Everything is Awesome Because Sababa is Coming to Michael’s Genuine

If you’ve been to Israel, breakfast has taken on a whole new meaning — and has likely never been the same again!  Whether strolling the markets with the aromas of exotic spices filling the air and the smells of freshly-baked boreka pastries, or surveying the bread of an epic buffet with honey dripping from its comb and juicy rainbow of salatim, it’s impossible to not be forever intoxicated by the memory. Sensory overload!  For those forever spellbound and newcomers to this experience, we have the cure. What’s better than Israeli breakfast? Israeli BRUNCH!  It is with mouths watered that we announce Michael will host American food writer and author Adeena Sussman for a special brunch on Saturday, October 26 to celebrate the release of her newest cookbook, Sababa!  In Hebrew, Sababa means everything is awesome. This sentiment permeates the Tel Aviv expat’s home kitchen and the approach to recipes she shares in the book… Expect extra special flavor and energy from this weekend must-do!  Click here for event tickets!

Most mornings you can find Sussman making her way through the bustling stalls of Shuk HaCarmel, her local market, abundant with irresistible fresh ingredients and tempting snacks — juicy ripe figs and cherries, locally made halvah, delectable cheeses and olives, and the most addictive street food in the world, from crunchy falafel drizzled with colorful condiments like pickled mango chutney called amba and Yemenite green hot sauce full of coriander and parsley called shug, to off-the-boat fish tossed with seasonal fruit and fresh herbs. In Sababa, Sussman brings this culinary wonderland to life with 125 authentic yet easy recipes that put a fresh spin on the amazing variety of a cuisine forged by Jewish and Arabic residents alike, from more than 100 lands, who make Israel their home.

The experience will begin with an author talk moderated by friend and South Beach Wine & Food Festival founder Lee Schrager while a welcome sparkling drink and assorted snacks are passed. Later, the brunch will take over for a delicious family-style meal including three courses straight from the pages of Sababa. All of this is included in the $75 ticket as well as tax, gratuity, and a signed copy of the book. There will also be additional beverage options available a la carte. Seating is first come first serve in the main dining room of Michael’s Genuine Food and Drink.

For tickets click here, and stay tuned for the full menu coming soon!

GENUINE PIZZA: Better Pizza at Home Cookbook Tour Announcement!

The GENUINE PIZZA: BETTER PIZZA AT HOME book tour is on!  In anticipation of Michael’s new cookbook release on Tuesday, May 14 we’re unveiling fresh new content including event dates, recipe demo videos, special giveaways from our partners like Lynx Grills and more at cookbook hub michaelsgenuine.com/cookbook.  Event tickets will go up on a rolling basis — the first of which is now live for our biggest blowout yet at HQ!  

Tuesday, May 14, Michael’s Genuine Miami and chef de cuisine Dillion Wolff host Michael for a Genuine Pizza Garden Party release day celebration where it all began! Click here for tickets and join us as the new cookbook takes over the restaurant inside and out on our patio for a stationed event with plenty of pizza and awesome things to go with it.  With a menu taken from the pages of his new book, each $100 ticket includes assorted passed snacks, 6 pizzas, a selection of composed salads, cocktails, wine and beer all night long, a signed copy to take home, tax and gratuity!

The wood oven has always been a focal point of the open kitchen at Michael’s Genuine, and it’s no surprise pizza has found a special place in our hearth getting cozy with whole fish and fresh vegetables. Michael’s love for a genuine pie spawned a bunch of warm and welcoming joints where it’s the star, too — Harry’s Pizzeria. Now, the home cook can make and eat better pizza at home, getting comfortable creating balanced, delicious meals centered around everyone’s favorite food.  Let’s celebrate!

Your Monday Motivation — Marc Vetri’s Mastering Pizza Cookbook Dinner Menu!

One week from today, Michael’s Genuine welcomes Chef Marc Vetri for a dinner celebrating the recipes from his just-released Mastering Pizza cookbook — with a side of Porchetta.  Now that’s a capital P!  The menu is set, and we are excited to share it for the first time today.  Click here to join Michael and the team at the OG on October 1 at 7pm for a night in good company enjoying the labor of love that making a cookbook the thoughtful way is. It just tastes better when it’s done right.

Passed
Salsiccia Calzone with fennel sausage, mozzarella, and tomato sauce
Zucchine Pizza with shaved zucchini, stracciatella, and mint
Cacio e Pepe Pizza with pecorino and black pepper
Anchovy Pecorino al Taglio

First
Italian Caesar with escarole, bagna cauda, parmigiana, egg, anchovy
Wood Roasted Calabaza Salad with arugula, pecorino, walnuts fried sage, brown butter vinaigrette

Main
Slow Roasted Porchetta
Wood Roasted Marble Potatoes with fennel and lemon
Wood Roasted Cauliflower with pine nuts and plumped currants

Dessert
Nutella stuffed pizza

Salsiccia Pizza

Mastering Pizza Cookbook Dinner Includes:
Reception with a welcome cocktail and passed bites
Sit down 3 course (including dessert) family style dinner
Free flowing red, white, rose and beer all night long
Signed book
Tax and gratuity
$150 per person

Pizza remains America’s favorite food, but one that many people hesitate to make at home. In Mastering Pizza, the award-winning Philly-based chef tackles the topic with his trademark precision, making perfect pizza available to anyone. The recipes gleaned from years spent researching recipes in Italy and perfecting them in America have a variety of base doughs of different hydration levels, which allow home cooks to achieve the same results with a regular kitchen oven as they would with a professional pizza oven. The book covers popular standards like Margherita and Carbonara while also featuring unexpected toppings such as mussels and truffles and even a dessert pizza made with Nutella. With transporting imagery from Italy and hardworking step-by-step photos to demystify the process, Mastering Pizza will help you make pizza as delicious as you find in Italy.

Marc’s photoshoot living room takeover is reminiscent of Michael’s experience for Genuine Pizza in May. We learned a lot from the process!

On Your Marc… Mastering Pizza Cookbook Dinner at Michael’s Genuine

Get set to spread the love.  The pizza kind.  We are tickled to again welcome into our kitchen the one and only Chef Marc Vetri — this time to celebrate our favorite food.  Everyone’s favorite food.  Pizza!  You can’t go back to any old pie once you’ve tasted an extraordinary one — and we’ve got plenty on October 1!  For one seating and one night only beginning at 7PM, Michael hosts his friend and the founder of Philadelphia’s Vetri Family of Restaurants for the Mastering Pizza Cookbook dinner featuring a handful of the recipes he has perfected to create artisanal pies at home. The last time we cooked together in Miami was February 22, 2012 at Harry’s original location in the Miami Design District. It’s been way too long, and we’re ready to make it up to you… and ourselves!  Tickets are live today HERE!

Mastering Pizza Dinner Includes reception with a welcome cocktail and passed bites, sit down 3-course (including dessert) family style dinner, free flowing red, white and rosé wine — as well as beer — all night long, a signed book, and tax and gratuity for $150 per person.

Pizza remains America’s favorite food, but one that many people hesitate to make at home. In Mastering Pizza, the award-winning Philly-based chef tackles the topic with his trademark precision, making perfect pizza available to anyone. The recipes gleaned from years spent researching recipes in Italy and perfecting them in America have a variety of base doughs of different hydration levels, which allow home cooks to achieve the same results with a regular kitchen oven as they would with a professional pizza oven. The book covers popular standards like Margherita and Carbonara while also featuring unexpected toppings such as mussels and truffles and even a dessert pizza made with Nutella. With transporting imagery from Italy and hardworking step-by-step photos to demystify the process, Mastering Pizza will help you make pizza as delicious as you find in Italy.

“Mastering Pizza: The Art and Practice of Handmade Pizza, Focaccia, and Calzone” isn’t the chef’s first cookbook; the man behind the eponymous Vetri Cucina first published a collection recipes in 2008 with “Il Viaggio Di Vetri: A Culinary Journey,” detailing his culinary roots of when he began learning the craft in Bergamo, Italy, and the path that led him to the opening of Vetri.

Philly boys together and victorious in Minnesota this last Super Sunday.

His other books, 2011’s “Rustic Italian Food”– for which we hosted a dinner at Harry’s Pizzeria’s chef pop up series — and 2015’s “Mastering Pasta: The Art and Practice of Handmade Pasta, Gnocchi, and Risotto,” likewise infuse stories from Vetri’s time in Italy alongside his recipes. With his latest work, Vetri shifts focus to the food customers may be more accustomed to if they’ve ever visited the area’s several Pizzeria Vetri locations, notably more casual (and affordable) than Vetri Cucina. The release date coincides with the five-year anniversary of the first Pizzeria Vetri location.

Michael’s forthcoming pizza cookbook, Genuine Pizza: Better Pizza at Home, releases in May of next year.  And an invitation to Pizzeria Vetri to launch it. It’s only right in the city of brotherly love, don’t you think, Marc?!  We can’t wait!

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.