The MiNAPRESS Column

2014 in Review

Posted in journalism by MiNA on December 30, 2014

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,300 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 22 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.


Kitchen Choreography

Posted in arts, ballet, careers, Chef, culinary, dance, florida, miami, new york, tv by MiNA on December 18, 2014

1-photo-001Truth be told that a dancer’s creative appetite sustains an everlasting pirouette motion; hence the reason why a continuum in artistic practices during one’s post dance career, remains all the more important for mind, body, and soul to thrive.

Little known fact, but there’s a particularly sweet second career path in which former dancers can mindfully indulge their inner artist with the forbidden fruit of yesteryear while savoring delicious long-term benefits. Perhaps one of the best-suited post-dance career trades around, kitchen choreography — or rather — the culinary arts have a bountiful many parallels to dance.

While teaching dance and choreography are traditional À la Seconde career outlets for many former pros, alternatives to the norm will forever reign in demand. The proof is in the existing numbers of dancers who have long surpassed their culinary taste tests and blossomed into some of today’s most esteemed chefs.

Dancers intrigued by this revelation need not worry about culinary proficiency upon entering the trade. As long as there’s a clear commitment and earnest desire to learn, aspiration can transform reality.

Whether an aspiring chef de cuisine (executive chef) or pâtissier (pastry chef), it’s the swift and the disciplined who make it into the kitchen spotlight, exercising their supreme creative potential.

Photo by Simon Hare

Chef Michelle Bernstein. Photo by Simon Hare.

The kitchen — though a vastly different stage setting – similar binding ingredients (to dance) impact culinary performance; ‘tis the amalgam of talent, coordination, and choreographic innovation (in cuisine) which yield the coveted enthusiastic audience reaction.

Dancers turned chefs with the natural ability to create flavors that dance, are more of a rare breed however, as they represent the extraordinary — those twice graced with the gifts of supreme dance and culinary talent.

One such chef-extraordinaire whose mastery in both art forms has earned her place in the limelight is renowned Chef Michelle Bernstein of Miami, FL. A familiar face indeed — chef is also a former dancer with New York City’s Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

Quite the impressive resume, Chef Bernstein’s culinary undertaking began with the study of cuisine at Northern Miami’s Johnson & Wales University. In developing her own cooking style, Chef Bernstein established her own definitive form of kitchen choreography rooted in chef’s Argentinian and Jewish heritage. While Latin flavors drive her cuisine, an occasional twist on Jewish delicacies and Moroccan inspired dishes get mingled-in now and again.

Well-recognized throughout the culinary world, career highlights include the opening of chef’s acclaimed restaurant Michy’s Miami; followed by her winning of the 2008 James Beard Award, and publication of her cookbook “Cuisine a Latina” in the same year. Chef Bernstein has also appeared on such programs as Bravo TV’s “Top Chef” and “Top Chef Masters,” and Food Network’s “Iron Chef,” where she defeated the acclaimed Bobby Flay in cooking battle.

Specially chosen for readers — for their tasting pleasures, Chef Bernstein has selected a recipe comprised of healthy seasonal ingredients, with one worthwhile splurge of fromage (cheese) for protein. Bon appetite…

A Recipe in Kitchen Choreography: Roast Root Vegetable Salad (serves 4)

Chef Michelle Bernstein Food - Dishes for MicroSoft

Chef Michelle Bernstein’s Root Vegetable Salad


12 asparagus

1 butternut or acorn squash, peeled and cut into 2 inch long, ½ inch wide pieces

2 cups small cauliflower florets

8 radishes

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped

1 cup grated manchego cheese (protein and calcium rich)

salt and black pepper


3 tablespoons extra virgin oil (countless health benefits)

1 tablespoon sherry vinegar

salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 400F. Toss the veggies with the oil, rosemary and season with salt and pepper. Roast the vegetables for about 45 minutes or until golden brown and tender. Cut the asparagus in half, radishes in quarters. Toss with vinaigrette and mix-in the cheese.

More recipes from Chef Michelle Bernstein and her culinary team:

Moroccan-Chickpea-Soup – published by

Tajine of Seafood Chermoula – from a collection of recipes for the James Beard Foundation


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