata to either makes for a tasty combination. In addition to the vegan options on the pizza menu, we make a number of colorful salads with satisfying grains and beans, and a roasted eggplant entrée that can also be made vegan.

“Plant-based is no longer a fringe movement—it is now mainstream,” says Michael Lynch, Daiya’s vice president of marketing. “Today’s consumers have an appetite for foods that not only taste great, but are also better for themselves as well as the planet.”

We added a gluten free dough last year and the response has been great, not just accounting for a 4% slice of pizza sales, but especially to how good Wild Flour’s crust eats.  Whether you suffer from allergies, are dairy-intolerant, living vegan or simply choosing a healthier lifestyle you can still enjoy a better pizza. We leave the choice in your hands!