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

Jul 15, 2017

CHIPOTLE CORN SKILLET BREAD

Norman Van Aken, © Copyright 2001

Yields: 1) 9” cast iron or non-stick skillet

1 chipotle, stem removed seeded and toasted

2 Tablespoons butter

1 ½ Cups raw corn kernels (2 ears of corn, kernels removed)

1 clove garlic

½ Cup yellow cornmeal

½ Cup all purpose flour

½ teaspoon baking soda

1-teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1/3 Cup melted shortening

1 Cup plus 2 Tablespoons buttermilk

1 Cup grated Manchego cheese

Bollos

Jul 8, 2017

BOLLOS or “Black Eye’d Pea Fritters”                                          

© 2012 All rights reserved by Norman Van Aken, Excerpted from “My Key West Kitchen”, Kyle Books

Yield: Approximately 60 Fritters

Norman Van Aken, © All Rights Reserved

 

12 ounces dried black eye’d peas

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

3 large cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1 Scotch bonnet or habanero chile stemmed, seeded and minced

1/2 sweet onion, peeled and dices small

Tortillas

Jul 1, 2017

TORTILLA SOUP WITH SUGARCANE CHICKEN

Norman Van Aken, © 2001

This soup takes a hard left as you head south out of North America and presents a Caribbean flavored chicken with one of the classic soups of Mexico.

Black Bean Soup

Jun 24, 2017

black bean soup with roasted squash

Norman Van Aken, © 2011

Yield: 12 Cups

 

6 ounces smoky bacon, diced

2 Tablespoons pure olive oil

1 Scotch bonnet chile, stemmed, seeded, and minced

3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1 large Spanish onion, diced

1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and diced

3 stalks celery, diced

2 Tablespoons toasted and ground cumin seeds (see page 9)

2 bay leaves, broken in half

1 Cup Spanish dry sherry

VIETNAMESE SYLED MEATBALLS, (NINH HOA)

Norman Van Aken, © 2007

Yield: 3 pounds of meat to make into variously sized meatballs. (about 66 medium balls)

2 pounds ground pork, (we used pork tenderloin)

9 ounces of ground fatty bacon

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

10 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

2 Tablespoons ginger, peeled and minced

1 ½ Tablespoons sugar

2 ½ teaspoons cornstarch

1 Tablespoon Nuoc Cham, (see recipe below)

Escargot

Jun 10, 2017

Banana Leaves

Jun 3, 2017

BUTTERED SNAPPER BAKED IN A BANANA LEAF

with a "Steam" of Clams, Boniato, "Bonnets" Saffron and Garlic

Norman Van Aken, COPYRIGHT ©1998

Yield: Serves 4 entrees

For the fish:

2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin olive oil

4 Tablespoons butter

2 shallots, peeled and very thinly sliced

1 teaspoon garlic, peeled and minced

cracked black pepper and salt, to taste

4)    7‑8 ounce fillets of snapper, skinned and totally trimmed

4 thin slices of lemon, cut in half

Chipotle Chilies

May 27, 2017

CHIPOTLE TOMATO SALSA

Norman Van Aken © Copyright 2014

This is fairly involved salsa but deeply flavored. It can dress grilled seafoods, pork and chicken.

Yield: About 2 Cups

1 ounce smoked bacon, diced

1 Tablespoon pure olive oil

1 Tablespoons butter

1 Chipotle pepper, toasted, seeds removed, and minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/3 red onion, peeled and diced medium

1 teaspoon sugar

1 large stalks celery, cleaned and diced medium

The Saucier

May 20, 2017

SAUCE CREOLE

Norman Van Aken, © 2001

The Brazilian influences of cuisine have invigorated several others. Here we have a sauce that is indelibly linked with the glorious flavors of New Orleans but it knew a prior home in Brazil and, of course, Africa in various guises and permutations.

Yield: 3 Cups

1 ounces bacon, diced

1 Tablespoon pure olive oil

1 Tablespoons butter

1 scotch bonnet chile, stem and seeds discarded, minced

2 cloves of raw garlic, minced

Batidos

May 13, 2017

MAMEY BATIDO MILKSHAKE

Norman Van Aken, 2012 Copyright ©

Yield: Serves 2-3 depending on how thirsty you are

1 Cup fresh, ripe mamey cubed, (peel and pit discarded)

1 Cup milk

1/4 Cup buttermilk

¼ Cup sugar or honey

1 dash vanilla extract, (optional)

½ Cup ice cubes

Blend all of the above together very well. Serve.

Note: Frozen mamey pulp can be found in many Latin and Caribbean grocery stores. The flavor is pretty good though not as exquisite as the ripe, fresh one.

Artichokes

May 6, 2017

ARTICHOKE FRITTERS WITH OLI

©2008 All rights reserved by Norman Van Aken

Yield: 30-36

For the Fritters:
5 Cups cooked and drained artichoke hearts, chopped 1 Tablespoon thyme leaves,
1 egg
1/3 Cup milk
1 Cup, (or slightly more if needed) sifted flour
1 1⁄4 Tablespoons baking powder
1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
3⁄4 Cups red onion, minced
3 Tablespoons beer
1⁄2 teaspoon ground cumin
~
Canola or peanut oil for deep-frying (as needed)

Arroz Chaufa

Apr 29, 2017
Photo by Debi Harbin

ARROZ CHAUFA

© 2016 All Rights Reserved by Norman Van Aken

Yield: 3 1/2 Cups

2 Cups cooked jasmine or basmati rice, (see below)

1 Tablespoon canola oil

5 ounces raw, broken up somewhat ‘hot’ (or mild) style Italian sausage

1 Cup onion, peeled and chopped medium

1 Scotch bonnet (or Thai or other hot) chile, seeded and stemmed, minced

1/2 Tablespoon minced ginger

4 scallions, trimmed and cut cross-wise into rings

2 Tablespoons garlic, minced

Bouillabaisse

Apr 22, 2017

Cochinita Pibil

Apr 15, 2017

Pig's Ears

Apr 8, 2017

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