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


Nov 21, 2017


Norman Van Aken© 2003

3 Tablespoons Roasted Garlic Oil or light olive oil

1 Tablespoon pink grapefruit juice

1 1/2 teaspoon Spanish sherry vinegar

1 teaspoon honey

Kosher salt and freshly toasted and ground black pepper, to taste

4 cups mixed greens, washed and patted dry

Whisk together the garlic oil, grapefruit juice, vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper.

Dress the greens as desired and serve.


Bao Buns

Nov 11, 2017

Black Beans

Oct 28, 2017


©2015 Norman Van Aken

Yields: 3 Cups

3 ears sweet corn, shucked

light olive oil as needed for the corn before grilling it and also to sauté the onions & bell peppers

salt and pepper, to taste

1/2 red onion, peeled & diced small

1/2 red pepper, stem, seeds and the whitish ribs removed & discarded, diced small

1/2 yellow bell pepper, stem, seeds and the whitish ribs removed & discarded, diced small       


Oct 21, 2017

Coco Frio

Oct 14, 2017

Lobster Reubens

Oct 7, 2017


Sep 30, 2017

The Beard House

Sep 23, 2017


Sep 9, 2017


Sep 2, 2017


© 2017 All rights reserved by Norman Van Aken

Yield: 2 Cups

1 Tablespoon of pure olive oil

1 Tablespoon of unsalted butter

1 Cup sweet onion, peeled and chopped medium

¼ Cup sugar

1/3 Cup balsamic vinegar

6 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped

1 fresh vanilla bean, split

½ teaspoon kosher salt

Pinch of black pepper

Sopa de Res

Aug 26, 2017

Blood Sausage

Aug 19, 2017

Beer Nuts

Aug 12, 2017