's had a busy year: in between the daily hustle and bustle of running her restaurant empire – which includes , , and Ben Flajnik favorite – she's published (and promoted) a and been .
Somewhere in all that madness, Bernstein's had time to plan her next project: a multi-purpose food education center, planned for an industrial space on 8th Street East.
Named 'suite d,' Bernstein envisions the place as a space for all things food-related, which don't quite fit into your average restaurant space.
"We have recently ventured into so many diverse projects, and we never seem to have a spare space to make things happen without affecting another part of our business," said Bernstein.
The space may be used, she elaborates, for events such as such as staff training, cooking classes, homesteading workshops and special occations like movie nights, wedding luncheons and winemaker events. (Translation: a food think tank. If you're still unsure, check out her inspiration page in Pintrest.)
Since upstart costs are estimated to break $100,000, Bernstein and staff are raising some initial funds through Kickstarter, a crowd-sourced donation site, which funds creative projects. Donors are rewarded with a set of 'gifts,' ranging from a hand-doodled napkin for an $8 pledge, to a multi-course wine dinner for ten with a donation of over $1,000.
Already 31 backers have contributed just over $6,000. Bernstein is hoping to raise $30,000 by May 18.
Despite financial pressure – and a looming economy – the time is right for an innovative project: "now feels like the right time for us to reach further out to our neighbors and encourage innovative ways for all of us to connect through food and wine and gather around our tables together," she said.
Read more about the project on suite d's kickstarter page. Donations will be accepted through May 18; in order for suite d to receive the funds, kickstarter must raise at least $30,000 before the deadline.