Chef Michelle Bernstein, a Miami native of Jewish and Latin descent, has dazzled diners and critics alike with her sublime cuisine and a personality as bright and vibrant as the Florida sun. My food isnt heavy handed or unnecessarily complicated, says Bernstein, a James Beard Award winner (Best Chef South 2008) and author of Cuisine a Latina (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2008). You dont need heavy handed technique and over the top presentations to make a dish work. Its about amazing ingredients, layered flavors and simplicity. My style of cooking is inspired by my own food memories and its the simple, soulful cooking that I remember from my travels. I cook the food I love and I think that love translates to the diners.
These days, Bernstein is busier than ever. In collaboration with the renowned restaurant and entertainment collective KNR Hospitality Bernstein (and her husband/business partner David Martinez) are overseeing the food & beverage program at Thompson Miami Beach. Among the many elements is Seagrape, an old Florida style brasserie for which local farmers are growing unique fruits and vegetables. Bernstein has also created a menu for the 1930s House which includes crudo centric small plates.
In addition, with Martinez, the chef owns/operates MBC Michelle Bernstein Catering Company, a full-service catering company as well as her wildly popular café concept, Crumb on Parchment. After closing almost ten months and undergoing a complete renovation, Michys, the couples landmark restaurant, reopened as CENA by Michy in early-May 2015 with a completely new look, new menu concept and new spirit.
Beyond her restaurants, Bernstein dedicates time to Common Threads an after-school program for underprivileged kids and regularly appears on an array of national TV shows, from Top Chef to Good Morning America. Bernstein also hosts WPBT2s weekly television series, Check, Please! South Florida. She consults for Delta Airlines, Nespresso and Ruinart. She is a member of Lexus Culinary Master and Macys Culinary Council. In addition, she recently joined IMUSAs panel of chef ambassadors to help unveil the Global Kitchen line.