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.

 

[RECIPE] Spring or Summer, Salad is always in Season

Courtesy GQ.

It’s peach season, the star of this new salad at a Harry’s Pizzeria® near you.

“Restraint. Use a couple of ingredients and keep it simple—that’s sort of my philosophy, not just about food but in life,” Chef recently shared with Lang Whitaker from GQ when he asked what the secret was to great salad. “Salad in particular is a delicate thing. I think it’s about the simplicity and the restraint, and then of course proportion is really important, and not overdressing the ingredients.”  Lang also has a point. Writing on (and in our case working in) the food biz requires some strategy if you’re going to be surrounded by all sorts of delicious treats all the time.  Salad can be one of those things.  I like Lang’s — every day for the last few years, he has eaten a vegetarian salad for lunch. Boom. Keeping it simple. Check out his full story “The Easy Secrets to a Good-Ass Salad” here (also with an addictive salad dude GIF on repeat) and since we’ve shared the recipe for Fi’lia’s Caesar salad before here on the blog, try this beauty from Chef’s cookbook, as pomegranates start showing up in the market to put the principles to work at home.  Since persimmon is a fall ingredient, don’t try to find a good one. Customize! Opt for Florida or Georgia peaches, coming into season now.

#MGFDsalad is a beautiful hashtag. Click to see why.

One of the most stunning images from Michael’s Genuine Food, Credit Ben Fink Photography

Persimmon and Pomegranate Salad with Crumbled Ricotta and Pomegranate Vinaigrette

A salad of unusual qualities, this vividly colorful combo celebrates exotic autumn fruit of persimmon and pomegranate. The combination of tastes is awesome: peppery watercress, sweet-spicy persimmon, tart pomegranate seeds, and salty cheese, all held together by a tangy vinaigrette. Leftover pomegranate vinaigrette will keep covered in the refrigerator for up to 1 week and is goes great with grilled meats.

Serves 4 as entrée, 8 as starter

1 bunch watercress, stems trimmed (about 4 cups lightly packed)
2 medium heads frisée (about 8 cups lightly packed)
2 ripe Fuyu persimmons, peeled and thinly sliced (see Ingredient Note)
1 shallot, minced
1/4 cup Pomegranate Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
1/4 cup crumbled firm Fresh Homemade Ricotta salata or store-bought ricotta salata
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds

In a mixing bowl, combine the watercress, frisée, persimmons, and shallot. Drizzle with 1/4 cup of the pomegranate vinaigrette, tossing with your hands to dress the salad lightly and evenly. Divide the salad equally among chilled plates. Top with ricotta and pomegranate seeds.

Pomegranate Vinaigrette​

Makes about 1 cup

2 cups pomegranate juice
1/4 cup champagne vinegar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup canola oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pour the pomegranate juice into a small pot and place over medium-low heat. Cook until the juice has reduced to 1/4 cup and is thick and syrupy, about 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.

In a small mixing bowl or mason jar, combine the cooled pomegranate syrup, champagne vinegar, balsamic, olive and canola oils; season lightly with salt and pepper. Whisk or shake to blend and dissolve the salt; reserve at room temperature until needed. Keep any leftover vinaigrette covered in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Cypress Tavern will Close Sunday, April 30

After four years of making dining a little more special on the other side of the mainland tracks, Michael and The Genuine Hospitality Group have decided to close Cypress Tavern.  The American Grill & Cocktail Bar will serve its final dinner service on Sunday, April 30. The restaurant will remain open as a venue for private events. Book special lunches, dinners and more with that Cypress touch through Michael Schwartz Events at its new website michaelschwartzevents.com.

Opened in March 2013 as The Cypress Room to immediate national and local acclaim, the restaurant was committed to celebrating an expression of fine dining the way it was meant to be, through the lens of Old Florida. With Frog’s Legs and Wood Roasted Bone Marrow whisked off the pass and smiles in the intimate, chandelier-studded dining room, warm hospitality reigned and mindfulness of the guest experience expressed itself in attention to detail and special touches at the mahogany bar.  Enjoying recognition on Bon Appetit’s 50 Best New Restaurants List and 3 1/2 stars from the Miami Herald, The Cypress Room was a beloved favorite and “hidden gem” for those in the know who appreciated its vivid expression of spirit and sense of place, a nod to the past that sparked innovation and creativity in the kitchen — always balanced and stemming from respect of the classics — during its tenure on the outskirts of the Design District.

Eater National’s Bill Addison referred to The Cypress Room’s “odd, wonderful formality” as not taking itself too seriously in 2014, something the restaurant further embraced when it was reborn as Cypress Tavern in the fall of 2015.

“It’s never easy to close the book on a project you feel genuinely proud of, but our lease term is ending, and it’s time to move on,” Michael explains. “I owe so much to the teams over the years that have nurtured this place and contributed to it becoming so much more than we ever could have imagined. I’m humbled by the support we have received over the years from our guests. No decision like this is ever easy, but for us, it’s the right one.

First Look at Michael Schwartz’s Park Grove Restaurant, Catered by Michael Schwartz Events

Our first look at the Meyer Davis Studio interiors of Michael’s 2018 restaurant at Related and Terra Group’s Park Grove, and we already feel right at home. Welcome to the ultimate neighborhood restaurant ensconced in a lush front yard park at the corner of Tigertail Avenue and Mary Street in the heart of residential Coconut Grove, Miami.  Brought to life in a garden enclave with indoor and outdoor seating on the grounds of the park, our signature restaurant, like every element on property, draws in the outdoors, reflecting the area’s historical significance and emphasizing the refined Bohemian village lifestyle that informs every aspect of Park Grove.  The rustic dining room features an open-air concept allowing guests a clear view into the kitchen with freshly-made food front and center. This familiar design element is iconic to Michael’s projects and cultivates energy in the dining room, fostering a feeling of warm hospitality and sense of place for residents and visitors alike to feel welcome.

Miami’s original neighborhood of Coconut Grove was founded in 1873 by an eclectic mix of pioneers, artists, intellectuals and adventurers.  Its tropical oasis thrives to this day as Miami’s escape from the stress of city life. Located in the middle of Miami, yet completely separate and quaint, it offers a warm, laid-back atmosphere of charming boutiques, sidewalk cafes and sailboats anchored at the bay. The neighborhood’s distinct bohemian flair allows one to unwind and relax every day of the week and any time of the year, and the restaurant’s location at the corner of Tigertail and Mary Street in the heart of the marina-side village will make it a vibrant addition to Coconut Grove’s dining scene. Daily care and attention to the quality of local sources will be expressed in a menu true to sense of place, the seasons, and proximity to Biscayne Bay, offering breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a take away counter.

Last week, in another property milestone, Park Grove’s development team celebrated the top-off of Two Park Grove and the Club Residences with Will Meyer, co-founder of New York-based Meyer Davis Studio and Chef, who together unveiled the design concept for the development’s restaurant over bites catered by Michael Schwartz Events.  We look forward to following its continued progress!

 

GrubHub Drives the Delivery Trifecta at Harry’s Pizzeria® & Ella Pop Café Beginning Now

Our mini billboard in the Design District

Our mini billboard in the Design District

The people have spoken! You want Harry’s Pizzeria® and ella pop café delivered.  So we are upping our game today by adding an additional top notch delivery service to our quiver — GrubHub, now live as of 11AM.  Just like with UberEATS and Amazon Restaurants, our full menus are available for these Genuine brands, as are all locations.  Click the links below to get to our pages lickety split:

Harry’s Pizzeria Design District
Harry’s Pizzeria Coconut Grove
ella pop café

Grub it up!

Grub it up!

Grubhub is the nation’s leading online and mobile food ordering company dedicated to connecting hungry diners with local takeout restaurants. The company’s online and mobile ordering platforms allow diners to order directly from more than 45,000 takeout restaurants in over 1,100 U.S. cities and London. Every order is supported by the company’s 24/7 customer service teams. Grubhub has offices in Chicago, New York and London.  Those of you who have lived in NYC may be familiar with Seamless — that’s one for its brands, too.

We look forward to hearing what you think, and how GrubHub compares to our current suite of delivery options.  Here is a link to its FAQ in case you have questions about ordering and the service!