Indulge

Chef Michael Lewis of KYU fame lays the groundwork for Miami’s most perfect egg breakfast

The LAID Egg sandwich is a savory concoction made with poached eggs, hollandaise sauce and bacon marmalade over a crispy potato pancake.

Mike, hey, where are you?” the chef barked on the other end of the phone.

Michael Lewis was a teenager in suburban Baltimore and working as a country club dishwasher. He replied to his boss that he wasn’t scheduled to work.

“You’re not a dishwasher anymore,” the chef said.

“I’m not?”

“No, man, you’re a chef now.”

Ten minutes later, Lewis showed up for his first job on the line. It was a first step in a career in which he has cooked alongside some of the world’s greatest chefs, earned acclaim of his own, and became a restaurateur with two Miami restaurants — and likely more to come.

A PLACE AT THE TABLE

At the country club, Lewis worked the line with culinary school graduates, and he would look enviously at their chef jackets. After high school, he went to the Culinary Institute of America in New York City and then landed a prestigious internship at famed restaurant Le Bernardin. At the end of his first shift, spent scaling fish, he asked his supervisor if he should come back the next day. “He told me, ‘Chef will talk to you tomorrow.’ That happened for eight months, every day.”

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Chef Michael Lewis.

He took a job with famed chef David Bouley and then for a third renowned chef, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, who taught Lewis how to run a restaurant. “Jean-Georges would just randomly drop knowledge on you,” Lewis recalls. “You’d be walking around New York — always with food — and he would just explain some new facet of the business.”

A MOVE TO MIAMI

Lewis went to Zuma next, ending up as the corporate chef and overseeing openings in Dubai, Istanbul, Hong Kong and then Miami in 2011, in the middle of a Miami undergoing a culinary revolution. He asked his corporate bosses to make his Miami post permanent. Part of his reason to stay was Alexandra, the line cook he had met at Zuma, who would soon become his wife. They have two toddlers now.

In 2016, Lewis partnered with Steven Haigh to open KYU in Wynwood. it has become Miami’s goto for Asian-meets-Southern-barbecue fusion, and he got the news of his James Beard nomination on the first anniversary of the place.

GETTING LAID

While opening the restaurant, Lewis and Haigh often complained about the lack of breakfast options nearby. So early this year, they opened LAID Fresh around the corner. The potato pancake from LAID is made with herbs and has almost a hash brown-like texture. Lewis slathers it in bacon marmalade and hollandaise, adding a ramen-style egg to the top.

The crispiness is reminiscent of a croqueta. The rich hollandaise brings to mind decadent, lazy-morning brunches, while the ramen egg recalls our city’s affinity for novelty. “It’s what you think,” he says, “a Miami breakfast should be.”

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LAID Fresh is located at 250 NW 24th St, Miami, FL 33127. Visit laidfresh.com for more menu items.

THE LAID EGG {RECIPE}

Poached egg, hollandaise and bacon marmalade over a crispy potato pancake.

INGREDIENTS:

1 grated potato

4 tsp grapeseed oil

2 oz smoked bacon

3 tsp garlic

1 oz Spanish onion

½ pinch kosher salt

Pinch cayenne pepper

2 tsp red wine vinegar

½ pinch adobo

½ pinch black pepper

1 oz maple syrup

3 tsp chopped fresh thyme

4 egg yolks

2 oz water

7 tbsp whole butter

2 tsp fresh lemon juice

2 tsp yuzu sauce

1 pinch kosher salt

1.5 oz clarified butter

3 tsp garlic powder

4 tsp onion powder

1¼ tsp kosher salt

1 oz potato starch

1 sliced six-minute soft boiled egg

1 chive, sliced into batons

1. Rinse and soak grated potatoes overnight, drain and rinse again before drying.

2. To make bacon marmalade, cook bacon halfway in 2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil over high heat. Add onions and garlic, then caramelize together until golden. Add maple syrup, salt, black pepper, adobo and ½ pinch cayenne. Cook until foamy. Deglaze with vinegar and bring just to a boil before removing from heat. Add 1 teaspoon thyme and cool.

3. For potato pancakes, mix grated potatoes with butter, thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and starch. Mold into pancakes.

4. Cook pancakes on preheated pans at 400 degrees until 75 percent done, about 12 minutes. Drain pancakes on wire rack.

5. To make hollandaise, whisk egg yolk and water over low heat until fluffy and firm. Taking the pan off the flame, slowly incorporate warm melted butter. Bring back to low heat and whisk until incorporated and thick again. Whisk in lemon juice, yuzu sauce, pinch of kosher salt and ½ pinch of cayenne pepper.

6. Before assembling, finish potato pancake in hot pan with 2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil, cooking for two minutes per side.

7. To serve, spread layer of bacon marmalade on top of pancake, add hollandaise, place poached egg on top and finish with chive batons and black pepper.

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