#SOBEWFF 10 Years of Genuine Menu & More #MGFD10 Fun to Come

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As we like to say… Menu subject to change :)

#thisismgfd. We began this hashtag in September, welcoming a new chef into the fold to steward Michael’s flagship into its 10th year of genuine hospitality.  Now we begin another as we approach March 13 when the Champagne will be flowing to give thanks for all that came before and forge ahead into a brave new future.  Today, we’re sharing for the first time the menu for our Thursday, February 23 South Beach Wine & Food Festival dinner.  We are so honored to have respected and dear friends chefs Marc Vetri and Jonathan Waxman join Michael to celebrate the meaning of Genuine.  I think it’s safe to say that it’s the genuine culture and community that has made this restaurant what it is, embracing and fostering Michael’s vision to make Michael’s Genuine® Food & Drink bigger than itself.  It is this we toast and cherish, the people that make Genuine mean something.  Follow #MGFD10 as it unfolds, because there’s more to come, and click here for tickets before we run out. 

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Michael and Jim at Au Bon Climat, Santa Maria Valley, blending Lua Rossa no. 3 in 2015.

This year we also crafted an online auction package for the festival which we’re pretty excited about (the kind we’d want to buy ourselves, as it should be!)  Gather 4 friends and sidle up to the heirloom tomato wall as Michael and Brad cook for you at the Michael’s Genuine® Food & Drink wood oven station. The beating heart and hearth of the MGFD kitchen since we opened in 2007 is your stage for a multi-course meal paired with iconic, library wines significant to Genuine from Michael’s friend and Lua Rossa collaborator Jim Clendenen of Au Bon Climat.  Get your bid in here now, or regret it later!

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

August of Genuine Events: Announcing Harry’s First Rosé BBQ in the Design District & More!

It’s been a very busy summer, and we’re not letting up!  With Fi’lia by Michael Schwartz poised to open in the fall at SLS Brickell, Michael’s newest concept is making the rounds in Genuineland where it’s been welcomed with open arms… and mouths!  Our second taste of Chef’s simple, honest approach to Italian food wrapped with a packed house at Harry’s Pizzeria last night, so we are pleased to share our next events in the hopper for August that spread the love.  It’s going to be a tasty month!

17715500600_c64658a872_kHarry’s BBQ Night: Rosé Edition Tuesday, August 23 from 6:30 p.m. — Harry’s Pizzeria, 3918 North Miami Avenue, Miami (Design District), 33127  TICKETS HERE

It’s time to roll out the smoker again, and we’re breaking out the rosé for the occasion.  Harry’s Pizzeria is so excited to welcome back The Genuine Hospitality Group Executive Chef Bradley Herron to pop a rosé barbecue dinner at Michael’s neighborhood American pizzeria.  This is the wine we like to drink; it always occupies a special place at the Schwartz table and summertime is no exception.  Here we’ll drink pink three ways, including a sparkling.  Harry’s loves beer too, so its four taps will feature refreshing summer beer styles for the week of the event.  Tickets are $79 and include it all — a stationed menu, all you care to drink rosé and draught beer, tax and gratuity.  You’ll grab a pizza tray and make the rounds to build your BBQ meal visiting the Smoker, Wood Oven, and Counter.  There will be plenty of Sides and Veggies too, and of course Dessert!  Stay tuned for Brad’s menu. All sales are final, seating is communal, and we’ll be open all night long.

IMG_6251Fi’lia Spices Up MGFD | Monday, August 29 to Sunday, September 4 from 5:30 p.m.  Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, 130 NE 40th Street, Miami (Design District) 33137, 305.573.5550

We’ve seen tremendous response from everyone this summer to our embrace of Fi’lia at our restaurants, so with Cypress Tavern and Harry’s Pizzeria events under our belts, it’s time to move the party to Michael’s flagship!  With so much excitement around Miami Spice, especially at Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, we thought it would be fun for Fi’lia take over our Spice dinner menu for a week!  Beginning Monday, August 29 until Sunday September 4, guests joining us from 5:30 p.m. can choose from a 3-course prix fixe dinner for $39 exclusive of tax and gratuity featuring Fi’lia inspired-dishes.  The special menu will also be available Friday and Saturday nights, even though we don’t typically offer Miami Spice during those dinner services.  MGFD’s regular dinner menu will also be available all evenings.

FBB-logo-v3-stackedREDHarry’s Flight Night Welcomes Funky Buddha Brewery | Tuesday, August 30 from 6 p.m. —Harry’s Pizzeria, 3918 North Miami Avenue, Miami (Design District), 33127, 786.275.4963

Flight Night is getting funktified! After a lot of fun with J. Wakefield, Harry’s is getting its community brew on again with a Flight Combo, special menu items from Harry’s for the night, and taps (and more!) from Oakland Park’s brewer of “big, bold flavors, made exactingly with natural ingredients.”  Harry’s a la carte menu will be available all day and there’s no cover charge to pop in! Look for Flight Night’s special insert on the night of, and stay tuned for beer selections and menu!

summer-series-beer-court-071516-FINAL[1]Summer Series Finale! Genuine Beer Court | Friday, August 12 from 6 p.m.  — Palm Court, 140 NE 39th Street, Second Floor “Netscape” Space, Miami (Design District) 33137  TICKETS HERE

Enjoy all you care to drink of two special beers poured from each of five local breweries; three MGFD and Lynx Grills food stations including sausage & onion hoagie with dijon mustard & sauerkraut, broccoli rabe pizza with chiles & garlic, and mini burgers with secret sauce, shredded lettuce, extra cheese; housemade Chex mix; and music and lawn games. We’ll also be giving away a Lynx Smoker Box in a raffle drawing on site, complete with a signed copy of Michael’s cookbook and a few other surprises!  Tickets are $55 plus tax all inclusive and exclusively sold in advance through our link.  When you arrive on site, you’ll check in at the door, get your wristband and let the fun begin. Cheers!

Cooking the Line: Megan Hess

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Megan working the oven station at MGFD with TGHG executive chef Bradley Herron at Brunch this past Sunday during Art Basel. Click the photo for a Hyperlapse of the action on Instagram.

It was 3:00 p.m. and another Sunday Brunch shift had blown through Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink.  As Megan and I sat in the courtyard, she was still in her “Chef Yoga” pants but off her feet for the first time since 7:00 a.m.  “Is my hair in order?” she asked, taking off her cap.  Megan had prepared and cooked countless dishes from the wood oven station, made even more numerous due to Brunch’s special small plates format.  She was the only girl on the savory line that morning, yet the classic Megan smile as big and bright as you’ll ever see was out in full force, the same after the shift as it was before.

“I love it! There are a lot of jokes! I grew up with an older brother and his friends and I am used to it.”

Being a line cook isn’t easy.  It’s a rough and tumble job, both mentally and physically, and not for the faint of heart.  Even as a strong woman, it’s not difficult to see how the prestigious title of Chef has more often been awarded to men more than women.  In this battlefield of orders, cutlery and fire, one must shed the individual – the passion that put you there – and don the team.  One must trust and be trusted otherwise it just doesn’t work.  Our Genuine team consists of talented and passionate individuals, from the host to the wood oven, and from savory to pastry, who do just that. Everyday. And Megan, well, she’s a perfect example.

“I guess it all started back in Ohio,” Megan shares.  “I first learned how to make French toast when I was 5 years old with my great grandmother. By middle school I wanted to be a pastry chef.”

In fact, her heart was so set for the culinary world, that Megan attended a technical high school where she competed in culinary competitions junior and senior year; and she wooed judges at an early age. The experience made her fall in love with the food and beverage industry. At the recommendation of her advisor at North Miami’s Johnson & Wales University where she currently studies culinary arts and food service management, Megan applied for a part-time internship at Michael’s Genuine to put her techniques into practice.  She was hired as a full-time line cook shortly after.

“Megan’s a quick learner and she doesn’t complain. She just gets the job done,” explains Daniel Ramirez who at the time of Megan’s internship was a sous chef at Michael’s Genuine. He’s now Chef de Cuisine at Harry’s Pizzeria. “I think we [Chef de Cuisine Niven Patel, Executive Pastry Chef Hedy Goldsmith, and sous-chef Jason Arroyo] were astonished that her passion and talent went hand in hand with solid execution and professionalism.  It’s a hard combination to come by especially in a young cook.”

Megan welcomed the additional responsibility. She worked hard and played hard. She was in short, genuine.  Continuing her studies full-time, she attends school from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on most weekdays, and then comes to work at 3:00 p.m. I asked, “When do you do your homework?” and she replied “Within those three hours of course.”  As a student myself juggling work, I was impressed.  “On my days off, I nap,” this 21 year old admits.

Megan is often assigned to work at the wood oven, a very challenging station, and her favorite. Why so? She shares that the challenge motivates her. She does not receive a ticket with a list of what she is to prepare. Rather, she must remember what the Chef at the expo line requested, on the fly! In addition, she can prepare the whole snapper and the whole “Poulet Rouge.” Yum!

“My favorite dish to make at MGFD is the pasta,” Megan says.  “I love the variety at the sauté station, since it changes daily, and that we make it in house, fresh.  I also enjoy working at the grill due to the tempo. Well, I can have fun at pretty much any station!”

Megan dreams of success and a family, but also to be like Niven one day. Who says you can’t have it all? In addition, she hopes  to motivate and teach students at technical schools, as she once was, to encourage them to pursue their goals. We say that girls like Megan truly make the dream team happen.

[PHOTOS] [VIDEO] A #SOBEWFF Week in Review with No End in Sight

It’s only Friday, the second official day of South Beach Wine & Food Festival, but for we the people of Genuineland it’s day 6 of a whirlwind that began on Sunday at the beach and has progressed in stages of playtime, beach time, farm time and hard work to where we are now.  Sunday’s The Gramercy Room at The Cypress Room will close us out with a curtsey.

It’s why we love this week every year.  The pleasure, the pain and most of all the people.  An exquisite mix at once dangerous and rewarding.  We leave you now with our medicinal elixir in these heady times, some multimedia to soothe the soul and leave that warm fuzzy feeling inside.  While we continue to climb out of the tall weeds at the Schwartzoffice, stay focused on the best feeds in the biz especially this #SOBEWFF weekend @BarbutoNYC, @chefjwaxman@MGFD_MIA, @ellliesara, @ktchntrvwr, @chefswidow, @Chefsawyer, @marcvetri@jennlouis (did someone say Knaus Berry Farms sticky buns?), @chefaz, @onkappysplate@mikesolomonov, @chefmarcmurphy and @thebillyharris.  #intesity.  Just the way we like it.  Tennis, anyone?

Tuesday’s Eating Italy in Miami  at MGFD with Jeff

Wednesday’s Lincoln Pizzeria at Harry’s with Jenn

Hanging with Harris visits The Raleigh to cook Harvey Cedars Fish Stew with Michael (shot August 2103, live today)

Hanging with Harris visits The Cypress Room with Ryan (shot August 2103, live today)

Hanging with Harris visits Harry’s Pizzeria to make laffa with Mike from Zahav, (shot August 2103, live today)