Author: Michelle Rice

COVID Conversations: Michelle Bernstein

Chef Michelle Bernstein is a five-year veteran of the Hawaii Food & Wine Festival. A Miami native of Jewish and Latin descent, she has dazzled HFWF attendees with her sublime cuisine and a personality as bright and vibrant as the Florida sun. Bernstein and her husband/business partner, David Martinez, own and operate MBC Michelle Bernstein Catering Company, a full-service catering company as well as Café La Trova in Little Havana. These days, Bernstein is busier than ever adjusting to the effects that COVID-10 has had on the restaurant industry and independent restaurants.

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A Jewel Above Vegas

The new cocktail-centric concept by world renowned mixologist Francesco Lafranconi, MR. COCO characterizes its founder’s affinity for impeccably-refined cocktails and chic decor. In a brainstorming session, the distinguished lounge was named for the Lafranconi family pet, Coco the Scottish Westie. Lafranconi’s daughter agreed, noting the exempliary work ethic and style of the late Coco Channel.

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The Revitalization of Ulu

or centuries, ulu, or breadfruit, has been cultivated in the Pacific Islands, first introduced to the Hawaiian archipelago as a canoe plant brought by Polynesian settlers. Ulu is touted as a sustainable starch for its low maintenance requirements to produce high yield in diversified cropping systems.

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From Southwest to South Pacific

In the early 1980s, Dean Fearing was part of group of revolutionary Texas chefs who were blending the culture and ingredients of the Southwest into a new category of cuisine. Along with two other Hawaii Food & Wine Festival veterans, Stephan Pyles and Robert Del Grande, plus Anne Greer McCann and Avner Samuel, these bold chefs with different backgrounds created the flavors of Southwestern Cuisine — the flavors now recognized all around the globe.

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