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Best Chefs Miami 2008 - Michelle Bernstein and Michael Schwartz

Michelle Bernstein and Michael Schwartz

Michelle Bernstein and Michael Schwartz

130 NE 40th St.

Miami, FL 33137


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This is a lifetime achievement award one can win only once. The first five inductees were Norman Van Aken, Mark Militello, Allen Susser, Pascal Oudin, and Philippe Ruiz. This year's entries into our hallowed hall of fame are two toques who have been wowing Miami diners for more than a decade and who are, at the moment, presiding over the pinnacle of their careers. Michelle Bernstein and Michael Schwartz are not only the hottest, most talked-about chefs in South Florida (or, for that matter, Florida), but also their respective restaurants, Michy's and Michael's Genuine Food & Drink, are near universally acknowledged as the very best we have. Bernstein broke into the big-time ranks during her dazzling stint at Azul in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel; Schwartz made his name as chef/co-owner of SoBe's perennially popular Nemo. Both had to deal with obstacles on their way up — need we remind Michelle of her short work at The Strand, or Michael of his ill-fated helming of the Atlantic Restaurant? — but they worked hard, with full integrity and passion, until they succeeded on their own terms. That the two are known to be genuinely nice, humble human beings only makes the story of their rise that much sweeter.

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Sean Bernal - Oceanaire.


Well, they are good, really good... But you guys forgot one more year about the very BEST chef in town: GIANCARLA BODONI, from Escopazzo. Not only the restaurant is the best in town (I'm glad you agreed this year)... She is the girl! Keep her in mind for next year, she deserves it though.