Schwartz is not the first Miami chef to focus on local ingredients, but he is the first to have this kind of soapbox, and consequently the first to be able to highlight his sources so publicly.
From his wood–burning oven come pizzas and roast chicken, and whatever Figueroa speared that morning. The bar separating the kitchen from the dining room is covered with tomatoes from Teena’s Pride, and local exotica is often featured; Bee Heaven’s Mysore raspberries, the unusual hua moa banana, or soon, the lemon crunch–variety jackfruit from another favorite provider, Paradise Farms. The kitchen uses them in applications closer in spirit to the Mediterranean than the Caribbean, as with the jackfruit, which has showed up on crostini, with local ricotta and honey.
It is a 45–minute drive from Michael’s Genuine to the Redlands and Homestead. It is these farms and gardens that hold the true wonders of Miami—not the beaches and boutiques. If you want to understand Michael’s, if you want to know Miami, if you want just a little sense of Eden in the lower 48, it is close at hand and easy to find, even by GPS.
Matthew Kronsberg is a writer and producer living in Brooklyn, New York. He has written recently for Gourmet Live about synesthesia and concert tour catering.