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Norman Van Aken

Norman Van Aken is known internationally for introducing “fusion” into the lexicon of modern cookery and considered to be the founding father of New World Cuisine.  He is the only Floridian inducted into the prestigious James Beard list of “Who’s Who in American Food and Beverage”.

Van Aken is a James Beard semi-finalist for “Best Chef in America” and his namesake restaurant NORMAN’S, was nominated as a finalist for “Best Restaurant in America.”

Van Aken has penned five previous cookbooks and a memoir, No Experience Necessary, which was nominated for the IACP/Julia Child Award.

He opened “1921 by Norman Van Aken” in Mount Dora, Florida. He is partnered with Candace Walsh at “In the Kitchen with Norman Van Aken”, a cooking school in Miami. He is the Founder of NORMAN’S at the Ritz-Carlton, Grande Lakes, Orlando.

He has appeared on television from CNN’s “Parts Unknown” with Anthony Bourdain to “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”  He hosts of “A Word on Food” a radio show on NPR.

His new book, “Norman Van Aken’s Florida Kitchen” is published by University Press of Florida.

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This class was not only incredibly well organized, but highly engaging and rapidly became one of the highlights of the children’s week. I was particularly impressed that she was able to translate her own obvious expertise into language that the children were able to understand and learn from. She took the children through weekly ‘food journeys’, choosing topics that were varied and stimulating. These ranged from the clearly entertaining ‘chocolate’ theme, to other food groups, which would appear less immediately appealing to children, such as ‘herbs’ ‘spices’ and ‘fruit’, but which solicited the same high levels of engagement from the children. Each lesson was the perfect balance of theory, practice and tasting, meaning that the children, although young, remained engaged throughout and were encouraged to experiment with new foods and tastes which they would otherwise have avoided.
Samantha Gleave – Parent