By: Dana Rozansky
If you’re looking for a restaurant that genuinely nails it each and every time, Michael’s Genuine is your answer.
In case you need convincing, consider this: Michael’s Genuine has not only survived, but thrived, in Miami’s competitive culinary landscape for nearly 10 YEARS now.
As the restaurant nears double-digits, Michael Schwartz, James Beard Award Winning Chef and Owner of Michael’s Genuine, has decided to mix things up a bit.
DON’T PANIC. It’s still the restaurant we all know and love – only (debatably) better.
So what’s the big change, you ask?
New Chef. New Menu.
We’d like to introduce you to Saul Ramos, the new Chef de Cuisine at Michael's Genuine. Saul, who joined Michael’s Genuine earlier this year as Sous Chef, worked closely with the team to hone the dishes you’re about to see below (brace yourselves). From cooking with his family in Mexico at a young age, to kicking off his culinary career in Chicago, Ramos is now part of the Genuine Hospitality Group family, and he’s excited to give it all he’s got.
So naturally, we had to put Saul & his new menu items to the test. Could they really rival the decade-old delicacies we’ve come to cherish? Well, since he’s made it on the blog, it’s safe to say he’s earned our “Miami Food Porn Saul of Approval.”
So today, we’d like to let Saul tell you a bit about himself and what’s in store for Michael’s Genuine 2.0.
Miami Food Porn: Tell us a bit about your background & journey as a chef until now:
Saul Ramos: My journey started when I was really young, from seeing my mother and grandmother cook. It was a great thing growing up with food always around me. Special occasions were a big thing for us in the family.
My passion for cooking really kicked off right after high school when I met some of the best chefs in Chicago. My eyes opened as my palate started to ask for more and more. It was really great working hand in hand with so much talent and to be a part of such an incredible experience.
Miami Food Porn: What is your biggest inspiration as a chef?
Saul Ramos: Seeing smiles on people when they eat the food my team and I provide, during service coming out checking on tables and seeing how glad and happy customers are, not just because of the food but the attention they get! From the hostesses to the bar then getting seated at a nice table with a great team taking care of them, bus boys, runners and servers... The whole organism that is this restaurant! It's really inspiring how a group of people can change the perspective of the service industry. That to me is one of the biggest inspirations.
Another inspiration of mine is the freshness of the product we get in; working closely with farmers and purveyors is special and we can't take that for granted.
Miami Food Porn: Why did you feel that Michael’s Genuine was a good fit for you?
Saul Ramos: I would say it’s a great fit for anyone that has a goal in this industry; the way the team at Michael's Genuine welcomed me - from day one, I was "one of us!" Working with Chefs that have as much passion as I do really hits home.
Miami Food Porn: What are the main changes you have implemented to the menu?
Saul Ramos: We basically revamped the entire menu and we wanted to have fun. We merged old school genuine with new school flavors and dishes. We also wanted to expand our horizons past an American ideology.
Miami Food Porn: What are some of the MUST-HAVE dishes on the new and improved menu?
Saul Ramos: From the salads, one of my favorites is the grilled gem lettuce. It's one of those standouts that may not read like something you need to have, but it's such a knockout dish when you try it! From the veggies, the beluga lentils is a must-have and you can never go wrong with the parsnip & onion gratin with black truffles. Pasta for me is the tagliatelle... fish, the pan roasted snapper... meat would be the braised rabbit with such vibrant flavors & colors!
Miami Food Porn: Which “oldie but goodie” items from the previous Michael’s Genuine menu are here to stay?
Saul Ramos: Our Pan roasted poulet rouge & the crispy pig ears!
Miami Food Porn: What's the go-to dessert for those of us with a sweet tooth?
Saul Ramos: Basically everything is a must have when it comes to MJ's territory, but lately what's been soothing my sweet tooth are the apple fritters.
Miami Food Porn: Any final words for someone who has yet to try your new menu items?
Saul Ramos: That it is a very diverse menu and we have a little of everything to satisfy any tastes.
Miami Food Porn: We can’t argue with that! Check out some of the other dishes we devoured from the revamped menu.