The Food Republic Interview Lounge during the Austin Food & Wine Festival featured some great chefs, and one of my favorite chats was with Michelle Bernstein. Back before LeBron James took his talents to South Beach, when Miami was still thought of merely as a tropical playground for the young and fabulous or a retirement haven for the old and brittle, Bernstein took a big leap of faith and opened her namesake Michy’s on a desolate stretch of Biscayne Blvd. (i.e. NOT South Beach), cooking farm-t0-table and seasonal before these were things. She has since opened up a Latin tapas joint that rocks called Sra. Martinez (her husband is in fact a Señor Martinez; her roots are as an Argentinian Jew) and a café/bakery, Chrome on Parchment.
At our Interview Lounge, fresh off a win as pork princess at Miami’s Cochon 555, Bernstein quickly toured us through her whirlwind life — as a new mom, a restaurateur and a corporate chef with big deals brewing with Delta and Lean Cuisine. In other words, she’s come a long way since leaving a cushy gig at a luxury resort to gamble on Michy’s, where her loyal customers originally came in, saw the quirky space and homespun menu and told her, “You killed your career!” Not quite.
This has been presented by our friends at the W Hotel Austin.