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!

 

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.

SoBe It! Your 2017 Genuine Tickets at the 16th Annual South Beach Wine & Food Festival

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Party game strong at Chef’s house in February.

From one big shindig to the next.  With another Art Basel in the record books, we’re laser focused on finishing 2016 strong, whether with loads of Genuine Gifts (including and especially gift cards!) and New Year’s Eve specials at Cypress Tavern and Harry’s Pizzeria (stay tuned for that announcement on Monday!).  But for now, we’d like to introduce you to The Genuine Hospitality Group’s events at next year’s South Beach Wine & Food Festival before they sell out.  Check out the parties listed below with their corresponding participating TGHG restaurants.  Cheers… Training your body to get through it all begins now.  Thanks again to Lee Brian Schrager for inviting Team Schwartz to play again!

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 23

genuine_0-1MICHAEL’S GENUINE® FOOD & DRINK | 10 Years of Genuine: Dinner hosted by Michael Schwartz, Marc Vetri and Jonathan Waxman presented by Bank of America
7:00 PM – 10:00 PM @ 130 NE 40th Street, Miami, 33137
> Dressy Casual Attire, Indoor, Seated, Wine, 21 years of age or older <
One of South Florida’s most widely recognized culinary innovators makes a rare Festival appearance to celebrate a decade of his much touted Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink. A must-stop for both locals and tourists from around the world, Schwartz took a leap on the burgeoning Design District neighborhood 10 years ago to start his empire. Now settled smack in the middle of one of Miami’s hautest areas, Schwartz’s flagship restaurant anchors the array of culinary attractions offered there. Joined by culinary luminaries Marc Vetri and 2016 SOBEWFF® Tribute Dinner Honoree Jonathan Waxman, Schwartz and friends will present guests with a sampling of the signature tastes with staying power they’re known for.  Guests will be assigned seating prior to this event. We can only guarantee guests who purchased tickets together will be seated together. If you would like to be seated with another guest(s), please send your request via email to tickets@sobefest.com. PURCHASE TICKETS 

HARRY’S PIZZERIA® and FI’LIA |  Barilla’s Italian Bites on the Beach sponsored by HCP Media and the Miami Herald Media Company hosted by Valerie Bertinelli & Alex Guarnaschelli
7:00 PM – 10:00 PM @  the “North Venue”, Beachside at Delano, Entrance at 1 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, 33139
> Outdoor, Smart Casual Attire, Spirits, Walk-Around Tastings, Wine, 21 years of age or older <
What do Hollywood Walk of Fame stars and Michelin stars have in common? Leading ladies Valerie Bertinelli and Alex Guarnaschelli, of course! Bertinelli’s two-time Golden Globe Award-winning personality now charms on Food Network’s Valerie’s Home Cooking, while Guarnaschelli’s Michelin-starred training in France helped mold the tenacious expert we enjoy today on Chopped. They are joining forces to host more than 30 of the nation’s greatest chefs serving up dishes originating from various regions of Italy as guests enjoy a live musical performance by soft-rock hit makers Little River Band, presented by Magic City Casino. Known as one of Australia’s most popular rock bands, the Little River band has 10 top 20 songs on U.S. Billboard charts, including ‘Reminiscing’, ‘Cool Change’, and ‘Lady’. You can peruse Piedmont, trot through Tuscany, savor Sardinia, canvas Campania, saunter through Sicily, and more – while sinking your toes into the sparkling white sands of South Beach. Whether you prefer a traditional spaghetti and meatballs or a cooler antipasto-style pasta salad or a savory perciatelli and chicken, this is a celebration not to be missed. Grab your friends and gather ‘round under our signature white tents in the sand for a feast of the ages, all complemented by pours from curated wine selections. ADA Assistance: The Festival will have a limited number of beach wheelchairs available at the Guest Services locations. Please check in directly with a Guest Services Representative for assistance. PURCHASE TICKETS

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 24

CYPRESS TAVERN | Fontainebleau Miami Beach presents Wine Spectator’s Best of the Best sponsored by Bank of America
7:30 PM – 10:30 PM @ Fontainebleau Miami Beach, 4441 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, 33140
> Dressy Casual Attire, Indoor, Walk-Around Tastings, Wine, 21 years of age or older <
To create the best event during the best weekend of the year, we’ve rounded up 60 of the nation’s top chefs to showcase their most gourmet samplings to pair with over 100 wines rated 90 points or higher on Wine Spectator’s scale. The Fontainebleau Miami Beach sets the perfect stage with its own blend of Golden Era glamour and modern luxury to host this grand walk-around affair. Only proprietors and winemakers from each winery are invited to pour their top varietals so you can hear about how some of the world’s greatest vino makes it from their vineyards to your palate. From aperitif to dessert, we’ll make sure your glass is decadently decanted and your plate is full of first-rate cuisine. PURCHASE TICKETS

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 26

0226_brunch-andresschwartzFI’LIA | Brunch hosted by José Andrés and Michael Schwartz
11:00 AM – 2:00 PM @ SLS Brickell’s ALTITUDE Pool at SLS Brickell
1300 S Miami Avenue, Miami, 33130
> Casual, Outdoor, Spirits, Walk-Around Tastings, Wine, 21 years of age or older <
Savor brunch poolside at the brand new SLS Brickell under the spell of two of the most coveted names in culinary, José Andrés and South Florida’s own Michael Schwartz. Andrés, this year’s Tribute Dinner honoree, is recognized worldwide for his energetic passion for telling cultural stories through food. His chic and delectable mark can already be found at the SLS Hotel in South Beach at The Bazaar by José Andrés and Hyde Beach, and now at the buzzing epicenter of downtown Miami at Bazaar Mar. Schwartz, whose flagship Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year and widely touted for putting Miami’s Design District on the culinary map, will join Andrés at SLS Brickell with his first-ever Italian concept Fi’lia. Guests will be assigned seating prior to this event. We can only guarantee guests who purchased tickets together will be seated together. If you would like to be seated with another guest(s), please send your request via email to tickets@sobefest.com. PURCHASE TICKETS

Long Shadows, Not Faces | It’s Never Too Early or Late to Genuine Happy Crawl!

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Ella’s happy hour pop.

Did you know you can Happy Hour for five straight hours through chef Michael Schwartz’s Miami Design District?  While we may not recommend this to everyone, the true professional can navigate with ease, on foot of course!  Special Events Director Lindsay Guidos and I were up to the challenge on a particularly relevant Hump Day and documented for your benefit.  Chart a course and get moving!  Here’s how we made a bee zigzag to Genuine happiness.  Feel inspired?  Tag #genuinehappycrawl to guild our lilies with yours.

Harry’s Pizzeria®: 3-6pm Weekdays | 1/2 price on all snacks, beer, wine & Farmer Fizz
True to proper Happy Hour form, Lindsay and I started with the restaurant open the earliest and closest to the office. Wouldn’t you?  Michael’s Neighborhood American Pizzeria was the convenient choice as our corporate HQ of The Genuine Hospitality Group is upstairs.   An added bonus, Harry’s is our only restaurant with food included in the deal.  We each ordered to give a balanced slice of the offering here.  All happy hours should begin with rosé, so Lindsay took the credit for that on-point call and ordered a round with some olives marinated with garlic, fennel, citrus, chili flake and extra virgin olive oil. Perfect.  Harry’s has recently enjoyed some attention for its depth of gluten-free items on the menu, so I ordered polenta fries, and while enjoying rosé, made sure to showcase a line up of brews in Estrella Damm Daura (gluten removed), Angry Orchard Cider, and New Planet’s blonde ale (out of Boulder, CO) which is more like a cider but who’s judging.

ella: 5-7pm Monday – Sunday | half price beer, wine, spritzes & sangria
Next up was our light and airy café, to experience magic hour’s long shadows and glint of sundown rays, which was totally worth it (nice call Lindsay!)  There were wedding festivities of Panther Coffee and Coca Cola which we enlivened with the day’s house sangria (blood orange, rosemary, Albariño, soda, orange slice.)  You best be spritzing when you’re in Palm Court, so my partner in crime and I followed suit and enjoyed the Salumi and Cheese (Landaff!) plated on fleet by supervisor Jason with spoon swoosh of Dijon, cornichons, toasted Zak the Baker sourdough drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil and fig compote.

Michael’s Genuine® Food & Drink : 4:30-6pm Weekdays | 1/2 price cocktails, wine & beer
When in Genuineland… one must have stone crabs, until May 15 (around the corner!)  What started with a request for bubbly put us back on the rosé train, as only appropriate; I with Champagne (Canard-Duchêne “Charles VII”, France NV) and Lindsay with the requisite Bandol in a Mourvèdre blend from Gros ‘Noré ( Provence, France 2014.)  We were treated to cured salmon with shaved vegetables and crème fraîche, and lots of love from our team.  Always enjoy spending time at the restaurants, especially with the care our staff takes in making one feel at home, no matter if you work for the company or are one of our guests.  It’s all family here.

[NEWLY UPDATED HAPPY HOUR AS OF MAY 31 HERE!] Cypress Tavern: 6-8pm Tuesday – Friday | $10 #taverntastemakers cocktails
“I ordered them all!” I exclaimed as Lindsay made her way over from the pass. Nightfall had us at the latest of the Genuine Happy Hours, Cypress Tavern’s Tastemaker Cocktail Hour which celebrates the spirited specials from our Ocean Drive interview series.  Out came the Chex Mix, as we tasted through episodes 1-3.  Until May 31, join us as the list accumulates.  Galena Mosovich hosts at the bar Tuesday with lead bartender David Ferree as we introduce On Your Feet to the list and toast Emilio Estefan Jr.   More on that Tuesday morning on the blog when we release his episode at oceandrive.com/taverntastemakers.

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How to House Party Like a Chef (& other occupational hazards we’re totally ok with)

And in the morning, there are eggs.  Not an omelet, limp, spongy corners folded in uniform butter yellow.  No, no.  Tom makes you eggs purgatory, a constellation of color leaping from stained baking dish, bringing the life back in pools of spicy tomato sauce and dunks of crusty, toasted bread.  It’s the perfect hangover breakfast and how to keep the party going when you’re a chef.

Such was the timeline when the Schwartz family opened up their home to chefs visiting for the 15th annual South Beach Wine & Food Festival for a good old fashioned house party Thursday night.  Just a bunch of friends who came to the table to make some delicious food and good vibes.  Here’s what we learned for the next time you entertain at home, taking a page from Michael Schwartz Events (Lindsay killing it again!)

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Grillmaster Schwartz, with his Lynx rig.

+  Always be ready for surprises. If you’ve got a menu that takes some time, have something out for guests when they arrive. Lucky for us, our guests came with good surprises, too.  Izzy’s Jamie DeRosa showed up with a bucket of Island Creek Oysters with champagne mignonette, quickly jumping behind Michael’s kitchen island to shuck with chef William Crandall. Classy.

+ Be present.  The best thing about entertaining is being with your guests so do as much prep ahead of time as you can and delegate.  It usually takes a village, and teamwork is key to ensuring everyone has a good time.

+ Create a flow. On Thursday, we had several stations spread out over the footprint of the house, each offering something a little different so that any variations in fire time went unnoticed.  From the Lynx Grill, Harry’s Pizzeria’s agrodolce chicken wings with rosemary crema sizzled and caramelized into the sticky but not too messy finger food every party needs.  El Mago de Las Fritas brought the magic box and cranked out classic burgers and the new kid on the block – “confundida” – one that is confused it’s a Cuban sandwich, topped with the Cuban-style pulled pork, sangria-cured ham, Swiss cheese, dill pickles, papitas, and mustard on a medianoche garlic-buttered bun. Taquiza Miami’s Steve Santana and Washington Charles brought their A game and A team (Saltz!) to serve octopus al pastor and wood grilled hanger steak with chive flowers and radish, both on special pink peppercorn masa tortillas.  Chef Bradley nailed a perfect falafel sandwich with hummus, baba ghanoush, and Israeli salad all stuffed into a warm pita and topped with tahina, pickled red onions and habanero “assburn” hot sauce, if you’re doing it right.

+ Pour fast and smile!  Running out of drinks is no fun for guests or host.  To keep the beverages flowing, simple is usually best.   Eric Larkee decided on a Gin & Tonic bar but rather than corralling a wide range of Gins to represent the range of historical styles, classic producers and cool smaller micro producers (you know he wanted to!), he exercised restraint.  He picked one solid Gin, Plymouth, to headline the party. Thank you Pernod Ricard, for only the best.

+ Just chill.  For the bar, Larkee went with Fever Tree, Q Tonic and Jack Rudy’s tonic syrup (which requires soda water), all with wonderful flavor and great dryness. But the key is serving them chilled.  “Heck, if you can, chill the Gin too,” he adds. “This is a drink that is better the colder it is and when you’re at a party, walking around especially indoors and out, the drink is going to heat up in your hand a little faster than normal. So you can’t really start cold enough.”

+ Keep it fun, not too serious.  Larkee’s finishing touch was the garnish selection, where there’s room to play without getting silly.  To step it up past the slice of lime, he chose a selection to accentuate some of the more subtle fruit and botanic flavors in the Gin. So: lemon, limes, red grapefruit, strawberry, cucumber, pear, rosemary, basil, thyme, mint, cilantro, cinnamon stick, cracked black pepper.

+ Be genuine.  The most important tip of them all.  Do what you know and be who you are. This not only makes for a simpatico crowd, but an executable set up.  Don’t try to do anything out of your comfort zone. There is time for R&D, but this isn’t it!  Give the people what they want.

Huge thank you to Giovanny Gutierrez of Chat Chow TV for helping us document the evening.   Until next year!