Chef Bios: Michelle Bernstein

Staff Writer
From professional ballet dancer to celebrated chef
Chef Michelle Bernstein
Martin Roe./Retna Ltd./Corbis

Chef Michelle Bernstein

From her Latin roots on her mother’s side, who is from Argentina, to her French training, and love for Asian, Italian, and Southern flavors, Chef Michelle Bernstein cooks a fusion of various types of cuisines and has created a flavor that is very much her own.

Bernstein grew up in Miami hoping to be a ballet dancer when she was older, but, after working as a professional ballerina for a few years, decided to attend cooking school. Michelle graduated with honors from Johnson & Wales University and trained under top chefs Jean-Louis Palladin and Eric Ripert.

In 2001, Bernstein took over the kitchen at Azul at the Mandarin Oriental in Miami. Four years later, Michelle left Azul and opened Michy’s, a popular neighborhood restaurant that was deemed Best New Restaurant in 2006 by Food & Wine Magazine, with her husband and business partner, David Martinez. Michy’s was followed by SRA. Martinez, which they opened in 2008. More recently, Bernstein has opened Michelle Bernstein at The Omphoy in Palm Beach. In addition to her restaurants, Bernstein works with Delta Airlines to create their menus for flights and has appeared on several TV shows, including Melting Pot on Food Network for which she was a co-host.

Aside from her business ventures, Chef Bernstein has started a Miami chapter of Common Threads, an afterschool program that hopes to teach children about making healthier food choices.

QUICKFACTS:
Culinary Style: Modern Latin American
Restaurants: Michy's, SRA. Martinez, Michelle Bernstein at The Omphoy

DID YOU KNOW?
Bernstein met her husband and business partner, David Martinez, at Azul where he was an assistant manager.