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James Beard Award winner coming to Kapi‘olani CC's Le‘ahi Concept Kitchen

University of Hawaiʻi
Louise Yamamoto, (808) 734-9513
Director, College Relations, Office for College and Community Relations
Posted: Oct 27, 2017

Award winning Chef Michelle Bernstein is a Kapiolani CC visiting Global Master Chef.
Award winning Chef Michelle Bernstein is a Kapiolani CC visiting Global Master Chef.

As part of its Global Master Chef Series, Kapi‘olani Community College will feature the acclaimed haute cuisine of Chef Michelle Bernstein for two days in November at the college's Lē‘ahi Concept Kitchen, located in the Waikīkī Parc Hotel.

A James Beard Award Winner (Best Chef South 2008), Bernstein’s cooking is described as sublime.

“You don’t need heavy handed technique and over the top presentations to make a dish work," Bernstein says. "It’s about amazing ingredients, layered flavors and simplicity.”

Bernstein is the second world-renowned chef appearing in the series. The first was Alex Atala, chef and owner of D.O.M., the award-winning restaurant in Sāo Paulo Brazil, who cooked pop-up dinners in July to sold-out crowds.

She is a Miami native of Jewish and Latin descent., who graduated from high school at a young age of 16 and moved to New York City to study dance. When an injury cut her career short as a ballerina, she returned to Miami to study culinary arts at Johnson & Wales University.

 Bernstein says, “My style of cooking is inspired by my own food memories and it’s the simple, soulful cooking that I remember from my travels. I cook the food I love and I think that love translates to the diners." 

Enjoy fine dining with Chef Michelle Bernstein for two nights only: November 7 & 8. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. and seating is from 6:30 p.m. Cost per person is $125, or $150 with beer and wine pairing. Reservations: Priscilla Mathewson (808 )971-6302 or

The price fixe menu includes:


Rabo encendido tostada, pickled vegetable salad

First course:

Octopus on the plancha, sopa de almendras, fennel and orange salad

Fish course:

‘Ōpakapaka, shishito peppers, leeks braised with chorizo, mojo de ajo

Main Course:

Roast free range chicken roulade; apple and foie gras filling, cider gastric, crunchy brussels


Banana tres leches, bourbon gel, candied corn flakes

More about Chef Michelle Bernstein

Bernstein and her husband/business partner David Martinez own/operate MBC Michelle Bernstein Catering Company, a full-service catering company as well as her popular café concept, Crumb on Parchment.

Bernstein also dedicates time to Common Threads, an after-school-program for underprivileged youth, and regularly appears on several national TV shows, from Top Chef to Good Morning America. Bernstein hosts the Emmy award-winning PBS weekly television series, Check, Please! South Florida. Now in its third year, Bernstein also hosts for the weekly TV series, So Flo Taste, featuring foods that celebrate the South of Florida.

Most recently, Bernstein partnered with American Express to create the menu for the new Centurion Lounge at Miami International Airport. Bernstein also worked with Memorial Cancer Institute (MCI), a part of Memorial Healthcare System, to provide oncology patients with a variety of food alternatives to help ease their way through treatment.

Bernstein is a Lexus Culinary Master, member of Macy’s Culinary Council and part of IMUSA’s panel of chef ambassadors. She continues to consult with Delta Airlines, creating in-flight menus for First Class and Business Class Elite, in addition to consulting for San Pellegrino.