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


Apr 28, 2018


Norman Van Aken, © 2014 from my memoir,

“No Experience Necessary, the Culinary Odyssey of Chef Norman Van Aken”

This was adapted from a sauce I’ve made for eons named “Aigrelette”. It was adapted to go with my Carny Corn Dogs as the title says. But it would be fine whenever you wanted a more “Dijonaise” styled sauce. Less straight punch than mustard alone.

Yield: 2 Cups

For the base mayonnaise:

4 egg yolks

1 Cup blended oil

1/2 Cup extra virgin

2 Tablespoons water



Apr 21, 2018


Norman Van Aken © All rights reserved. “My Key West Kitchen”

Banh Mi

Apr 14, 2018

Fish A La Meuniere

Apr 7, 2018
Debi Harbin

FLOUNDER “A LA MEUNIÈRE” (WITH SALTINE CRACKERS)                                                         

© 2015 All Rights Reserved by Norman & Janet Van Aken


Mar 31, 2018


with Lettuces, Redlands Chutney and Smoky Chipotle Mayo

©1996 All Rights Reserved by Norman Van Aken

Serves: 4 salads

For the quail and marinade:

3/4 Cup Picante Marinade

4 semi-boneless quail

Marinate the quail overnight in the marinade.  When you are ready to marinade pull the quail out and put the marinade in a pan to reduce over medium heat for 5-7 minutes  and strain (about 1/4 cup will remain).

Wonder Bread

Mar 24, 2018

Club Sandwiches

Mar 10, 2018

Hash Browns

Mar 3, 2018


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

Chicken Parm

Feb 24, 2018


Feb 18, 2018


Feb 10, 2018

chilean country ribs

© 2017 Norman Van Aken

Serves 4


The Caribe Indians on the island of Hispaniola taught the Spanish how to use green wood lattices to make barbacoa—or what we now know as barbecue. A staple of the islanders’ diet was the wild hog. The locals called the animals boucan, and that French word eventually came to be applied to many of the wild seafaring island men: buccaneers.



Feb 3, 2018


Norman Van Aken ©, 2001, “New World Kitchen”

The natives of Southern Colombia inherited pipían from the Inca Empire, which ruled them for a couple of centuries before the Spaniards arrived.

Yield:  60 + Empanadas

For the Filling: (Yields 4 Cups)

1 ½ pounds of red potatoes, peeled and diced

1 Tablespoon annatto oil (see pg xxx) or olive oil

1 Tablespoon whole butter

½ yellow onion, peeled and diced

Shrimp Al Ajillo

Jan 27, 2018


Norman Van Aken, © All Rights Reserved

To say this dish is forward in its robust flavors might just be an understatement. It is a dish that means “Shrimp and Garlic”. I include a different version of this Pan-Latin classic in my previous book, “Norman’s New World Cuisine”.  I am unapologetic in my fervor for big lusty flavors and this is a champion of proving so. If you must you could cut back on the garlic but please don’t tell me.

Yield: Serves 4

½ Cup pure olive oil


Jan 20, 2018