Michael Schwartz Talks Work, Home Brew, and What's Ahead For Miami
Michael Schwartz isn't sure about a few things.
The Genuine Hospitality Group Michael Schwartz
He doesn't know how many hours he works in a day, whether his employees think he's a good manager, or where exactly he's taking his restaurant group next.
What he does know is this: a lot has changed since he landed his first restaurant gig 33 years ago.
"I started cooking when I was 16. So did I have a plan? No. But I still don't have a plan," he says. "The restaurant business was a lot different then. I loved the excitement, but it had nothing to do with interviews and celebrity status. None of that."
Schwartz has done well for a man without a plan. He leads the Genuine Hospitality group, an entity that includes four restaurants in Miami, another in Grand Cayman, and a partnership with Royal Caribbean cruises. He wrote a cookbook called Michael's Genuine Food. He owns a beer brand. He is one of the most respected chefs in Miami.
But that doesn't stop the haters. A chef who steps out of the kitchen and into the office is like a CEO who leaves work to take care of the kids, critics claim. And Schwartz's transitioned out of the kitchen a couple of years ago.
"While I'm not in the kitchen all day for 16 hours, I could spend 8 or 10 hours doing shit like arguing with a vendor or working on a new deal or writing menus and be just as tired. I don't count the hours. I work a lot of hours," he says.
Now the chef is making changes to his Home Brew format -- switching from 22-ounce bottles to 12-ounce bottles. Soon Schwartz will have to make a choice. Will he push his suds beyond South Florida?