Eric Larkee, Wine and spirits director of The Genuine Hospitality Group
Why he’s Food 50: He has grown along with Michael Schwartz’s The Genuine Hospitality Group into one of the James Beard Award-winning chef’s top lieutenants.
Eric Larkee landed at Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink in 2009 as the sommelier of Michael Schwartz’s Design District flagship. He had arrived from Wallsé, a Michelin-starred restaurant in New York where he worked as beverage director. In his six-plus year run with Schwartz, Larkee has risen through the ranks from sommelier at one restaurant to wine and spirits director for the whole Genuine Hospitality Group.
In that role, Larkee has developed wine lists and overseen staff training for the group’s at-sea restaurants on Royal Caribbean ships. He pairs tasting menus for the ongoing all-star guest chef series at Harry’s Pizzeria. He represents the restaurants at charity events like United Way’s annual Veritage Miami. He even helped develop Michael’s Genuine Home Brew, now available at all the group’s restaurants. With all that hustle and responsibility, it’s no wonder that Larkee is getting national attention, like a recent feature in Food & Wine.
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Where to find him: Cypress Tavern, 3620 NE Second Ave., Miami, 305-520-5197; Michael’s Genuine Food and Drink, 130 NE 40th St., Miami, 305-573-5550; Ella, 140 NE 39th St., Miami, 786-534-8177; Harry’s Pizzeria (multiple locations).