Eat Venezuelan Arepas on Thursday, June 20 at Amara at Paraiso for #WorldRefugeeDay

A big part of what it means to live in Miami is that home and homeland aren’t one and the same.  We are a city of transplants acutely aware of the power of food culture to create a sense of belonging and serve as a conduit for understanding each other’s differences — a source of hope and connection.  It is in this spirit at Amara at Paraiso where we celebrate the many flavors of Latin America that we enthusiastically join Andrew Zimmern’s Coalition of Culinary Thought Leaders and inaugural World Refugee Day restaurant fundraiser on Thursday, June 20… with Venezuela Arepas!

Andrew visited Amara last summer for an episode of the Zimmern List and enjoyed Chef’s fresh approach to many of the iconic Latin American dishes that have found their way to Miami thanks to refugees and immigrants alike.  As the crisis in Venezuela hits particularly close to home, we felt it was high time to celebrate one of its delicious specialties on the menu.  100% of the proceeds of Amara’s arepa specials on June 20th during lunch AND dinner will go to International Rescue Committee’s efforts to respond to the world’s worst humanitarian crises, helping to restore health, safety, education, economic wellbeing and power to people devastated by conflict and disaster.

Unlike its neighbor Colombia, which incorporates mozzarella-style cheese directly into the masa or white cornmeal-based dough, Venezuela is known for splitting and stuffing its arepas with anything from simple ‘queso de mano’ or cheese of the hand, a fresh creamy-tasting mozzarella-like cheese, to the decadent avocado-chicken mixture called Reina Pepiada.  Chef Paley will offer three varieties each for $10 and available as a sampler for $28 including, Guayanés Cheese with fried plantain and avocado, Grilled Queso Blanco with chorizo, jalapeño and salsa criolla, and Pulled Chicken with grilled scallion and avocado dressing.

Managers Jason and Mirna can’t get enough arepa time!

On World Refugee Day, we will learn the official count of displaced people around the world from the United Nations. Says Andrew, “Sharing food is an incredibly unifying and intimate experience– it brings people together, inspires conversation and celebrates the diversity of all cultures– that makes the spaces we break bread in perfect for drawing attention to issues that often go unacknowledged.  Refugees and immigrants have made the biggest impact on America through food.  This day is about more than one heartbreaking statistic. It’s about the human stories and potential behind those numbers and spotlighting the contributions refugees can make when we embrace and welcome them into our communities.”

For more information visit rescue.org and follow Amara at Paraiso on IG where we will post a video of Chef Paley’s arepa-making adventures later this week!  What’s your favorite arepa filling?

 

[RECIPE] [VIDEO] Our Favorite Wingman Drums Up Sweet & Spicy Support for Young Musicians Unite at Michael’s Genuine

Diligently home-tested and now restaurant-ready, drummer and budding chef Harry Schwartz’s Sweet & Spicy Wood Oven Roasted Chicken Wings with cucumber crema is your post-Art Basel cure-all. Beginning tomorrow, we are supporting our favorite wingman as he raises funds for his partner non profit Young Musicians Unite with his favorite thing — wings!

From Monday, December 10 through Monday, December 17, find this special menu item at Lunch, Afternoon and Dinner with a portion of proceeds supporting this Miami-based non profit. Revitalizing music programs in South Florida’s underserved communities one school at a time, YMU gives students a voice through music thanks to leadership of its founder and band director Sammy Gonzalez. Partner bands like drummer Harry Schwartz’s Arrowhead take the time to play side by side shows with YMU’s students, raise funds through performances and even help with peer to peer mentoring in our after-school programs.  We are so excited. Especially because they taste amazing! Bravo to our favorite wingman. Get your hands on these drumsticks before they’re gone!

Bienvenidos Basel: Our Private Arty & Everyone’s Invited

At French Farms on November 20, with farmer Chris French, farmer Michael Borek and new MGFD chef de cuisine Jorge Olarte.

Meet Olarte as he explores The Redland and connects the dots with local farmers in our video field report, coming soon.

To be a restaurant when Art Basel comes to town is a curious thing that might need a little framing.  Miami Art Week is the jolt of season officially arriving in Miami, the one that whispered sweet nothings in November and now wants to put a ring on it and elope ASAP.  Shotgun wedding. We want to make art and make merry, and do, but it has to be at our game so everyone else can play theirs. It’s also the official arrival of a season of another sort — the growing and harvesting of the bulk of the coming year’s produce threading the Michael’s Genuine menu.  So it’s a time of extreme creativity and intensity inside and importantly outside the restaurant — to take the precious time you probably don’t have to learn what’s out there, connect with the farmers new and old growing the product and figure it all out while being slammed with the most traffic we’ll see in a week period all year.  Did I mention there’s a new chef leading the kitchen?

Your post-Basel Week cure-all: Harry Schwartz’s Sweet & Spicy Wings. Look for them at Michael’s Genuine beginning Monday, December 10.

A strategy is in order and everyone must be aligned, from operations to marketing.  This week, we must stay the course. We focus on our own little party taking shape, and take it to the breaking point, that place between humming like a well-oiled machine and everything going down in flames, crash and burn. Because that’s what we do as genuine hospitality people.  Every service is a party.  Playing the loom, weaving the experience just so, trying to minimize the snags so it we can achieve the impossible — making it seem effortless.  It’s the game we love, that we forever chase and we wouldn’t have any other way. This is the week it unfurls in marvelous display. Game on!

As we push ourselves to share what we do in new and immersive ways, look for more video documents of our process. We think they work a little harder to highlight our dynamic team and what drives our culture.  This week we have two on deck: our 2018/19 Homestead growing season report with chef de cuisine Jorge Olarte and Harry Schwartz dialing in his wings recipe at Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink.  Home-tested and now restaurant-ready, Sweet & Spicy Wood Oven Roasted Chicken Wings with cucumber yogurt dipping sauce is your post-Art Basel cure-all beginning Monday, December 10.  Proceeds go to Young Musicians Unite, and we can all rejoice in wings’ return to the menu with a personal twist, crafted by someone who is truly passionate about his favorite food. Maybe they’ll even stick around a little longer!  Videos will hit social media and the blog this week as you execute your strategy for navigating it. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Or maybe, DO!

 

Give Miami (Kale Pizza!) Day is Thursday, November 15

This time last year, Michael and Wellness in the Schools partnered with Broward County Food & Nutrition Services to introduce his Kale Pizza to the cafeteria, engaging its cooks in 10 Broward schools to train on the recipe and other new scratch-cooked dishes. With Kale Pizza set to officially launch on the line on December 3 (YES!), we are celebrating with activities to support the cause on Give Miami Day, Thursday, November 15, the largest city-wide annual day of fundraising.  Genuine Pizza will host students from McNicol Middle Magnet & STEM School in Hollywood for a pizza-making class.  Flagship Michael’s Genuine® Food & Drink will also feature the Kale Pizza all day as a lunch and dinner special, with proceeds donated to Wellness in the Schools.

Chef leading a “Right on Target” cooking class last year benefitting Wellness in the Schools.

“When giving back tastes good too you know you’re doing something right and Wellness in the Schools has nailed the formula!” says Chef Schwartz. “We have so much fun working with the team locally and our Wellness in the Schools chef Leonor Azpurua. Seeing actual progress happen is not only rewarding but inspiring for me and my team at The Genuine Hospitality Group. The hard work is happening in cafeterias on a daily basis, so the little bit we can do to reach the kids by getting their hands doughy in our classroom makes it all worth it!”

Kale Pizza has been a longtime popular menu item at Harry’s Pizzeria, our original South Florida pizza joint and is now enjoyed daily at all five locations including Genuine Pizza in Aventura and Atlanta. Supporters can get involved by visiting wellnessintheschools.com where they can donate as part of Give Miami Day.

“I am blown away by the passion and dedication Chef Leonor has taken with our school and how much of an inspiration she is for the kids,” says Principal Gurreonero from McNicol Middle School. “It’s only the second year of the program, but Wellness in the Schools has earned great respect from their schools, and we’re so grateful to be involved.”

Follow along the journey behind the scenes on Instagram at @wellnessintheschools, @genuinepizza, @harryspizzeria@michaelsgenuine and @chefmschwartz, and #givemiamikalepizza.

From Pizza Class To Food Festivals, Be Party To These Upcoming Genuine Events

Even the most typical of dinner services at our restaurants can feel like a party. The energy of the environment and surprises from any number of variables affect a dining experience — something as simple as a new bottle of Riesling on the list or the arrival stone crabs to the raw bar — are what keep us in this business and you coming back for more.  When we can collaborate with people inside and outside our organization that make it extra special, that’s cause for extraordinary celebration. Here are three such opportunities!  As Michael heads to #NYCWFF this weekend to cook with Dan Kluger, get a jump start on the action coming to a genuine restaurant near you. Tickets are a click away below, until they’re not!

Florence in the genuine house.

MICHAEL’S GENUINE® FOOD & DRINK – South Beach Wine & Food Festival presents Dinner Hosted by Tyler Florence and Michael Schwartz – Thursday, February 21, 7-10PM  [TICKETS HERE]
The South Florida favorite known for putting Miami’s fashionable Design District neighborhood on the culinary map lights up with the force behind successful California restaurants Wayfare Tavern, El Paseo and Tyler Florence Rotisserie & Wine. He may be a fan-favorite Food Network personality known for the hit series The Great Food Truck Race and cookbook author but we know Tyler as a Chef first — and one who cooks pretty much the ultimate of everything.  We can’t wait to see what this collab produces, an East and West Coast explosion of flavor accompanied by wines from the Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits portfolio.

AMARA AT PARAISO –South Beach Wine & Food Festival presents Dinner Hosted by Greg & Gabrielle Denton and Michael Schwartz -Friday, February 22, 7-10PM  [SOLD OUT]
It’s no surprise that South Florida favorite Chef Michael Schwartz’s new Amara at Paraiso in Edgewater is the most buzzed about new waterfront restaurant in town. This James Beard Award-winning chef has created an oasis that embraces the dynamic energy of the Magic City and serves up bold Latin American flavors that pay homage to the city’s diverse culture. He’s joined by the James Beard Award-winning husband and wife chef duo Greg and Gabrielle Denton, the grilling cookbook authors and force behind the much buzzed about Argentinean grill Ox and newly opened Bistro Agnes in Portland, OR. Enjoy this cross-country melding of flavors, accompanied by perfectly paired wines from the Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits portfolio, in the heart of downtown Miami.

GENUINE PIZZA Pizza-Making Class & Dinner (Aventura Mall) – Thursday, October 25, 7-9PM  [TICKETS HERE]
A fun night out with the family is about more than just gathering around the table. Get your hands doughy and eat your pizza too! Everyone’s happy on third Thursdays, when Chef Michael Schwartz’s casual pizza restaurant holds a monthly pizza-making experience to teach you how to shape perfect pies with a meal along the way.  Hosted by pizza trainer Blair Anderson at our Aventura Mall location, bring the kids, friends, a date, you name it — we have the fun covered.  Make your own pizzas, with toppings just the way you want them with a Pizza Kit to take home to make it easy to practice what you learned in your kitchen.  $29 includes 4 Courses, Assorted Snacks — Salads — Make-Your-Own Pizza — Panna Cotta and a take-home pizza making kit with recipe and ingredients.  Tax & gratuity not included. Wine, beer, sangria and full beverage menu available for purchase on consumption.