Local Legacy | Michael’s Ark Comes Full Circle at Paraiso Bay

FOR THE EVENT IN PICTURES, CLICK HERE.

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Join us Tuesday, January 27 at 6:30 p.m. for Slow Food’s annual Ark of Taste benefit event bringing all of The Genuine Hospitality Group chefs together for the first time!  In its 6th year, this special evening unfolds on the waterfront site of chef Michael Schwartz’s future beach club restaurant at Paraiso Bay to celebrate his local legacy of slow food in South Florida.  At the forefront of a meal from indoor and outdoor food stations is the Ark-nominated Florida stone crab, sourced from George Stone Crab, a local small business, and ingredients from the South Florida harvest including Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink Chef de Cuisine Niven Patel’s backyard Rancho Patel and other farms served by Farm to Kitchen, a local produce distributor.  Cocktails by GREY GOOSE Vodka and sustainable wines by Stellar Wines will complement food by Restaurant Michael Schwartz at The Raleigh and Chef de Cuisine Molly BrandtMichael’s Genuine Food & Drink and Chef de Cuisine Niven PatelThe Cypress Room and Chef de Cuisine Roel AlcudiaHarry’s Pizzeria and Chef de Cuisine Daniel Ramirez, and Chef Schwartz with The Genuine Hospitality Group Executive Chef Bradley Herron will offer a taste of food inspired by this future waterfront restaurant and beach club.

We snuck into Rancho Patel on Tuesday when chef Niven was on the line to find a Garden of Eden flourishing. Many of the lettuces and kale are ready for the picking, while the tomatoes are super happy but just in their flowering stage! Among the ingredients that will be ready for the chefs to use are lots of tuscan kale, French carrots, chiogga beets, New Zealand spinach, Patron peppers, Napoli squash, blueberry tomatoes, seasoning peppers, gerkins, Persian cucumbers and lots and lots of greens.  The menu is coming together nicely and subject to change of course, but here is a taste of what we have cooking with these local ingredients grown with love:

Molly’s Passed Hors d’oeurves | Restaurant Michael Schwartz at The Raleigh
STONE CRAB CLAWS green gribiche
NAPOLI SQUASH & FONTINA ARANCINI smoked calabaza jam, duchilly hazelnuts
HOMEMADE GOAT’S MILK RICOTTA CROSTINI with three different toppings

Danny’s Station | Harry’s Pizzeria
ROASTED BEETS AND CARROTS  whipped goat cheese, crispy lentils, cumin vinaigrette

Roel’s Station | The Cypress Room
GRAND STONE CRAB AOILI  local vegetable crudités

Niven’s Station | Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink
SEARED WAHOO  stone crab vinaigrette, calabaza hummus, sorghum, sorrel

Michael’s and Brad’s Station | Paraiso Bay
WOOD GRILLED POULET ROUGE  marinated vegetables
WOOD ROTISSERIE LAMB SHOULDER  hempseed pesto and mustard greens

The meal would not be complete without famed Genuine Pastry Goddess Hedy Goldsmith’s desserts. Can’t wait to see what she comes up with! Tickets are $195 per person, with proceeds benefitting Slow Food Miami’s Edible Garden Program.  Paraiso Bay is located at 600 NE 31 St. Miami, Florida 33137.

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Perennial Favorite: Farmer Michael Borek and The Cypress Room Tackle the Raring-to-Go Everglades Tomato

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IT’S A JUNGLE OUT THERE: Everglades tomatoes on the vine at Teena’s Pride, Homestead, FL.

Slow Food Miami’s Ark of Taste Benefit Dinner nominates a new ingredient each year to the organization’s national catalog of over 200 delicious foods in danger of extinction – threatened by industrial standardization, the regulations of large-scale distribution and environmental damage. This year The Cypress Room is representing The Genuine Hospitality Group to celebrate a fruit close to our hearts.  Just when we thought we’d seen every tomato possible, enter one that grows wild in our own backyard — the Everglades tomato — ripe for the picking thanks to the efforts of Teena’s Pride in Homestead to grow them.  The farm raised the seminole pumpkin of 2011’s Ark of Taste dinner.

“Deciding to do the event in January this year was key so we could embrace our main growing season down here, especially since tomatoes are at their peak.” Michael says.  “Tomatoes have always been really important and special to us at the restaurants. As a chef it’s fun to have a new heirloom variety to work with, and I think, like usual, Michael Borek was happy for the challenge of growing something new, as well!” Continue reading

Recipe: Hua Moa Tostones

In Miami, we’re spoiled by tostones. They’re everywhere! So when we received our first samples of the rare Hua Moa plantain, and they were green, we immediately thought of frying them up.

These revelatory tostones, which you can now make at home with Michael’s original recipe below, are just the jumping-off point.  Michael, Hedy, and Bradley have all been planning our menu for Slow Food Miami’s October 26 feast, er, event to celebrate Hua Moa’s nomination into the Ark of Taste.  As the not-so-secret ingredient, it will appear in no less than 11 items! There is a heritage pig from Palmetto Creek Farms involved, and of course, Hedy has brought the funk in Hua Moa desserts.  More details to come on  Slow Food Miami’s website. For the record, we warned you tickets would move quickly!

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