Michelle Bernstein, a Miami native, wife, mom, chef, restaurateur, advocate for children’s nutrition, and a 2017 Torch Award Honoree, has dazzled diners and critics alike with her sublime cuisine and a personality as bright and vibrant as the Florida sun. Read our exclusive interview with her below.
What made you want to become a chef?
I always loved food, loved to cook with my mom; but it wasn’t until a joined a professional kitchen and was told by the cooks (all boys) that I would never, ever become a chef, I was too delicate, too “girly”, too weak; I decided to show them…
You’re a chef and a restaurateur, with a television show and multiple appearances on other programs. How do you juggle it all?
Still haven’t figured out how to, but I go day to day, make sure my family is #1 and go from there.
Can you tell us a little about Common Threads, and why you opened a chapter in Miami?
Our children are truly our future; if we take care of them, feed them knowledge, give them better direction, better food choices and knowledge only means they will think better, feel better and be better.
What is the newest culinary trend you see emerging that you’re using yourself?
Using vegetables and grains as a source of protein and main stay and attraction on dinner plates. Playing with their texture to give the same consistency, texture, look and even feel of “meat”.
If you could eat anywhere in the world, where would that be?
Street food in Singapore.
Which talent would you most like to have that you don’t possess?
Running; I suffer from asthma and I can’t run more than 2 blocks; I love to, but can’t.
What’s your favorite meal to cook for friends?
It changes a lot, but this week I would say seafood stew; I love seafood, I love chilies and adore tomatoes. Put that all together in a juicy, stewy dish and a chilled bottle of wine and you’ve got yourself a party.
Who was your mentor or role model as you were becoming a chef?
Alice Waters was someone I always wanted to be like; I loved Julia Child and Jacques Pepin.
What can your fans expect from you next?
New book is in the works!!
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