MIAMI (CBSMiami) – For this week’s Taste of the Town, CBS4’s Lisa Petrillo went inside the kitchen at Tigertail + Mary in Coconut Grove, where the name says exactly where it is.
This relaxed bohemian style eatery is the ninth restaurant from James Beard Award-winning Chef Michael Schwartz and his Genuine Hospitality Group.
At the restaurant, Executive Chef Stephen Ullrich mans the kitchen on a daily basis. Petrillo asked Ullrich what it’s like running a kitchen for a master chef like Schwartz.
“What is it like headlining his restaurant? Chef makes everything easy for me, obviously. We went through a period of development and tasting. We took a trip to California to get a feel of the identity of the restaurant, which was the key for us,” he said.
“Really, the food, by in large, is really driven by his creativity his talent his passion and his understanding of how this restaurant works,” Schwartz said about his executive chef.
The eatery’s menu celebrates thoughtfully-sourced proteins, like local seafood and meats from animals raised with care. But it’s the veggies that set it apart.
“It’s great food with an emphasis on vegetables, locally sourced, doing what we do,” Schwartz said. “It’s light, bright with interesting dishes, but somewhat focused on vegetables. Not vegetarian.”
In March, Schwartz will celebrate 13 years at his original restaurant, the always popular Michael’s Genuine in the Miami Design District. It’s a milestone not lost on the chef.
“Look, 13 months to have a restaurant stay open is an accomplishment and it gets harder and harder than ever. I think it’s the worst business in the world,” he said laughing.
“So why do you do it?” asked Petrillo.
“Because it’s the only thing I know how to do! I’m screwed,” he said with a laugh. “But no, I love it.”
Schwartz also gives back.
On October 23rd, he will be participating along with other chefs in the “Night at the Market” at the Lincoln Eatery to benefit the Parkinson’s Foundation.
Lisa Petrillo will be the event’s master of ceremonies.
On the menu, a version of lamb meatballs with harissa, green-smoked yogurt topped with a spicy brava sauce.
“It’s got some kick!” said Petrillo. “It’s moist tasty, but, woooh, it’s got zip.”
They then tasted the delicious acorn squash with cashew curry cream and dukkah before sampling a refreshing yellow jack crudo with gazpacho smoked trout roe and jicama.
“That’s what I want to eat,” said the chef.
“Me too! Let’s bring another plate over,” said Petrillo after tasting.
Next up, a decadent black truffle tagliatelle with a coddled egg, sunchoke chips, and chives.
For Chef Schwartz, he hopes his passion for the food he likes to eat and serve resonates with his guests.
“The take away is you were served something you couldn’t make at home, by people that cared about your experience, in an environment you enjoyed and you feel good about it and you do not feel bloated! “ he said with a chuckle.
Tigertail + Mary is open for lunch Monday through Saturday, brunch on Sunday and dinner seven nights a week.
For more info, visit www.tigertailandmary.com.
For more in on “Night at the Market” to benefit the Parkinson’s Foundation, go to www.parkinson.org.