Norman Van Aken

Host, A Word On Food

Norman Van Aken has been described as legendary, visionary and a trailblazer. He is known as “the founding father of New World Cuisine,” a celebration of Latin, Caribbean, Asian, African and American flavors. He is also known internationally for introducing the concept of “Fusion” to the culinary world.

His new memoir, “No Experience Necessary” is published by Taylor Trade Publishing. The book has been praised by the likes of Thomas Keller, Mario Batali, Emeril Lagasse, Monique Truong, Alan Richman (GQ Magazine), Jeremiah Tower, Wolfgang Puck and the late, great Charlie Trotter.

He is the only Floridian inducted into the prestigious James Beard list of “Who’s Who in American Food and Beverage.” His restaurant “NORMAN’S was nominated as a finalist for the James Beard Foundation’s “Best Restaurant in America.” He has been a James Beard Foundation semi-finalist for “Best Chef in America.”

In 2006, he was honored as one of the “Founders of the New American Cuisine,” alongside Alice Waters, Paul Prudhomme, and Mark Miller at Spain’s International Summit of Gastronomy ‘Madrid Fusión’ event.

Norman Van Aken has published five cookbooks: Feast of Sunlight 1988, The Exotic Fruit Book 1995, Norman’s New World Cuisine 1997, New World Kitchen 2003 and My Key West Kitchen 2012 (with Justin Van Aken).

His radio show, “A Word on Food,” appears twice a week on NPR station WLRN.

He is the chef and founder of “NORMAN’S at the Ritz-Carlton, Grande Lakes, Orlando.” 

Ways to Connect

Corn Dogs

Aug 11, 2018


Norman Van Aken, © 2012


Yield: About 25 cookies

2 1/2 Cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 teaspoons kosher salt

8 ounces butter, softened

1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar

1/4 cup sugar

3 eggs

1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

3 cups chopped bittersweet chocolate chips

1 Cup shredded unsweetened coconut

2 cups chopped toasted pecans

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.


Jul 28, 2018


Norman Van Aken, 1993 © All rights Reserved

This is a stuffing we insert into raw chicken breasts before re-sealing the breasts and then cooking them. This can be done with pork as well.

1 very ripe plantain, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch size pieces

2 ounces foie gras cut into very small pieces

Salt and pepper, to taste


Jul 21, 2018


© 2015 All Rights Reserved by Norman Van Aken

Yields: 3 Pounds

2 pounds boneless pork butt or shoulder, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 pound pork fat, cut into 1-inch pieces

5 1/2 Tablespoons pureed Chipotles en Adobo*

½ teaspoon cayenne

½ teaspoon crushed red pepper

1 teaspoon ground cumin

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon coarsely cracked black pepper

¼ Cup Spanish sherry wine vinegar

1 1/2 teaspoons freshly minced thyme leaves

Backyard Grills

Jul 14, 2018

Leche de Tigre

Jun 30, 2018

BLACK GROUPER CEVICHE WITH ‘LECHE DE TIGRE’ AND POPCORN                                                   

© 2015 All Rights Reserved by Norman & Janet Van Aken, “My Florida Kitchen”


Jun 23, 2018


© 2018 All Rights Reserved by Norman Van Aken

Serves: 6-8

For the Marinade:

6 Tablespoons sugar

6 Tablespoons soy sauce

2 Tablespoons crushed red pepper

3/4 Cup apple, peach or Asian pear juice

1/2 Cup dark roasted sesame oil

5 Tablespoons garlic, minced

1/4 Cup finely minced ginger

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Chinese New Year

Jun 16, 2018


Norman Van Aken ©1998

Serves 4

For the chicken and marinade:

4 boneless 8 ounce chicken breasts, skin on

3 Tablespoons light soy sauce

3 Tablespoons honey

1-Tablespoon spicy dark roasted sesame oil, (Ají)

1 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder

2 cloves minced garlic

1) 2” piece of peeled ginger, minced

1 Scotch bonnet, stem and seeds discarded, minced

Freshly toasted and cracked black pepper, to taste


Jun 9, 2018


Norman Van Aken, © 2013

The Pier House ‘Meatloaf Contest’ was inspired one fateful afternoon by my dear friend Danny Mc Hugh. But it was most decidedly not a culinary head to head but a head to head of another order altogether. This one involved men and a kind of out gunning that belongs safely in the chapter named “The Pier House” and far from the world of recipes!

Yield: Serves 6-8

Meat mixture:

1# beef chuck, ground

1# pork, ground

Hard Boiled Eggs

May 26, 2018


©2012 All rights reserved by Norman Van Aken

Yields: 1 3/4 Cup

3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

2 tablespoons small capers, rinsed

4 hard boiled eggs

pinch salt

large pinch cayenne pepper

cracked black pepper, to taste

1 teaspoon Spanish sherry vinegar

2 tablespoons Italian parsley, cleaned and chopped

2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, cleaned and chopped

1/2 Cup ground toasted almonds

1/2 Cup XVOO.

Aphrodisiacal Foods

May 19, 2018



Norman Van Aken, © 2013


May 12, 2018


©2012 All rights reserved by Norman and Justin Van Aken, “My Key West Kitchen”

Yield: Serves 4

For the Pick-a-Peppa Cream Cheese:

4 ounces of cream cheese, softened

1 Tablespoon Pick-a-Peppa sauce

3 Tablespoons sour cream

½ each lemon zest

½ teaspoon lemon juice

⅛ teaspoon kosher salt

pinch black pepper

Mix all of the above together and set aside. Can be chilled and re-tempered at room temperature.

1-2 green tomatoes, cut into ¼-inch slices, lightly salted

Stage Names

May 5, 2018