When Hedy Goldsmith, the venerable pastry chef of Michael's Genuine Food & Drink, announced she was leaving to embark on a new journey with wife Heidi Ladell in California, a collective groan was heard around Miami, as people envisioned their lives void of homemade Pop Tarts, Junk in da Trunk cookies, and her other countless creations that we have savored over the years.
In January, Michael Schwartz, who hadn't yet appointed a successor, told New Times that Goldsmith "has worked with so many people and has been such a great nurturer and teacher and delegator that whoever steps up into that position is going to have a great foundation and we're going to build from there. We don't expect any drastic changes in style and quality. In the meantime, she has another few months. Nobody wants the success of that department more than she does."
The months have passed, and with Goldsmith having officially stepped down, a new pastry chef has been named.
Amy Kalinowski, who worked at Michael's Genuine for five years, returns as the Design District eatery's pastry chef.
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The Johnson & Wales graduate worked at several restaurants before taking a position at Michael's Genuine Food & Drink in 2008. There, she worked under Goldsmith, honing her skills and developing some of her own recipes. As pastry assistant, she helped Goldsmith and created the sweets section of Michael's brunch menu, which launched in 2009. Most recently, Kalinowki worked at the Curious Grape in Virginia before returning home to Miami and Michael's Genuine. "I am looking forward to this next chapter in my career with the Genuine Hospitality group," Kalinowski says. "Seeing the delight on our guests' faces after enjoying our creations is a treat in itself."
In a 2010 Genuine Kitchen blog post, Kalinowski shared that her daily inspiration was everyone, adding, "I'm a known people pleaser. I want nothing more than to make the people around me happy, and for some reason, yummy treats seem to put a smile on people’s faces." The pastry chef also noted that her childhood ambition was to invent something.
She'll get the chance to put smiles on people's faces, beginning with Michael Schwartz's, daily in her role as MGFD's pastry chef. Schwartz, who is excited for the return of Kalinowski to his fold, says, "She lights up the kitchen with her smile and brings her infectious enthusiasm, passion, and creativity to our pastry program. I know she will shine in this role."