A spicey kickoff

Michelle Bernstein took one for the team Saturday night at the Miami Spice kickoff at the Miami Beach Convention Center. The restaurateur (Michy’s, Sra. Martinez) “sabered” a champagne bottle to get the party started.

“I practiced once this morning, and I’m really nervous,” said Bernstein before the stunt, a tradition that dates back to the Napoleonic Era, which involves slicing off the top of the bottle with a large knife.

No injuries were reported, but Bernstein is still smarting from fellow local toque Andrea Curto-Randazzo‘s comments about her on Top Chef. When Michelle appeared as a guest judge, The Water Club chef said she wasn’t ‘‘comfortable” being critiqued by her because they were business rivals (especially when Michelle said Andrea’s wild boar was “chewy”).

Bernstein didn’t think there was any competition between them.

“I am proud of all Miami chefs,” she said. ‘‘I want everyone to do well.”


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