Michelle Bernstein Talks Watermelon at the Macy's Chefs A-Go-Go Kick-off

​At the Biscayne Truck Triangle Roundup on the grounds of Johnson & Wales University, chef and restauranteur Michelle Bernstein made about 1,000 samples of a refreshing summer dish to distribute to visitors for free. All of the meals were scarfed down by eager eaters within an hour.

Miami was the inaugural stop of the Macy's Chefs A-Go-Go's national food truck tour. It definitely could be considered nothing but a total success. The truck features plates by chefs on Macy's Culinary Council, all big names, including Todd English and Ming Tsai. Michelle Bernstein, a local and big name herself, appropriately made dishes for the Miami-folk. After the food ran out, what were tartufo-like pops that tasted like a slightly salty banana split, Emeril's recipe, were distributed to passersby. People were encouraged to donate to Feeding America, to help the hungry.

We caught Bernstein and asked her a bit about summer food and working with Macy's.

New Times: What'd you make today?

Michelle Bernstein: I made shrimp ceviche, a little bit of a Mexican style to it with tostones topped with a  guacamole that has mojo in it.

How did you become part of the Macy's Culinary Council?

They called me! It's an honor. If you saw the names of the other chefs on that board, it's crazy.

Did anything interesting happen today to make it special?

The fact that we made a 1,000 servings and ran out in an hour is pretty crazy.

Do you make these dishes at Sra. Martinez?

Nope. I came up with it just for this.

What was your favorite summer dish growing up?

To me, the most perfect thing is just breaking open a watermelon and just going for it.

Doing anything next with Macy's?

Hopefully, a whole lot with them, absolutely. Being on the council, basically I'm always giving recipes and advice, depending on the tools that they want to showcase and there's also a book coming out for the holidays with recipes from all of us.

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Liz Tracy has written for publications such as the New York Times, the Atlantic, Refinery29, W, Glamour, and, of course, Miami New Times. She was New Times Broward-Palm Beach's music editor for three years. Now she plays one mean monster with her 2-year-old son and obsessively watches British mysteries.
Contact: Liz Tracy