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

Peruvian Causas

Oct 6, 2018


Norman Van Aken, © 2001

Egg Sandwiches

Sep 29, 2018

Food Touristas

Sep 22, 2018


Sep 15, 2018


Sep 8, 2018

Egg Yolks

Sep 1, 2018

Boiled Peanuts

Aug 25, 2018


Norman Van Aken and Camilo Velasco

YIELD - 845g

250g boiled peanuts, shelled

100g boiled peanut broth

85g parmigiano reggiano

90g hazelnut, toasted

30g pistachio, toasted

150g piquillo peppers

85g pecan oil

18g sherry vinegar

15g garlic

9g parsley

8g salt

5g smoked paprika

Blend in a Vitamix or other powerful blender until smooth.

Fish Dip

Aug 18, 2018


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

It kind of catches me when people say we don’t have the “Four Seasons” in Florida. I find myselfnot saying anything. Why argue? My wife and I come from the undeniably clear versions of them up in Northern Illinois so … we know. But when you live here in Florida the majority of yourlife… you can perceive seasonality very much. Let’s just put it this way for simplification. We eatceviche in hot weather and smoked fish dip in cool weather!

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”