Michelle Bernstein

Café La Trova - Miami, FL

Born and raised in Miami of Jewish and Latinx descent, Chef Michelle “Michy” Bernstein is a fixture in the culinary world — both in restaurant kitchens and in the media spotlight — paving the way for bright Latin flavors and standout ingredients in her lively, vibrant cuisine. Bernstein’s style melds taste experiences from her travels around the world into her signature style of exciting, eclectic cooking.

A 2008 James Beard Foundation Award-winner in the “Best Chef: South” category, Bernstein’s schedule is more jam-packed than ever, juggling multiple projects with her husband and business partner, David Martinez. Together, they own and operate Michelle Bernstein Catering, developing incredible menus for catered events large and small — from intimate dinners in private homes to elaborate corporate events.

In 2019, Bernstein and Martinez opened Café La Trova with Maestro Cantinero Julio Cabrera located on Calle Ocho in the heart of Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood. Today, it is #24 on the “World’s 50 Best Bars” list. Additionally, Bernstein and Martinez are partners in the internationally recognized Miami Beach cocktail bar, Sweet Liberty, where Bernstein developed a creative menu of fun, interesting twists on American classic cuisine.

Newer projects include La Cañita, which translates from Spanish to “little sugarcane,” located in Miami’s Bayside Marketplace which opened in September 2021. In 2022, Bernstein teamed up with CookUnity, a meal delivery service that brings fresh, fully cooked meals to people’s homes with easy-to-follow heating instructions. Coming soon, a modern take on the beloved, award-winning Sra. Martinez will open in Coral Gables in 2024.  Additionally, Bernstein will mark her debut in the realm of residential restaurants at Five Park in Miami Beach in partnership with restaurateur Jeffrey Chodorow.

No stranger to a TV set, Chef Bernstein currently hosts two television shows: Check, Please! South Florida (PBS) and the Emmy-award winning production SoFlo Taste (Channel 10). She also regularly appears as a guest judge on nationally televised culinary competition programs, including Top Chef (Bravo TV) and Chopped (Food Network).

As a culinary tastemaker, Bernstein is often sought out to collaborate and counsel other restaurant and corporate chefs in menu and concept development. She has partnered with American Express to create the menu for the Centurion Lounge at Miami International Airport (MIA) and is a Lexus Culinary Master. As the consulting chef for Lugano Diamonds, Bernstein creates exceptional culinary experiences for their nationwide events, as well as for their exclusive social club, Lugano Privé, located in Newport Beach.

Bernstein also devotes time to causes she is passionate about, including her role as Vice Chair of the National Board of Common Threads, a national program that she not only brought to South Florida but also played a pivotal role in establishing the organization as a national non-profit.


Hawaiian Airlines Presents Behind the Cellar Door

Hawaii Convention Center

November 8, 2024

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