Michelle Bernstein, Chef-owner of Michy’s, Crumb on Parchment and Seagrape
Why she’s in the Food 50: Plenty of chefs choose the easy road after winning a top industry honor like a James Beard Award. Take the sponsorship money and let the flagship restaurant coast along serving its greatest hits. Not Michelle Bernstein (OK, she has a deal with Delta). The South Florida native and 2008 Best Chef: South keeps herself at the forefront of culinary relevancy with ambitious projects like the new Seagrape at the Thompson Miami Beach and the renovation of her beloved Michy’s. That restaurant is set to reopen in April after an extensive facelift that Bernstein said was needed to give it “a whole new look, feel and food.”
Bernstein also has taken on the role of culinary ambassador, volunteering her time to cook at charity events and serving on the national board of directors of chef Art Smith’s Common Threads. This month, the chef is rolling out new dishes for cancer patients receiving chemotherapy at three Memorial Healthcare System hospitals. And the 12th season of Check, Please! South Florida premiered this week on WPBT-Channel 2. On the show, Bernstein and her guests suss out dining gems throughout the area. Plenty of others would take the airtime to promote their restaurants and their pop-up events and their books and their brand sponsors. Not Bernstein. She uses her TV pulpit to point us toward really good food other than her own. It’s no doubt why she’s still one of the best, and most respected, in the business.
Where to find her: Michy’s (reopening soon), 6927 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; Seagrape, 4041 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; and Crumb on Parchment, 3930 NE Second Ave., Miami.
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Michelle Bernstein’s Top Eats
1. Bourbon Steak
19999 W. Country Club Dr., Aventura; 786-279-6600.
4991 N. University Dr., Lauderhill; 954-572-4800.
3. Petit Rouge
12409 Biscayne Blvd., North Miami; 305-892-7676.
398 NW North River Dr., Miami; 305-375-0765.
9700 Collins Ave., Bal Harbour; 305-864-8600.
186 NE 29th St., Miami; 305-573-4681.
7. Udipi Cafe
2100 N. University Dr., Sunrise; 954-748-5660.
8. Panya Thai
520 NE 167th St., North Miami Beach; 305-945-8566.
9. My Ceviche
10. Hy Vong
3458 SW Eighth St., Miami; 305-446-3674.