Our Haute 100 list details the accomplishments of the most influential people in each of our markets—Miami, New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. These people continue to make moves, so rather than waiting for the next Haute 100 issue to come out, we thought we’d provide you with regular updates on those Haute 100 members who are making headlines. Celebrity chef Michelle Bernstein is known for her signature Latin-infused dishes, but its what she’s serving up out of the kitchen that may make her one of Miami’s busiest chefs.
Company: Michy’s, Sra. Martinez
What Made Her Haute: Professional ballerina turned award-winning chef Michelle Bernstein realized her true passion for cooking after taking a class on nutrition, and has never looked back since. Bernstein, who owns the critically acclaimed restaurants, Michy’s, specializing in locally grown gourmet comfort food, and Sra. Martinez, her newest restaurant that serves up a colorful assortment of traditional Spanish tapas, is best known for infusing her signature Latin flair into all of her dishes, making them both a feast for the eyes and the taste buds. In addition to receiving the prestigious James Beard Award in 2007 for Best Chef: South, Bernstein has been involved in several other projects, including guest judge on Bravo’s Top Chef, co-host of The Melting Pot on Food Network, and author of Cuisine a Latina.
What Makes Her Haute Now: When she’s not in the kitchen creating mouth-watering culinary masterpieces, Michelle Bernstein devotes her time to several events around South Florida, the most notable being the 2011 South Beach Wine and Food Festival, happening from Feb. 24-27. Her local restaurant-review television show, Check Please!, begins its fifth season today, where Bernstein serves as host while local food enthusiasts give their opinions on restaurants around the South Florida region. She is also involved in the new addition of the Miami Culinary Institute at Miami Dade College, as one of the local chefs recruited to help in achieving the goal that students receive an ideal education where they can learn first hand from some of the area’s top chefs and restaurateurs.