It Takes Two to Mango | Tigertail + Mary and The Salty Donut Make Summer Sweet in Coconut Grove with Collab Croughnut

This weekend, it gets salty in the sweetest of ways at our lush neighborhood retreat in Miami’s oldest bayside village.  Join Chef Michael Schwartz for exciting and delicious activities to celebrate mango season in Coconut Grove. Click below for the scoop… because you’re invited!

CARRIE MANGO TREE DEDICATION:  Saturday, July 13 at 11am
It takes a village! Join Miami City Commissioner Ken Russell, Chef Michael Schwartz, The Kampong Director Craig Morell, our Park Grove friends and award-winning food writer, Miami native and mango enthusiast Victoria Pesce Elliott for a short and sweet ceremony honoring the National Tropical Botanical Garden that calls Coconut Grove home with a tree we can all stand behind.  Learn more about our new addition to the front lawn here!

IT’S GETTING CROUGHNUTS IN HERE: Friday, July 12 – Sunday, July 14 from 8am to 3pm
Michael’s Croughnut collab with our friends at The Salty Donut is too yummy to miss! Not to mention, grammable. Check out what happened when Miami’s beloved James Beard Award-winning chef mashed up with the city’s favorite artisanal donut shoppe!  Watch a winning recipe come together behind the scenes on The Salty Donut’s IG. Friday’s donuts are on us! Limit one per guest, while supplies last.

You may have figured out we love an illustration or two especially art inspired by our surroundings, so we are especially excited to share in the mango fun with another local plant-obsessed friend of the Genuine family, Jessica “Pooka” Suarez. Enjoy her original Carrie Mango design gracing limited edition high quality stickers this weekend.  Each special Croughnut comes with one special sticker, a treat for our guests while supplies last!

[Recipe] Mango Upside Down Cake

Whether you are following your nose and creeping front yards to forage the perfect specimen, or running and hiding while trying not to squish the rotten ones, no one can escape mango season in South Florida. It’s here!

Michael surprised us this morning with the fruits of his Graham tree home-baked into an upside down cake.  Crumbs are about all that’s left!  “It’s no Haden, but my kids love when I make this cake, so I brought you guys some!”  Graham is a fiberless cultivar that originated in Trinidad and became popular nursery stock tree in Florida for home growing due to its fine flavor and good disease resistance. It was even selected as a curator’s choice mango for Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden’s 2008 mango festival. Not bad!  

Fresh fruit caramelized and embedded in rich buttery cake makes a great dessert any time of year, especially this time.  The beauty of this one-pan cake is its simplicity: you don’t even need a cake pan.  When people take their first bite, the reaction is always the same: oh my God! It’s great with a scoop of basil ice cream as a point of contrast to the caramelized to the point of almost burnt brown sugar… or just plain vanilla will always do!  Enjoy this oldie but goodie below, from Michael’s Genuine Food: Down-to-Earth Cooking for People Who Love to Eat.

Mango Upside-Down Cake

Serves 8 to 10

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
2 1-pound firm-ripe mangoes, peeled, pitted, and cut into ½ inch slices
11/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon fine salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs, separated
2⁄3 cup buttermilk
Basil Ice Cream (recipe follows), optional

Put a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat and add the 4 tablespoons butter. When the butter is melted, stir in the brown sugar. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the mixture looks like caramel, about 5 minutes. Swirl the pan around so the caramel covers the bottom completely. Remove from the heat. Tightly fan the mango slices over the caramel in concentric circles to cover the entire bottom, overlapping the slices.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, beat the softened butter with a handheld electric mixer on medium-high speed. Gradually sprinkle in 1 cup sugar and continue beating until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the vanilla and egg yolks, one at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula if necessary.

Reduce the mixer speed to low and add half of the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. Stir in the buttermilk, then add the remaining dry ingredients, stirring to incorporate.

Beat the egg whites in another bowl with cleaned beaters until frothy.

Sprinkle in the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar and continue to beat until the whites hold stiff peaks. Gently fold half of the beaten whites into the batter with a rubber spatula to lighten it. Then fold in the remaining whites; it’s okay
if some white streaks remain.

Pour the batter over the mangoes and spread evenly to the edges of the skillet. Bake until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center, 45 to 50 minutes.

Cool the cake in the pan for 5 minutes. Run a knife around the inside rim of the pan to loosen it from the sides and make sure the cake will come out easily. Set a serving plate firmly on top of the pan and carefully flip it over to invert the cake onto the plate. Cool before serving with basil ice cream, if desired.

The Fruit of Life: Kristina’s Summer Bite of Haitian Mango Culture & Trade

Kristina Francillon took the summer off from her duties in MGFD reservations and with us branding folks at TGHG to work with mango growers and exporters in Haiti during the peak of season.  We thought it would provide a unique perspective on sourcing and agriculture to hear her story!

Happiness. That is what a mango means to a Haitian. March to August is the Francis mango season in Haiti, and adults and children alike look forward to it, eating multiple mangoes a day. My number is two per diem.  A mango could be sliced and daintily eaten with a fork, but to enjoy this tropical fruit in its true sense, you must peel it all, grab it with both hands, and take a bite as its sticky, sweet juice runs down.  Full face in!  In fact, my paternal grandmother (who was quite the lady) used to say, I will not get dirty for just one mango, I need at least two or three. Thus, bathing in your mango, if you will, is the only way to do it.

The Haitian mango does not only impact taste buds, but also the economy. The mango business supports over 50,000 Haitian families, with jobs, from the growers, to the exporters, to the street merchants. Mangoes are life around here. Although there are 140 varieties growing around the country, the francis variety is the most exported. Why is the francis mango so special, in addition to supporting Haiti’s recovering economy? Its flavor. The taste is rich and spicy and this variety has consistent flavor, unlike some others. It is also one of the juiciest mangoes there is. This is why these mangoes are so orgasmic. It drips as you eat it and no one is shamed into licking the nectar as it falls.

I have had the pleasure to intern with F&L, a mango exporting firm in the St Marc area in Haiti, approximately two hours from Port-au-Prince. The firm exports its mangoes to the US and is USDA approved. With a rigid selection process and a diverse and talented team, the company truly impacts the local economy. Mangoes are sourced from both F&L farms, and other local farmers. The fruit is naturally grown and only the highest quality mangoes are exported. They are then treated using a hot water treatment, sorted, packed and shipped in refrigerated containers to the States. The process is thoroughly supervised by a local and a USDA inspector, who are both on site, at all hours of operation. All so that you may enjoy the very best Haiti has to offer.

F&L is an affiliate of Agrotechnique SA, a company dedicated to the agricultural sector in Haiti for over 40 years. The team is local and their desire to help the country is palpable. Haiti does not grow through humanitarian aid, rather it develops through sustainable investment and exportation of local goods. This is what F&L does, and their products, mangoes in particular, are proudly showcased in major US cities like Miami, New York and Boston. Yes, Haiti is often portrayed as a country of despair, but let’s look at Haiti through another lens. Haiti = Good Mangoes.

Let’s discuss my experience. The best part: eating all the mangoes I could ever want, whole or juiced. I have never indulged this much and lost weight. This is a girl’s dream! Thus far, my work involves sales and strategy, where I help the firm improve its processes and increase its clientele. I like to think of it as an internal consultant of sorts. But I am learning so much more from this team, than I believe they are learning from me : from the mango culture, to the exportation business, to the love for Haiti. It is contagious. I have always loved Haiti, having been raised there. But working at a firm with direct impact on growers, families and the economy, has changed my view of the country as well. There is so much to be done here, and the impact of your work will be visible. I am lucky to have had the opportunity to make a difference.

At the Genuine Hospitality Group restaurants, the farm to table approach is vital. And TGHG has taught me the value of careful sourcing and of supporting growers. This is why I value the work of Haitian mango growers, and of firms such as F&L, who create work for these farmers, and distributors, through exportation. I have always loved the Francis mango, but now the fruit means so much more. Mango is now life to me.

How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Mango the Ways…

During Harry’s Pizzeria’s BBQ Night in Pizzaland a chance encounter landed the restaurant with over with 50 pounds of mangoes!  I met a woman named Valerie Stern, and she is my mango queen! When I saw her last, she handed me about 40 pounds of mangoes and told me to sprinkle their goodness around Genuineland.  Make your summer a whole lot sweeter?  We’re on it, Val!

Valerie moved into her Schenley Park home in 1992 – a mango tree stood on the property, complete with rope swing and it was too beautiful to pass up. Not even a month after moving in, on August 24, Hurricane Andrew took half of Valerie’s tree but couldn’t wipe it out.  This story has a happy ending and after a few years of consulting with various arborists and mango experts and lots of love, Valerie was able to nurse her mango tree back to health. She estimates that her mango tree is about 80 years old, based on when some other trees were planted in her neighborhood.  It’s over 30 feet tall!

One great thing about Valerie is that she’s generous, another great thing about her is that she doesn’t like raw mangoes… So… Valerie brings her mangoes to local restaurants and about 90% of her harvest are scattered around Miami’s finest eateries. She keeps about two mangoes a week for herself and the rest go to friends. Friends like PopNature and Wynwood Brewery, who are able to process and use the mangoes at the rate Valerie’s tree is producing them. Valerie’s mangoes are an endangered breed. About 10 years ago Valerie reached out to Dr. Richard Campbell, the Senior Curator of Tropical Fruit at the Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden, to get some answers about her mysterious fruit. Cherwin mangoes are very sweet, very large and very dense and almost impossible to find in Miami any more. Cherwin’s are perfect for pulping and purees – they aren’t fibrous at all and have a very compact seed. They are most similar to Jubilee, another culinary favorite. At Harry’s Pizzeria, as part of our (RED) campaign, we are asking guests to bring in their mangoes to #86AIDS and raise awareness for the month of June… ’tis the season! Chef de Cuisine, Daniel Ramirez, put these mangoes to work and immediately had them on the menu. Now you can find them in our salad and house soda!

Executive Chef of The Genuine Hospitality Group, Bradley Herron, has his own 80 year old mango tree in his backyard. Chef Brad says, “I got mangoes coming out of my ears at home. You just gotta process all of them in the right ways,” Bradley explains. “The mint condition mangoes go on the counter – those are sliced for eating fresh. The slightly bruised ones that have tree-ripened and fallen (I have a tall tree!) – those get pureed and added to kombucha.  I have mango in the dehydrator for leather.  12 hours at 135 degrees. I have 60 pounds in the freezer for smoothies or sorbet.” Not everyone is a trained chef, but seasoned mango lovers know how to process their fruit!

Chef Michael Schwartz, Sunil Bhat and Eric Elliot Mango Hunting during last year's season!

Chef Michael Schwartz, Sunil Bhatt and Eric Elliot Mango Hunting during the 2014 season in May!

Eric Elliot, long time mango hunter, Miami Beach resident and good friend of Chef Michael, comes at mango season with full force! All he needs are his specialized mango picker (a Miami staple) and the sun at his back! Eric has four mango trees on his property, all different varieties; Carrie, Julie, Southern Blush and the elusive and highly prized Indian Alphonso — “the King of Mangoes”. One day he harvested over 300 pounds! Needless to say, Eric has to process his mangoes quick. Aside from the dedicated freezer in the garage filled with whole mangoes and purees, Eric uses a dehydrator to make mango chips – his kids’ favorite (not to mention they last all year round!) Eric credits mangoes with introducing him to his wife. In 1994, Eric attended a super spicy Indian dinner party and the only thing he could stomach on the menu was dessert, a mango pie. He had to find out who made this pie, and that search led him to Victoria, who later became his wife. Victoria’s parents have 11 mango trees at their home, so Victoria knew a thing or two about baking the best mango pie. As their wedding gift, Victoria’s father gave the couple their first mango tree. See how mangoes can bring people together? It’s a beautiful thing. How do I love thee? Let me mango the ways…

OMG! This is gonna be DOPE.

Don’t call it a come back! Harry’s Pizzeria® and O Cinema Wynwood are rejoining forces to bring you OMG! Dinner and A Movie two weeks from today, Thursday, June 18 (a day before it’s released in theaters!) The movie is DOPE, no.. really.. it’s called DOPE and received rave reviews at Sundance Film Festival this year. The film is a punk-comedy surrounding the lives of Los Angeles high school seniors, self proclaimed geeks, who are happily stuck in a 1990s hip hop day dream. A chance encounter with a nefarious A$AP Rocky lands them in a peculiar situation that forces them to become — let’s call them entrepreneurs.  Plus, it’s executive produced by one of our favorite Design District enthusiasts Pharrell Williams.  Really people, what more could you want?

Doors open at 6pm and the movie starts at 7. General admission tickets are $40 and VIP tickets are $55 (the VIP tickets come with a signed copy of Chef’s cookbook Michael’s Genuine Food.)  Tickets are now LIVE and can purchased through O Cinema, here!  Chef de Cuisine Daniel Ramirez is a 90s hip hop junkie himself and after watching the trailer could not have been more stoked to write this menu. Taking inspiration from NWA’s beverage of choice and LA’s iconic backdrop, here’s what Danny came up with:

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with preserved lemon and crispy lentils
Mango Salad with mixed greens, shaved vegetables, champagne vinaigrette
“OE” Braised Chicken with white rice
Doughnut bread pudding (Inglewood! you know, home of Randy’s Donuts!)
Surprise packaged movie snack!

While you wait.. allow me to reintroduce myself.. my name is DOPE!