Genuine Marketing Fall Internship

Summer is about to end, and we could not be more energized for the busy season ahead, full of exciting programming and restaurant openings.  The vacation may be over but the Genuine adventure is just getting warmed up!

We are looking for a college, graduate student or recent graduate passionate about restaurants and marketing. The position will lead projects and have a big impact on our business. Specific work could include assisting the marketing staff on the launch of new restaurants across various Genuine brands; developing social media strategy and content and social metric tracking; working on local store marketing efforts for existing restaurants and formulating elements of a corporate social responsibility strategy.  Email Joel White with your resume and a cover letter to apply!

· start date: week of September 5th
· ability to work 20 hours a week for 12-16 weeks
· available to work on-site at The Genuine Hospitality Group offices in the Design District
· great communication skills, including writing
· self-motivated worker
· ability to develop content for blog and social media including photography and verbiage
· loves food and is a great team player
· meticulous with details and works well under pressure
· social media savvy
· Abode/Indesign knowledge a plus

· weekly paycheck and/or college credit
· parking expenses covered
· Lunch when at work and restaurant gift cards

From Quinoa Country to Small Town Mexico: Finding Hugo in a Portrait of Immokalee


Hugo Miranda connected with Immokalee on the first visit.  He had heard friends talking about a town that resembled Mexico, two hours west of Miami, but he couldn’t imagine what that would look like.  Then one night a few months ago, he was at Harry’s making pizzas, in his spot on the oven station that he’s held down since the day the Design District restaurant opened, and a familiar face walked through the door.  Lucas Benitez and his family made themselves at home on table 11, and Hugo couldn’t believe his eyes.  The co-founder of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers had come to the pizzeria, to him.  Hugo had seen him talk, heard his speeches advocating for the migrant workers and their rights, when the slave trade rings were busted in early 2000s.   He had always been inspired, but this was a sign. It was at that moment he decided to make a visit to Little Mexico.

“It’s something that just called me, and it’s only 2 hours away,” he explained on a recent morning at Harry’s over fruta cristalizada from the market. “Wow, it was magic.  They have a radio station 107.7, and I’m listening as I arrive on a Wednesday night.  It’s their open assembly, so I go and sit among the crowd.  They were showing a Cantinflas movie, and we were all laughing.  There was a beautiful vibe and big giant murals.”

El Amanecer (Kowa/Six)

El Amanecer (dawn) (Kowa/Six)

Coffee and sweet bread was served, and Hugo’s favorite thing, Mexican pumpkin empanadas.  He thinks he must have eaten three of them.  In addition to the good food and company, a photography lead.  That evening he wouldn’t bring his big camera, a Japanese-made, medium format Kowa/Six.  First he would break ground without it, sensitive like a seasoned documentarian to how those around him might react to unsolicited intrusion. The Kowa isn’t exactly inconspicuous. No, for now he would just observe, because a chance to work his craft would come sooner than anticipated.  Around 4:30 the next morning, buses would congregate in a nearby parking lot to pick up the farmers and take them to the fields.  He would be there to capture it.


Hugo in motion, with a delivery.

It’s no surprise Hugo was drawn to this adopted homeland.  Born in Los Angeles to a Chicana mother, Maria, and raised in Oruro, a small city in west Boliva, his father’s country, Hugo has the blood of many homelands flowing through his veins.  The Quechua, Aymara and Spanish origins on his Dad’s side made his grandparents precious about food, that is to say its significance to the family, how it should be prepared and the profound influence on their identity.  In the early days it made a deep impression on Hugo. These were hard people, determined to make a life for the family, bound by a sense of pride and work ethic. They would talk to Hugo a lot about this. Grandfather Ciprián used to walk for days from the “altiplano” high plains to sell freshly-picked herbs in the city.  He made his way up in mining and knew what kind of food came from every corner of the country.   Whether it was a maid or aunt or cousin under Grandma Rosa’s direction, she could tell when quinoa was not washed seven times!  His mom would try to fool her sometimes to everyone’s delight.  Ciprián would sit with a bowl of hot steamed quinoa every morning for breakfast.  This was quinoa country.  On his mother Maria’s side, his grandma Juanita, a Tejana, spoke no English but rather to young Hugo softly through her cooking.  They forged a warm, special connection through food for the 12 years he was in California before heading south.


Hugo’s radishes make Chicken Thursdays so much brighter.

Immokalee is the ultimate source for Hugo. Its own land bears tomatoes and squash, potatoes and calabazas.  As the largest warehousing point in South Florida, product coming up from Homestead and down from the north is shuttled back out again, servicing distributors big and small.  You’ll find trucks coming in from Georgia, even Texas, to pick up.  And it’s a canvas for his portrait of a people through which he is finding himself as an artist.

Hugo started cooking here in Miami about 15 years ago and has lived in Little Havana ever since.  Before joining Harry’s, he worked at the sub shops and on and off, this and that.  Then he decided it was how he was going to make a living.  From his drives out west, Hugo has been supplying Harry’s in Design District with things like radishes that end up in Orange and Radish Salad and Wood Oven Roasted Half Chicken with Salsa Verde.  But his focus is growing Hugo’s Chiles, his small distribution business servicing Mexican establishments from taquerias and restaurants, to bodegas with pungent chiles of good quality, both fresh and dried.  It’s how Hugo’s real love, photography, is being funded.

“I was looking for a way to finance the photography thing,” he continued.  “I started with chiles.  I’d see the price, then introduce myself as cook to various stores in my neighborhood.  Most are paying about $6 a pound for bad product from some distributor.  Your nose can tell the difference. Chile de arbol, guajillos…  They smell up the car!”

Bring back memories or be inspired, like us, to make new ones.  Follow along Hugo’s travels through his vivid portraits of food and small town life at Hugo’s Chiles.  And wave hi to the guy in the bandana the next time you visit Harry’s.  You’ll never see him the same way again.


Exploring Photography at The Cypress Room


The job of a chef-restaurateur is as much about designing a menu as it is about conjuring the dining experience.  The service, the room, the lighting, the music… these elements define hospitality and come together to create that magical thing called sense of place.  It’s that feeling you get when you walk into a dining room and are transported somewhere, some time even.  If the restaurant does it right, it’s like reading a great book.  You dive right in and lose yourself in a new world, only to find something special to take with you forever.


If you have ever been to The Cypress Room, you have seen the wall of black and white old Florida photographs in the dining room, in part responsible for creating its unique sense of place.  Since photography is one of my passions, we decided to focus on this theme for my last project as summer brand intern, the evolution of spring’s poetry collection for “O, Miami”.  Working again with Nathaniel Sandler at Bookleggers, I visited his archives Downtown to hand-pick this month’s display of books which we’ve entitled “Through the Looking Glass: Photography at The Cypress Room.”   You can now find them installed in each restroom.  

I also created an archive of our own for the photo wall, to dig deeper into these images’ significance and place in Miami’s history, spanning the late 1800s to late 1900s. Coming soon is a book recording the details of each picture hanging, from which you can find a preview below. Be sure to stop by and take a look to discover the mysteries of the hanging photographs and choose your own adventure within our four walls. The Cypress Room will post on Instagram when our first copy arrives from Blurb!

Some of the covers of the books in the new photography collection.

Some of the covers of the books in the new photography collection.

Ernest Hemingways sons, Patrick and Gregory, in Cuba

Ernest Hemingways sons, Patrick and Gregory, in Cuba

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J. Fritz Gordon, Al Capone and Mayor of Havana, Julio Morales, 1930, On Back: In Havana, don’t ask for beer, ask for “Tropical.” Souvenir from Tropical Garden, Havana, Cuba, 1930.

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People on the Beach, Robert Vignola (Front) and Ruth Snow (Middle).

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Marking 75 years of New York-Miami service, 1900’s; Engine No. 1034 breaks the tape on track No. 3 in Miami marking 75 years of Florida Special New York-Miami service. Joan Cooke typifies the bathing beauty of the 1888 era. Michal Flotkin is the beauty on the right.

Love, Magic & The Art of the Image at The Cypress Room

Fine food is fine art – it has to be. You wouldn’t pay a week’s pay check for a lunch in Paris (and Antonio Bachour wouldn’t have more than eleven thousand followers) if there wasn’t visual beauty accompanying the taste. Aesthetics set the stage, which is why restaurants spend so much time and money on design. The intent is to feel creativity all around you, not just coming out of the kitchen. To capture this in an image is yet another form of fine art. And while we do our best, to share the thoughtful decor of The Cypress Room through its Instagram, it deserves unfiltered, professional attention to behold its essence. Fred-LoveMeet Fred Love, an artist who uses the camera as his utensil and the computer to create. His images are rich with depth; they tell a story that begs your eye to linger, like the taste of roasted bone marrow on your tongue. I sat down with Fred last week on a perfect South Florida winter’s day to chat about photography, please enjoy his images and insight below.

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Are you from Miami?

Yes, born and raised.

How did you get into photography?

I studied art and art history and television production in college, but not photography. Then I did graphic design for a while and had a graphics design company called Elements Design Group, then EDG Miami. I started doing photography more and more for clients and eventually sold the business.

How did you translate that into shooting beautiful women on the beach?

That’s a good question, I don’t even know. It just started out as something to do for fun, it wasn’t intended to be a career.

How do you like working with food?

I enjoy taking pictures, and I appreciate the art of food. Really good food, high end food, well designed and well put together food. I love all forms of art. I see food, and the interior of the restaurant, in the art form that it is and that’s why I enjoy it. To capture the magic.

So you think The Cypress Room is magical?

Yes, after one Old Pal it’s absolutely magical.

What’s your preferred subject to shoot?

I do it as an artist, so there’s no subject; it’s just a feeling of wanting to create.

Does the passion ever fail you when you do it for a paycheck?

I have been lucky enough to have the freedom to say no to jobs. I like looking at it as a challenge, The Cypress Room is small so it was a challenge to capture things like the bathroom or the space without adjusting the light because the lighting is so much of that restaurant you don’t want to change it. It’s exciting and it’s a thrill trying to solve the issues and make it look good.

Do you shoot scenery?

I am working on a Miami Beach coffee table book, so yes, but mostly for myself.

What landscapes inspire you?

All of it.

How long have you been in the business now?

I’ve been a photographer for 8 years.

How has technology changed photography?

Work flow. Image quality. What you can do with images, how you can manipulate them, and the ability to market online, social media is amazing. That’s changed everything.

Has Instagram changed photography?

There have been more pictures taken in the last 3 years than in all the world’s history.

Is that a fact?

That is a fact. Think about it. When you were in your teens and you would go to a concert no one took pictures.

So it’s changed in a positive way?

For sure, it’s added opportunity for people to use programs to make their pictures into art.

So photography should be approached as an artist?

Yes, I don’t even consider myself as a photographer, I just create images. The camera is my vessel but then I add so much more.

Feast Your Eyes: The Razzle of Basel Begins with Artist Karel Fonteyne

A month ago, our MGFD Café was a parking lot outside the Miami Beach Convention Center. Today, some of the finest design houses in the world have put together their finest pieces for a show that we are thrilled to keep espressoed and fed. It is a tense, purposeful silence that floats through the tent above low conversations. Gone are the buzz saws, the drills, and the dust, here is the design. This is Design Miami/.

The international art community has descended upon us for Art Basel, one of its most influential global forums, and back in the Design District Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink and Harry’s Pizzeria have dressed for the show.  The walls in our flagship’s main dining room shimmer with a new installation by talented artist and our restaurant designer Carl Myers. In the Gallery Room and at Harry’s hang the works of Karel Fonteyne curated by Director Chana Sheldon of our neighborhood art cooperative, Locust Projects. Natural objects are photographed with a technical camera and printed in extremely high resolution in these limited edition, embossed prints. The starkness of a rose branch or a pine needle is seen so vividly it’s felt, and contrasted by the comfort of each piece of nature.

Karel spent his childhood in Belgium. He wandered through the woods drawing inspiration from all that surrounded him. “In photographs I work more like a painter by starting with an idea that I sketch putting the different elements of my emotions together.” Like a recipe, starting with ingredients. Not surprisingly, Karel likes to cook. “It is for me the same as making my photographs, giving the ingredients a twist by putting them together in another way so you create an unexpected taste.” Like food for the eyes.

For forty-five years Karel has taken pictures. He has lived in Italy, New York, Tokyo, Spain, and France. From 1981 to 1994 he worked as a fashion photographer, with images gracing the covers of Vogue Italia and Vogue Japan. “[The photo] has to keep the onlooker awake,” he said, “so it has an impact on his way of thinking.”

Art Basel Week is about finding what is eye-catching, discovering a piece that unearths something within you, stumbling upon a work that causes an impact on you in that moment, and forever. Embrace this inundation of forced thought. Come say hello at Design Miami, and find Karel’s work at Art Miami in booth 16. Happy Basel Miami, it’s showtime.