adjective authentic; real; free from pretense, affectation, or hypocrisy; sincere.
The Genuine Hospitality Group
The Genuine Hospitality Group is James Beard Award Winning Chef, and cookbook author, Michael Schwartz’s collection of award winning restaurants. Since his flagship, Michael’s Genuine® Food & Drink, first opened in Miami’s Design District in 2007, Schwartz and his team have added both fine dining and casual restaurants and currently own and operate seven restaurants. Schwartz is the face of the South Florida restaurant industry and a nationally recognized celebrity chef.
The Genuine Hospitality Group
Amara at Paraiso
Tigertail + Mary
Since the beginning, the key to the Genuine Hospitality Group has been our people. We have a team of passionate and very talented people at all levels of the organization.
The Philadelphia-born owner of The Genuine Hospitality Group, James Beard Award Winning Chef, and cookbook author, Michael Schwartz is the face of the South Florida restaurant industry and a nationally recognized celebrity chef. Since his flagship, Michael’s Genuine:registered: Food & Drink, first opened in Miami’s Design District in 2007, locals and tourists alike have come to embrace and crave its refreshing combination of laid-back, bistro atmosphere and straightforward food emphasizing fresh, local ingredients.
Honored with the prestigious James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef: South in 2010, Schwartz is recognized by his peers and the diners that flock to his restaurants for his commitment to community and responsible, seasonal food sourcing.
Branching out from this straightforward approach celebrating fresh, simple, and pure ingredients in season, Michael has since successfully developed complementary concepts focusing on great service and delicious food, with a genuine culture embraced by employees and guests alike.
The Genuine Hospitality Group of restaurants include four fine dining restaurants, Amara at Paraiso, the quintessential Miami waterfront restaurant serving bold Latin American flavors on Biscayne Bay, Tigertail & Mary, a lush neighborhood retreat in the heart of Coconut Grove, and an additional Michael’s Genuine Food and Drink in Shaker Heights, OH. They also have two locations of Harry’s Pizzeria:registered: and a third in development, named one of Food & Wine magazine’s 25 Best Pizzerias in the U.S. Finally, the company has a partnership with COMO Hotels and Resorts and through this they opened in 2019, Traymore by Michael Schwartz at the Como Metropolitan Miami Beach.
Outside of the restaurant, Schwartz focuses his time and influence supporting the arts and causes such as Share our Strength, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, Slow Food (from which he received its Miami convivium’s first “Snail of Approval”) and Wellness in the Schools.
The chef has published two cookbooks, GENUINE PIZZA: Better Pizza at Home (Abrams Books, 2019) Featuring 85 recipes, readers learn step by step how to make better pizza at it’s easier than you think. MICHAEL’S GENUINE FOOD: Down-to-Earth Cooking for People Who Love to Eat (Clarkson Potter Publishers, 2011) features beloved recipes from his flagship, a homage to approachable, sensible, and affordable food that everyone loves to make and at eat. His recipes and restaurants have been covered by the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Food & Wine, Travel + Leisure, TODAY Show, and more.
Schwartz began his career in Philadelphia and earned his culinary chops in kitchens from Los Angeles to New York City, until settling in Miami in the early 1990s.
Chief Executive Officer
Sunil has led the Genuine Hospitality Group as CEO for six years. In that time, the company has grown 3x. In addition to his work at TGHG, he is the founder and co-owner of Reservations.com. Prior to THGH, he was the President and CEO of MyUS.com based in Sarasota, Florida. The ecommerce Company provides international package consolidation services to customers in over 220 countries, and generates around $100M in annual revenue with more than 500 employees.
Prior to joining MyUS.com, Sunil held the Chief Sales Officer post at A Place for Mom, the nation’s largest senior living referral service and wholly owned by Warburg Pincus. Previously, for 9 years Sunil held several executive level roles at Expedia.com, the world’s largest travel company including SVP and GM of the Expedia Affiliate Network (EAN). Prior to Expedia, Sunil held Sales and Business Development leadership positions at CCBN Inc and DigiTrace Care Services. Sunil started his career in sales at Eli Lilly, a pharmaceutical business and the Xerox Corporation. Sunil holds a bachelor’s degree from Brown University.
Director of Business Operations & Engineering
Paolo is the Director of Business & Operations and Engineering where he is the bridge between The Genuine Hospitality Group’s restaurants and accounting while leading new project builds for the group. Paolo joined the company seven years ago and began working as a server at Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink. He later was chosen to lead Royal Carribbean partnership, Michael’s Genuine Pub, as first Lead Bartender. After being onboard the inaugural ship, Quantum of the Seas, he then assisted the launch of the next ship, Spectrum of the Seas. He returned to land to be opening manager at flagship Harry’s Pizzeria location in Coconut Grove. He was then promoted to the Director of Restaurant Operations where he played a key role in opening new pizzerias and managing the Pizzerias.
Senior Director of Administration & Human Resources
Elmie currently serves as the Senior Director of Administration and Human Resources for the The Genuine Hospitality Group restaurants and main office and brings almost 20 years of professional HR experience to the Genuine team. Prior to joining The Genuine Hospitality Group, Elmie worked for Publix Supermarkets as an Employee Relations Specialist where her subject matter expertise included employee relations, HR compliance, performance management and identifying potential areas of growth. She has developed and taught extensive training programs for management and employees and is also responsible for developing collaborative relationships with various leaders across business units and perpetuates a culture of fairness and mutual respect. She obtained her Master’s degree in Management specializing in Human Resources in 2006 from St. Thomas University in Miami Gardens, Florida.
Senior Director of Operations
Nicole discovered her passion for hospitality working at a Philadelphia neighborhood bistro while completing her bachelor’s degree in Journalism at Temple University. She found herself enamored by the restaurant industry and travelled to Europe and Southeast Asia to explore food and beverage cultures in Italy and India before returning to start her career in restaurant management. Her background in traveling and living in many different places has enhanced her entrepreneurial spirit and love for the culture of food and beverage.
Kelly joined The Genuine Hospitality Group in 2015, where she began as General Manager of Cypress Tavern. She has since held the role of General Manager at Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, Amara at Paraiso, and Tigertail + Mary. Kelly now oversees operations for all The Genuine Hospitality Group restaurants. She continuously strives to set the bar for standards in hospitality and leadership, aiming to challenge and uplift the teams in TGHG’s award-winning restaurants.
Director Of Beverage & Social Media
Amanda first discovered her love for hospitality working at a local bar while attending Florida International University. To explore the industry further, Fraga took a wine course at FIU, which is known for its wine program, and fell in love. After graduating in 2011 with her bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management and a minor in Beverage Management, Fraga earned a position as a wine steward at The Setai, Miami Beach. There, she was introduced to the high standards of fine dining and wine, and gained the knowledge and experience to become an assistant sommelier at Miami’s Lippi restaurant (now closed).
Always looking for opportunities to continue her education, Amanda traveled to Burgundy, France in 2014, and worked for five weeks with Nicolas Potel at Domaine de Bellene. Her journey exposed her to wine making from the ground up, starting with picking and sorting grapes, and finishing with pigeage and remontage. These firsthand experiences further solidified her appreciation of wine and helped her gain valuable insight on various winemaking techniques.
After returning from France, Fraga joined the esteemed team at TGHG. She began as a sommelier at Michael’s Genuine Food and Drink before transitioning to Sommelier at Amara at Paraiso. Fraga is now Beverage Director for The Genuine Hospitality Group. In her career, Amanda has been awarded the Level 2 Sommelier certification and is currently studying to complete Level 3 of the Court of Master Sommelier’s exam.
Senior Director of Culinary
Bradley began his career at 13 in his hometown of Laguna Beach, California in a taco shop, where he prepped and washed dishes. Herron returned to the kitchen, after having graduated in 2003 from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Pasadena at Joe’s Restaurant in Venice Beach. He was quickly promoted to Sous Chef, and shortly thereafter the restaurant received a Michelin star.
Herron worked on the line at Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink for five months before being promoted to Chef de Cuisine. He now oversees the kitchen staff and menus of all The Genuine Hospitality Group restaurants. Basing his dishes around what is local and/or seasonal, Herron has refined his style to simple, thought out, and visually-balanced food. After learning about the Florida seasons, he uses what he can get his hands on and lets the product do the work. Always choosing his jobs based on the knowledge he may acquire has made him the chef he is today.
Vice President Of Marketing
Joel has led marketing for TGHG for the last four years. He loves the passion and excellence of the team he works with at TGHG. He has a wealth of both restaurant and consumer products experience. He worked for Red Lobster (Darden Restaurants) running promotional marketing for what was the nation’s largest casual dining chain at 600 seafood restaurant and he led marketing for Au Bon Pain which was a 200-store bakery cafe.
He has successfully developed and launched new consumer products for Keurig Green Mountain, Pinnacle Foods and at PepsiCo. As Senior Director of Product Marketing at Keurig, he introduced K-Cups into the grocery channel which grew to over $2B in sales (37% of grocery coffee sales in 2020), one of the most successful new products into grocery in the last decade. Prior to that, he spent 9 years at Pepsi working on the category leading brands, Lipton Iced Tea and Aquafina. Joel holds a bachelor’s degree from Tufts University and an MBA from Columbia University.
Senior Director of Finance
Alfredo has over 20 years of Accounting and Finance experience in the Hospitality industry. He previously worked as Financial Controller at Beach Walk Resort, part of Benchmark Hospitality and at DoubleTree Hotel and Convention Center in the Miami Airport area. He has worked all over South Florida to include Sunny Isles and Miami Beach.
Alfredo also spent many years in Vancouver, Canada where he was responsible for multiple properties undergoing rebranding and renovations. Alfredo is a Certified Hospitality Accountant Executive and has a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and an MBA in Global Management.
He is also a Chicken farmer and a Rose Garden tender.