January 31st, 2011

Cookbook Giveaway: Michael’s Genuine Food (Updated)


“Food is not about impressing people – in fact it’s just the opposite; it’s about making them feel comfortable. The perfect meal is simpler than you expected and better than you remembered.”
~Chef Michael Schwartz in the intro to his book

I love getting new cookbooks in the mail and last week I got a sweet surprise when I received a review copy of chef Michael Schwartz’s new cookbook: Michael’s Genuine Food: Down-to-Earth Cooking for People Who Love to Eat, on sale February 15. I suppose that this one is a little more special because it’s by a local chef and one that I admire not just for his restaurant but for his commitment to working with local farmers and schools.

Divided much like the restaurant’s menu, the book has recipes for snacks, small plates, salads, pizza, pasta and sandwiches, sides, large plates and extra-large plates. You’ll also find Hedy Goldsmith’s desserts. The photos are beautiful and the recipes are approachable. Schwartz includes ingredient notes and a section in the back has useful recipes for maple-cured bacon, “killer barbecue sauce,” pizza dough and other basics that could come in handy even when not cooking from the book.


The first recipe I’ll be preparing is kingfish escabeche, which I’ll serve at the book’s launch on February 19 at Books & Books in Coral Gables. Don’t worry, I’ll be doing a test run at home. The evening starts off with a reading and Q&A with the chef at 7 p.m. and continues with a potluck prepared by a group of people invited by the restaurant to cook from the book. Great idea, right?  You can find more information here.

Now about that giveaway, leave a comment telling me about your favorite Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink memory (a first date, a great birthday, a memorable dish, an embarrassing moment) by 11:59 PM EST on Saturday, February 5. The chef will pick his favorite answer and I will announce the winner next week. Good luck!

Update Feb. 7 – And the copy of Michael’s Genuine Food goes to … ChadC! Thanks to all who participated and to chef Schwartz for choosing our winner.


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9 Responses to “Cookbook Giveaway: Michael’s Genuine Food (Updated)”

  1. My husband and I had dinner there with some friends that are total foodies and although I can’t remember what we ate, I can say that each plate that was set before us was better than the previous. It was a delicious adventure for our tastebuds. We’ve been planning to set up another date to go there soon again, can’t wait!!

  2. Have to admit – my favorite memory of MGFD was my first visit. Long before NYT reviews, James Beard awards – heck, long before I even started blogging at Brickell Life. I remember reading about it on the local internets and being fascinated by the idea that you could actually do farm-to-table in Miami. I didn’t think it could be done. I didn’t think there were even farms that could support the idea. I didn’t even really understand what farm-to-table meant, but knew that tomatoes and lettuce from my Uncle’s backyard garden in Cooper City tasted better than anything I had ever bought in Publix.

    I remember trying to convince my wife that we needed to go to the Design District for dinner. She looked at me like I was crazy – said Power Studios was cool 10 years ago and basically scoffed at the idea. My counter argument was, “but this dude is spearfishing his own black grouper and roasting it whole in his wood burning oven in the restaurant.”

    We were blown away on our first visit. It was everything that we would have done if we had the training, finances and the guts to actual open a restaurant. MGFD is what South Florida dining should be. Commitment to the community, commitment to quality, unpretentious, fun, damn good craft beers and something with crispy pig ears in it. Dude’s a badass and his staff rocks socks.

  3. sorry, just not impressed. the wine was good, but all in all, disappointing. i find so many of the miami trendy “fabulous” restaurants (e.g., sugarcane raw bar, sra. martinez, fratelli lyons, etc.) are just damn disappointing and tres expensive. hype and more hype. again, my apologies to the owners, but i think you miss the mark. obviously, i am in the minority. but i also think miami’s transient and tourist population helps you out. they go for one visit and they’re not coming back, so that’s ok for you. also, the people who want to be seen go because……………..they want to be seen lol!

  4. I was distraught at the lack of fresh, local, and organic restaurants in Miami when I had to relocate to midtown a year ago from the west coast…..until I read about your restaurant about a week after arriving. Wow, my husband and I have been serious devotees since. I love your changing pate more than life itself and I usually follow it with your homemade pasta and a yummy tomato salad. Every one of my out of town guests gets taken here. My husband knew to make the reservations for my birthday before I even asked. My favorite seat is outside by the patio furniture store. Thank you for saving me and my reolcation!

  5. […] friends of MGFD will be cooking recipes out of Michael Schwartz’s newly released cookbook.  Paula at Mango & Lime has been asked to prepare the kingfish escabeche.  Not to be undone, MRPR has been asked to make […]

  6. Sometimes I have issues when reading articles and posts, as I merely skim through the material and do not pick up key pieces that are EXTREMELY IMPORTANT (this will make sense in one second).

    I went to dinner at Michael’s in November, but the post on The Genuine Kitchen about Erik Larkee, the sommelier, which was published in October, was fresh in my mind. I had not had the pleasure of meeting Erik, as on prior visits bottles of wine were not ordered. For some reason, I believed that the restaurant had recently posted the bio on Erik because he was a new member of the team. So, while he’s at our table small talking with us, I decide to say the following: “Oh Erik, I recently read that you just joined the Michael’s Genuine team. Congratulations on nabbing such a great job.” He then gives me a strange look and responds with: “I’ve been here for awhile now, about a year and a half.” I responded with something along the lines of: “Oh, but I read it on the restaurant’s blog”, never admitting that I was wrong.

    You know when you’re convinced about something in your head, this was one of those moments. My credibility and ego dropped about 1000 points that night. Now, I read things more carefully.

  7. My favorite memory from MGFD was my 25th birthday. My boyfriend blind-folded me and we drove from Kendall to MGFD. We had an incredible dinner.. and the most amazing dessert- the banana toffee panini! Since the seating inside is SO close, we met our neighbors and they ended up buying us rounds of drinks to celebrate my birthday. It was a very special birthday- with the most delicious food and company. Great memory :)

  8. My fondest memory of MGFD can be summed up in one delicious mouthful…”double yolk egg with cave aged Gruyere and heirloom tomato”…one unctuous bite of the wood roasted piece of edible love was all it took to understand what his food was all about. In a word, it had soul.

    A few years ago Heard the news that MGFD was opening, I was very excited about the local/unpretentious and delicious concept. My wife and I made the journey from Cutler Bay to the Design District one saturday for an early dinner, the dining room was relatively empty so we had a very personal experience with the place, our waiters name was, if I remember correctly “Hematuya”…and he told my wife that SHE had an interesting name, it was pretty funny. He was a great guide for our first time at MGFD.

    We took in the menu, wanting to order everything but settled on our favorites. Had some amazing cocktails and proceeded to have a very leisurley, unpretentious dinner that satisfied us to our core. I identified with the ingredients, method of preparation and flavors, it seemed real, truly rooted to it’s “geniuine” identity. I was sold.

    My thanks to Chef Michael for realizing the importance of soul and simplicity in food. We have been back many times and always look forward to eating a beautiful meal.

  9. I just returned home from Camana Bay, Grand Cayman. At the NYC Burger Bash, I was the fortunate winner of a trip to the Cayman Islands and dinner at Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink. The restaurant is amazing…the most delicious, enticing, fresh food. I was thrilled to spot Chef Schwartz there early in the week. The staff was so welcoming and friendly. They remembered me upon my return visits for lunch and made me feel very special. They even wrote “congratulations John” on my dessert plate during dinner. Michael’s Genuine was by far my favorite dining experience to date. It is the reason I’m looking forward to someday returning to the Cayman Islands. I will be getting the cookbook when it is released so I can attempt the wonderful food and remember the great times I enjoyed. It will be a good book to use until I can find my way back to Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink from my home in New Jersey.

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