The 2017 Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show announced that the recipient of this year’s TORCH Award, which was created to honor talented chefs for the brilliance of their careers and the impact they have had on the industry and their surrounding community, will be Michelle Bernstein, owner/operator of MBC Michelle Bernstein Catering Company,a full-service catering company as well as her wildly popular café concept, Crumb on Parchment. The Torch Award presentation and culinary demonstration by Chef Bernstein will take place on Thursday, October 12 during the 2017 event at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, which is being held from Wednesday, October 11 to Friday, October 13, 2017.  

“We are honored that Michelle Bernstein will be joining us at this year’s event,” said Tom Loughran, Vice President, Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show. “Along with her successful career as a chef and businesswoman, Michelle’s strong commitment to giving back to Common Threads, an after-school program for underprivileged kids, made her the obvious choice to be this year’s Torch Award recipient.”

Chef Michelle Bernstein, a Miami native of Jewish and Latin descent, has dazzled diners and critics alike with her sublime cuisine and a personality as bright and vibrant as the Florida sun. “My food isn’t heavy handed or unnecessarily complicated,” says Bernstein, a James Beard Award winner (Best Chef South 2008) and author of Cuisine a Latina (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2008). “You don’t need heavy handed technique and over the top presentations to make a dish work. It’s about amazing ingredients, layered flavors and simplicity. My style of cooking is inspired by my own food memories and it’s the simple, soulful cooking that I remember from my travels. I cook the food I love and I think that love translates to the diners.”

Bernstein regularly appears on an array of national TV shows, from Top Chef to Good Morning America. Bernstein also hosts the Emmy award-winning PBS weekly television series, Check, Please! South Florida.  Now in its third year, Bernstein also hosts for the weekly TV series on Channel 10, SoFlo Taste, that celebrates the food of South Florida.

The Torch award presentation will take place at the show’s Center Stage Theater where Chef Bernstein will present a culinary demonstration of Mexican Style Shrimp Ceviche Churrasco “Kalbi” with jicama slaw followed by photos and autographs.

In addition, there are several exciting special events scheduled including the Culinary Demonstrations taking place on the Center Stage Theater; the American Culinary Federation Central Florida Chapter will offer several culinary competitions; the Beacon Award Presentation to Carol Dover; the Rapid Fire Challenge: Key Lime Edition; over 30 education sessions including a Why Whiskey? Tasting and a half day seminar on How to Easily Survive Increasing Costs & a Tough Labor Market and the Official Show Party at Cuba Libre on Thursday, October 12. 

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