Michelle Bernstein, award-winning chef, restaurateur and culinary author from Miami, Fla., is scheduled to participate in the guest-enrichment program on the June 3, 2011, Mediterranean Romance Voyage aboard the line’s newest ship, ms Nieuw Amsterdam.
Bernstein sails on the 12-day voyage departing from Venice, Italy, to Barcelona, Spain. The ship will call at Catania, Naples, Civitavecchia (Rome) and Livorno (Florence/Pisa), Italy; Dubrovnik, Croatia; Kerkira (Corfu), Argostoli and Thira (Santorini), Greece. The voyage also features scenic cruising through the Strait of Messina, a narrow passage between the eastern tip of Sicily and the southern tip of Calabria, Italy.
During the cruise, Chef Bernstein will perform cooking demonstrations for guests in the ship’s state-of-the-art show kitchen and participate in question and answer sessions.
A Miami native of Jewish and Latin descent, the effervescent chef has dazzled diners and critics alike with her flavorful Latin-inspired cuisine and charming personality for nearly two decades. The professional ballerina turned award-winning gourmet chef realized her true passion for cooking after taking a class on nutrition and later enrolled in Johnson and Wales University’s College of Culinary Arts. After graduating Bernstein trained under iconic French Chef Jean-Louis Palladin and began working with renowned chefs at several premier restaurants including Red Fish Grill, The Strand and Tantra in Miami Beach. Bernstein later served as lead chef at Azul, the Mandarin Oriental’s signature restaurant in Miami, where she became a powerful force in the city’s burgeoning culinary movement. She later became a household name after serving as a judge on Bravo’s acclaimed “Top Chef” series and host of the PBS series, “Check, Please!”
For two years, Bernstein co-hosted The Food Network’s “Melting Pot,” a show that presented the traditions, stories and recipes of her Latin background. She also was a competitor and winner on the Food Network’s “Iron Chef America” series. She has been featured in both “The New York Times” and “Bon Appetit” magazine for one of the “50 Best Dishes in the World” and in “Gourmet” and “Food & Wine” magazines, for one of the best hotel restaurants in the country.
Bernstein’s restaurant ventures include Michy’s and Sra. Martinez in Miami, MB in Cancun, Mexico, and Michelle Bernstein at The Omphoy in Palm Beach, Fla.
In 2004, Chef Bernstein was nominated by the James Beard Foundation, the nation’s premier honor for culinary professionals, in the coveted “Best Chefs in America: Southeast Region” category. In 2007, she won the prestigious James Beard Award for “Best Chef: South.” Bernstein recently was awarded a Doctorate in Culinary Arts from Johnson and Wales University.
Holland America Line’s Culinary Arts Center is featured on each of the line’s 15 ships. A first-class “show kitchen at sea,” the Culinary Arts Centers presented by “Food & Wine” magazine resembles the elaborate show kitchens used by celebrity chefs on television cooking programs. The facilities are used for demonstrations, tastings and hands-on cooking classes during every Holland America Line sailing.
Each facility features a theater-style venue with two large plasma video screens and a large cooking display counter. In partnership with “Food & Wine” magazine, Holland America Line will schedule approximately 65 celebrated chefs and wine experts to sail in 2011. On cruises that do not have a celebrity chef on board, classes and demonstrations are conducted by Holland America Line’s own expert chefs.
Holland America Line also offers a youth Culinary Arts Center activity program to teach kids and teens how to cook. The program incorporates dishes from breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks in complimentary 45-minute-long classes.
Kids under 8 years old learn to make theme cookies, fruit roll-ups, ice cream sandwiches, salad people art and scones. Kids 8 and over make soft pretzels, granola bars, pita chips and hummus, and saltwater taffy. Teens also can attend adult culinary demonstrations.
The Culinary Arts Center and guest enrichment program are part of Holland America Line’s innovative and leading culinary initiatives, which also include a partnership with Le Cirque to present “An Evening at Le Cirque in the Pinnacle Grill” and a Culinary Council comprised of renowned international chefs Jonnie Boer, David Burke, Marcus Samuelsson, Jacques Torres, Charlie Trotter and the line’s Master Chef Rudi Sodamin.
For a full schedule of Holland America Line’s culinary guest program, visit http://www.hollandamerica.com/cruise-vacation-onboard/Enrichment.action and click on the Culinary Arts Center tab.
For more information or to book a cruise, consult a professional travel agent, call 1-877-SAIL-HAL (877-724-5425) or visit http://www.hollandamerica.com.