[Video] Gone Fishing for Florida Stone Crab Season

It all began with a hunt for a frog leg source in 2006 when Michael’s Genuine® Food & Drink was a set of plans and dreams. Some 12 years later, fisherman George Figueroa of Trigger Seafood is Michael’s source for everything under the South Florida sun including these Everglades treats, from local spiny lobster to his company’s namesake triggerfish when we’re lucky.  Like most long lasting relationships, things grow and evolve.  You see each other when you can — sometimes more often than others, but it’s always like yesterday and there’s always an opportunity for a spontaneous adventure.  When George happened to be by the office last week to pick up a check, he asked if I wanted to join on the boat Sunday for the 2018 Florida Stone Crab season harvest.  Frog gigging?  Sure, Michael has donned the headlamp under full moonlight.  Wild boar hunting? He and culinary director Bradley Herron joined George on the swamp buggy.  But after all this time, it would be our first time pulling traps — and certainly not the last!

Unlike recreational opportunities, our fisherman has a commercially-regulated (for sustainability) license where he may legally harvest both claws — if they are legal in size and the crab continues to feed (as many frisky ones we encountered today without claws were doing in the traps.) The crabs’ natural predators in the bay including triggerfish, dolphin, turtles, and octopus actively prey on both clawed and clawless specimens. The reality is we encountered pilfered and stolen traps all day long, which is bad for everyone, especially the health of our fishery.

Stone Crab season is one of those give-ins. Not taken for granted but to a certain degree expected.  Nothing should ever be that way, and we are grateful to have had the opportunity to realize it through this past weekend’s experience.  George’s office is like that.  It appears to be a constant — the crystalline water of Biscayne Bay, the blue sky embracing its National Park, the delicious seafood.

Scratch the shimmer though, and the squalls, the tropical changes, the pirate’s-life-for-me blood coursing thick and hungry in all of us down in these wild parts rise to the surface.  That’s the thing about buried treasure.  It makes us all go a little crazy. Go rogue in the rush of discovery and payday in glorious sweet meat.  But what will you pull up?  Has someone gotten there, to your licensed traps, first? The unpredictability of it all runs deep, and that’s the object lesson we took away with our 65-pound claw haul. Protection and regulation can only do so much for our natural resources.  It takes a little more work than that.  It takes respect, and education even when it’s not always easy on the eyes is a fine place to start.

Thank you @jorge_trigger_seafood for showing us the #stonecrab ropes, sharing insight into the challenges of managing this fishery, and always telling it like it is. Keep it real and come along for the ride with us on the video above. When you enjoy some claws at MGFD or Amara at Paraiso there will be new meaning and respect to contemplate — how they got to the table and in some cases why they’re absent from it.


Ring in the New Year with Genuine Cheers

Baby we like it raw.

Celebrate the New Year your way at Michael’s Genuine® Food & Drink.  No seatings, no prix fixe. Just what you love about our a la carte dinner menu the way it was meant to be enjoyed… any way you fancy it!  Make it more fancy with a Champagne and Raw Bar starter.  $89 includes a dozen oysters and your choice of King or Stone Crab with two glasses of bubbly.  Nothing says sexy time like New Year’s Eve does, so indulge a little with some crustaceans and bivalves on ice with a sparkling side of flutes for two.  Up the ante with a bottle for $30 more.  Chef Tim Piazza who is always keeping us on our toes will also add a few specials to the menu for the night!  Sunday, December 31 we are open for Brunch 11am – 3pm, for our snacks menu in between 3 – 5:30pm, and dinner from 5:30 until Midnight. Cheers to 2018! Click here to make a reservation.

Ring in 2017 with New Year’s Eve Dinner at Cypress Tavern


Celebrate the New Year with a long finish, velvety texture and the finesse of exotic fruits at Cypress Tavern.  Enjoy this taste of luxury in a half bottle per couple of Jeeper Champagne, Grand Assemblage (Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier) when you choose the restaurant’s 3-course prix fixe New Year’s Eve menu.  Design your experience by choosing an appetizer, entrée and dessert from our a la carte dinner menu for $89 per person plus tax and gratuity, including the bubbly beginning.  A supplemental menu of luxury items will also be available a la carte to enhance the meal, like stone crabs, truffles and caviar with the option of full caviar service. The complete a la carte dinner menu will also be available, including Large Plates for two.  Cheers to starting off 2017 on the right note… maybe with a juicy pork chop!  Book now by emailing reservations@cypresstavern.com or calling 305.520.5197.


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



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.


[Recipe] Get Cracking on The Cypress Room’s Stone Crab Roulade


Ocean Drive recently asked us to contribute to its story on healthy versions of comfort foods.  We really liked this spin chef Roel Alcudia had on The Cypress Room menu and wanted to offer you the full recipe here.  It is not only simple to make, but as a local, casts stone crabs in a whole new light, from pick and eat with the traditional mustard sauce to an ingredient as a component of a dish.  Stone crabs blow in with a torrent on October 15 each year and can’t come quick enough.  We source most of our claws from George Stone Crab and have been hot on them this  season especially with our new raw bar at Michael’s Genuine.  They were also a popular item on the menu at our Design Miami café last week.

IMG_2636_2“They’re South Florida’s comfort food. Georgia has peaches, Louisiana has crawfish, and we’ve got stone crabs,” George’s owner Roger Duarte says.  “Stone crabs are what you eat for your mother’s birthday, what you serve to friends when they visit from out of town, how you ring in the new year. They taste like South Florida – home! For a local, the arrival of the season is like looking forward to a holiday like Thanksgiving or Christmas.”

A roulade is a dish common to most European cuisines and consisting of a slice of meat rolled around a filling, which could be cheese, vegetables, or other meats. The term originates from the French word “rouler”, meaning “to roll”. Roel’s recipe is a heathy take on this typically rich, braised preparation, but no less decadent or soulful.  And what’s more comforting than a taste of home?  We’ll let you be the judge! George Stone Crab is one of our suppliers in the unique position to sell direct to consumer, so you can place your order for delivery here.

Stone Crab Roulade with Kumquats and Shaved Vegetables

Serves 4

6 large Florida stone crabs, cracked and picked
1 tablespoon finely diced shallots
1 tablespoon minced chives
2 tablespoons yuzu juice, or 1 tablespoon each of lemon and lime juice
2 tablespoons brunoise celery
2 tablespoons brunoise Honeycrisp apples
2 tablespoons brunoise cucumbers
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons diced cornichons
2 tablespoons capers
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
1 watermelon radish, shaved
1 small zucchini, shaved into rounds
1 shishito pepper, sliced thin
4 kumquats, sliced thin
1 teaspoon Espelette pepper
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
12 edible flowers

In a small bowl, combine the crab meat, shallots, chives, citrus juice, celery, apples, cucumbers into a uniform mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spread a footlong sheet of plastic wrap horizontally on a clean work station. About 2 inches away from the edge closest to you, spoon the crab mixture to form a long baton 2-inches wide down the plastic wrap, leaving a couple of inches free on either end. Gently begin to roll and tuck the crab mixture into a compact dowel and twisting the edges to tighten securely. Refrigerate roulade for at least one hour. Make a remoulade by combining the mayonnaise, cornichons, capers, and champagne vinegar, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Remove chilled roulade from the refrigerator and using a sharp knife, slice 3-inch batons through the plastic wrap, carefully removing and discarding it to maintain each roulade’s shape. Serve immediately, placing each roulade on a plate surrounded by the shaved vegetables dotted with remoulade and slices of kumquat and a couple of pinches of Espellete pepper. Dress each lightly with the lemon juice and olive oil, and garnish with edible flowers.