A Juicy & Genuine National Burger Month

All in the genuine burger family in May.

We love a good burger at Michael’s Genuine® & Drink, so National Burger Month is too irresistible a motivator to up our game and griddle you what you came for.  In addition to the Genuine Burger, now available on lunch, afternoon and dinner menus, our fresh, simple, pure neighborhood bistro will offer one new special burger each week in May to complement the classic.

The burger.

What makes for a good burger according to chef de cuisine Tim Piazza?

“The right bread, quality meat and a good pickle.”

His schedule below is subject to change, as the disclaimer goes, and it’s looking like a solid line up.  See you beginning this Monday!

May 1- Sun May 7 | All American Double
2, 3oz patties, American cheese, bacon, shredded lettuce, sliced tomato and pickles on a Martin’s potato roll

May 8 – Sun May 14 | The Cypress Burger
Jasper Hill Landaff, Vidalia onion marmalade

May 15 – Sun May 21 | The Frita
Chorizo and beef patty with onions, American cheese, shoestring potatoes and secret sauce on a Cuban bun

May 22 – Sun May 28 | Lamb Burger
Feta, thick cut grilled heirloom tomato, arugula on a hard roll

 

A James Beard House (Dinner) Away from Home with Cheese of the Queen

Apropo, @kasekaiserina! Delectable Instagram, reposted from @cheesegrillenyc featuring Tia’s The Art Of The Cheese Plate.

“Michael is a purist. He’s classical at the same time that he is creative,” Mark explains. “It’s the same way I am with my wines.”

Mr. Tobin is certainly passionate about what he does, and we can relate. The approach is old school, non interventionist, like Chef’s.  Instead of tweaking and tweaking, it’s about what you can take away, not add to make food, and in Mark’s case, wine, perfect.

“I have incredible respect for Michael,” he continues. “His authenticity, passion and commitment makes mediocrity completely unacceptable.  He is a freak about detail and executing properly. I’m just thrilled to collaborate with him and the Cheese Queen.”

Indeed New York City-based writer, cook, and cheese specialist Tia Keenan, as her Instagram @kasekaiserina indicates, is rennet royalty and will effectively, indulgently tie this collaborative trifecta together on Friday, June 2, as we kick off Michael’s third dinner at the James Beard House. A Team chef de cuisine Tim Piazza, GM Nicole Kelly, and TGHG executive chef Bradley Herron will preside to support our featured co-hosts, part of our ongoing 10 year celebration of all things MGFD.  We’ll share the menu and link to tickets first here today, and later chat with Tia.  We want to dig into the what really has us revved up: her cheese selection.

Over the years, cheese has played a subtle yet an important role at MGFD, less even about the cheese itself but the way it is featured that crystalizes exactly what Michael’s approach is all about.  Many of you may recall the more deliberate Cheese of the Week (some blogged selections above circa 2011), where one cheese each week was highlighted with one accompaniment. No elaborate cheese plate, organized by firmness, milk, type and aging.  Just a simple presentation on a board, in its element, to let hand-crafted product shine.  It was the only item on the dinner menu encased by a bubble, special and notable in its lack of artifice and celebrated as such. Servers and cooks were able to get to know it, really understand it. And then cheese class would begin all over again the next week.  To start the dinner we are paying tribute to this legacy with Tia owning passed hors d’oeuvres, five beautiful cheeses presented as they’re meant to, almost unadorned except for one accompaniment each and the final ingredient: Mattebella Vineyards Rosé 2016:

Pipe Dreams Farm Dairy Buche Cheese with Beet Tartare
Lazy Lady Farm Sweet Emotions Cheese with Cucumber–Celery Marmalade
Jasper Hill Farm Calderwood Cheese with Carrot Mostarda
Woodcock Farm Humble Pie Cheese with Pickled Asparagus
Boucher Family Farm Green Mountain Blue Cheese with Chocolate–Onion Chutney

We’ll look forward to a peek into the cheesemakers, what drives them and the special stories behind each cheese from Tia.  The menu follows.  See you in NYC on June 2!

FIRST – Market Salad with Anson Mills Farro Verde and Nettle Meadow Farm Sappy Ewe Cheese | Mattebella Vineyards Riesling 2014

SECOND – Grilled Skuna Bay Salmon with Peas, Spring Onions, Crispy Potato, Meyer Lemon, and Crème Fraîche | Mattebella Vineyards Reserve Chardonnay 2013

THIRD – Ricotta Cavatelli with Wild Mushrooms, Taleggio Fondue, and Parmigiano–Reggiano | Mattebella Famiglia Red Wine NV

FOURTH – Slow-Roasted Niman Ranch Beef Short Rib with Roasted Peppers, Marcona Almonds, and Herb Aïoli |Mattebella Vineyards Old World Blend 2013 (Public Debut)

DESSERT – Milk Chocolate Cremoso Cheese with Hazelnut Praline, Toasted Sourdough, Sea Salt, and Olive Oil | Mattebella Vineyards Noble Late Harvest Chardonnay 2013

Spring Field Report in Pictures | Little Haiti Community Garden, Teena’s Pride Farm & Bee Heaven Farm

Chef in the heirloom tomato (and squash, celery, beets, carrots, onions, broccoli rabe, salad mix) fields with Teena’s Pride owner/farmer Michael Borek.

Friday was a great day, one of those that begin with a specific goal in mind and end netting so many more valuable takeaways.  In anticipation of Fi’lia’s LA opening, we’re producing a video to capture Genuine Culture as a tool to educate our teams at The Genuine Hospitality Group on who we are, what we do and the reasons why.  Michael and I visited three farms as they began to wrap South Florida’s main growing season to document how we source product, an important component of the genuine way.  While footage of strolls through Homestead tomato field tractor lanes and Little Haiti urban farm footpaths materialized in the lens, ideas were generated between Chef and a handful of our farmers as they discovered new opportunities for collaboration and tasted ingredients in the field.

Curiosity scared the crows.  We also found a small prop airplane in Borek’s new warehouse facility.

Enjoy the day in photos laced with informative captions below as we digest new opportunities through the genuine chef network.  Will Michael Borek identify a great Roma tomato to cultivate at Teena’s Pride for Harry’s Pizzeria®?  What about the Upland cress Little Haiti Community Garden’s Gary Feinberg is growing?  How could it be expressed on the menu at Michael’s Genuine® Food & Drink?  Margie Pikarsky’s heirloom peppers are beautiful to behold, as Chef recalls the “seasoning pepper” related to the Scotch Bonnet — all the flavor without the punishing heat — from our days in Grand Cayman.  Is she growing something similar, and should we shave it raw on the daily focaccia at Ella?  Let us know what you would like to see in our restaurants!

Now Scheduling Interviews The Genuine Hospitality Group Job Fair | Spring 2017 Edition

It’s that time again!  We are excited to announce our spring job fair, which will take place this coming Thursday, March 23 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at our corporate headquarters, 3936 North Miami Avenue on the second floor (above Harry’s Pizzeria in the Miami Design District!)  We are now booking interviews in advance – send your resume to careers@thegenuinehospitalitygroup.com to schedule prior to Thursday.

We are laser focused on growing the company with great people, and regular job fairs are a perfect way for representatives from each restaurant to meet with potential candidates.  It’s all about finding the right fit.

We are looking for dependable, reliable, passionate and professional staff members with great attitudes and personalities to join the team! If you are committed to delivering an exceptional dining experience and enjoy working in a dynamic environment, apply in person with your resume.

The fair will recruit for all front and back of house positions including restaurant manager, bartender, host/hostess, barista, pizza cook, line cook, sous chef, server, and busser. The Genuine Hospitality Group restaurants include Michael’s Genuine® Food & Drink (fresh, simple, pure), Cypress Tavern (American Grill & Cocktail Bar), ella (light and airy café), and Harry’s Pizzeria® (neighborhood American pizzeria) which is expanding to Downtown Dadeland (Kendall/Pinecrest) in early summer, in addition to its current two locations (Miami Design District and Coconut Grove).  Join team Michael Schwartz!

Kale Pizza’s Teachable Moment with Wellness in the Schools

It was a wake up call.   Wellness in the Schools chef Leonor Azpurua asked her 20 seventh and eighth graders which pizza they liked best on the bus home from a field trip to Harry’s Pizzeria where they had sampled among other varieties, kale.   This hearty vegetable was not chopped raw on the pizza and left alone to bomb.  It was thoughtfully combined by a chef who knew the deeply dark and sweet caramelized onions and melty fontina cheese set against the perfect dough cooked just so would set off an explosion of flavor and texture contrasts that would sell even the pickiest of eaters. This is the vegetable that they dislike the most, that they might have had a bad encounter with or just wrote off all together because of its “healthy” reputation. The results of Leonor’s survey were eye opening —  the pizza that they liked the best, with slow roasted pork and even classic cheese on the table, was kale!

From 10-12 a.m. yesterday in the Miami Design District, our McNicol Middle kids soaked in restaurant life the genuine way, as part of Michael’s role of Miami ambassador for Wellness in the Schools.  Wide-eyed and interactive, they asked questions and even listened without any food to taste to speak of until the last half hour.  There was no complaining, despite decadent smells coming from the oven.   As Harry’s became a satellite classroom for the morning, the inner workings of front and back of house were revealed.

Esther’s tiny dough mixing room with its large mixer used to be the restaurant’s office.

We began where everything begins at Michael’s neighborhood American pizzeria — the dough. Pantry cook Esther was already getting set up.  We talked about how ingredients matter especially when it’s so few of them, and how consistency does too and that’s where recipes and communication between staff in front and back of house come in.  What was so apparent to me, underpinning the experience of Esther’s world, was the respect and trust so important to highly functional teams.  Students were able to observe a dialogue at play as we all got a lesson in how to make dough. First, we made sure to get her permission to enter her (small) work space, and we closed the loop by thanking her with “high flour fives” for being so generous with her time and flexible to a change to her morning routine.  When you’re running a restaurant, it’s not a show or demonstration.  It’s the real deal of getting online with deadlines.  Doors are going to open and service commence at 11:30 a.m.  You will receive guests, so you have to be ready!

The Kale Pizza at Harry’s, with caramelized onion, chili flake, fontina, parmigiano

Many thanks to Miami Design District kitchen manager Chris Cantu and restaurant manager Katariina Cerdan for hosting us and sharing a little bit about what makes Harry’s special. And to Michael for his support of Wellness in the Schools as it enters Miami, giving of his time and expertise to such worthy, eager pupils.  Watch him tomorrow on NBC 6 at 11:50 a.m. as he demonstrates grilled octopus with chipotle glaze & crema, the dish Michael’s Genuine® Food & Drink will present at CITI Taste of Tennis,  Monday, March 20th from 7-10pm at W Miami.  The charitable partner this year?  Wellness in The Schools. Purchase tickets here.  Maybe octopus needs to be next on the McNicol ingredient list!  We are also excited to visit Charles R. Drew for our first Café Day where we’ll be serving healthy salads with chef Bill Telepan and the rest of the chef troops he’s rounded up in South Florida on Tuesday, March 21.