Hedy Goldsmith, the executive pastry chef at Michael's Genuine Food & Drink, brings new meaning to the term "take on the day." Goldsmith recently took time out of her busy schedule to chat with Short Order about her new book, her inspirations and aspirations. If you missed part one, you can read it here.
New Times: When did you move to Miami?
Hedy Goldsmith: I moved to Miami in 1990. Ocean Drive was just starting to
happen. The News Cafe had just opened. There was no culture. I actually flew
up to New York to get my hair cut and I didn't change doctors from the ones in New York. I bit off more than I could chew.
Nobody really spoke English, but I did have a great apartment on Brickell.
Then, slowly but surely, Miami started to become an amazing destination.
It's still small in comparison, but that just means that people like Michael [Schwartz] are really able
to make such a statement.
Back in the '90s I took a job at Mark's Place
and then became the pastry chef. I used to eat at a funny little restaurant
called Nemo. I was there at the opening of Big Pink, Shoji Sushi.
It was a great ride. I stayed with Myles Chefetz for a while, and I
could have stayed with him at Prime One Twelve my entire career. But doing the same items,
as good as they were, every day wasn't my thing.
I needed more. So I branched out and I started consulting for Michael here. I was consulting for Michelle Bernstein and a few other chefs in town and Michael said, "We need you."
I love what I do. It's still great it's still exciting. It's ever changing.
You're from Philadelphia, which has a large farming community close by and Michael's believes in using local produce. Do you think that trend will spread into the Miami community? I feel we still shop at the large supermarkets here.
It's Florida, and it's hot, and we're limited to what we grow. But what we grow is pretty spectacular. I think with the new Culinary Institute coming up and with chefs like Michelle and Michael and myself going to public schools and letting people know that good food doesn't have to be more expensive, there's going to be a change in how we are eating.
There are fabulous local strawberries and tomatoes that are really affordable. I'm hopeful that the next generation and their kids will want more and expect more and demand more quality. I've certainly seen a shift. I lived on sugar pops and frosted flakes with chocolate milk with Motts apple juice, wondering why I was sleepy by 11 o'clock in the morning when I was a kid. It's going to take time, but I really think that we're on the right road and we're all in this business hoping to make a difference. One step at a time.
You recently did a dessert pairing with Macallan Scotch and you're known to use a lot of spirits in your desserts. How do you figure out how to incorporate spirits in your desserts? What works?
We've been courting Macallan a long time. I like to use the darker, bolder spirits in my desserts. We're bourbon drinkers here -- you can see by our shelves. Michael is the lead bourbon head. We're all smitten with it. So bourbon is really something we would like to partner with as well. We worked with Makers Mark last year, and it was really fun to do things with bourbon.
I think my art experience actually helps me figure out new pairings. I really wanted to be the next Annie Lebowitz. But that art background really augments everything I do.
I like a challenge to be able to create with something so bright and bold.
Sure I still use Amaretto and the things that are sweeter, but I love the bourbons and the scotches. We have a Macallan dessert on the menu and it will probably change during the month of August. I threw a wonderful brownie, a really rich brownie with smoked ice cream and scotch sauce, on the menu. There's always something spirited on the menu. Especially for brunch. I'm always heavy handed during brunch. I figure it's always happy hour somewhere.
Tell us what you can about Harry's Pizzeria, Michael Schwartz's new restaurant. What will you be doing there?
I'm going to keep it interesting. I can't tell you.
You can nod or shake your head, can't you?
(Smiling) It's going to be fun. Fun! You're going to open a pizza restaurant, it's going to be cool. It's got Michael's name all over it, in such a fun and delicious way. Michael always said he'd open another restaurant when the time was right. And this is right. We're thrilled about this next phase. We're all chomping at the bit!
Besides the book and the restaurants, what else are you working on?
Well I was on Foodography, then I'm a contributor on Unique Sweets, which is great because I get to fly all over the place. I'll go anywhere -- I'll fly for food. Michy's was featured on there, The Forge, Feverish Pops, which, by the way I love their concept. I'm really happy to do just about anything.
I go to New York as often as I can. I'm doing the New York Wine & Food
Festival. I love it and I miss it and I get to work with great chefs. I
love New York. New York, to me, was a challenge. It was kinda scary. It
was intimidating. Well, not so much. I think everyone owes it to
themselves to live in a big city and be pushed to extremes. To know what
it's like to not have a car. To walk miles every day. It was a
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glorious experience. I miss walking. I don't walk much here.
Someone winds me up in the morning and then I just go! I dont know what the future has in store for me but I know that it's going to be exciting.
Stay tuned as we bring you a recipe from Hedy's kitchen tomorrow.