Martha Bernstein, Michelle's Mom, Talks Mother's Day

We know "Mom knows best" and apparently Michelle Bernstein does too. She is serving up her mother's baked goods at her new café, Crumb on Parchment. But is mom to credit for Michelle's skills? Short Order talked with Martha Bernstein and found out that when it comes to cooking, it's clearly a family affiar.

New Times: How did you begin baking?

Martha Bernstein: I've always baked since my kids were in grade school. I started when they were born and it went on and on and on. I'm not a great baker. I like to bake but I also like to cook regular food.

What's your favorite thing to cook?

Italian food. I come from Argentina where lots of the food is Italian influenced. With the exception of barbeque meat, everything else is Italian.


what is your favorite thing to bake?

I really love to make bundt cakes,

like the Upside-Down Chocolate Carrot Cake. I've been making all styles

for Crumb -- coconut cake, lemon curd butter cake with butter frosting.

Every week I have a demand for the German chocolate cake. That, the

carrot cake with orange frosting and the coconut cake are city

favorites. I think people prefer the frosted cake because it's more old


Why did you decide to take part

in Crumb on Parchment?

Michelle asked me if I could bake the

old-style cakes like the coconut cake that I made many times for them in

the past. I thought I could, and it developed into making cakes twice a

week according to the demand. It's so freshly opened that we're trying

to bring the cakes that people want and prefer.

Does Michelle get her skills

from you?

She says so but I wouldn't say it. She

says she got the inspiration from me but she has learned so much,

worked so hard and learned way past my knowledge.

What is your favorite dish of


My favorite is Michelle's food -- all

of it. But I love the way she prepares fish. She makes fish really

really beautifully. Better than anyone I know. She started years ago

with fish French style but she developed into a great fish cook and does

other things very well. I love all the food at Michy's and small dishes

at Sra. Martinez. Her food is so delicate.

How are you celebrating

Mother's Day?

Since Michelle is working on Mother's

Day we are all getting together for breakfast at my other daughter's

house, the one belonging to Nicolette, who designed Michy's and Sra.

Martinez. It's going to be very light because we are not big breakfast

eaters -- bagels, cream cheese and nova, probably scrambled eggs with

cream cheese and chives. I'm also making an apple strudel with whipped

cream on the side.

So the restaurants are kind of a

family affair?

Yes. We are a very close-knit family.

Not a very big family here in Miami because the rest of my family is in

Argentina and my husband's family is in Minnesota -- but here we are

very close.

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Cassie Glenn