A Word On Food

Saturdays at 8:34 AM

Chef Norman Van Aken
Credit www.normanvanaken.com

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 book is a memoir. It is titled, “No Experience Necessary,” (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 91.3.

He is the chef and founder of “NORMAN’S at the Ritz-Carlton, Grande Lakes, Orlando.” 

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Hot Fudge Sundaes

Aug 17, 2015

   Blue Laws, Lightening Bugs & Ambrosial Dreams

Not lost in translation. Dim Sum “Touches the Heart”.


Aug 3, 2015

A Magic Carpet Ride back to India via The Big Apple!

Gyoza Dumplings

Jul 27, 2015

A Sleight of Hand so Tasty. Steamed, Crunchy and Sticky

Thai Place - Cake

Jul 11, 2015

PAD KEE MAO                                                         

© 2015 All Rights Reserved by Norman & Janet Van Aken

This dish is both easy and every bit as good as the more famous Pad Thai.

Yield: Serves 8

1/2 Cup fish sauce

1/4 Cup Kecap Manis (sweet soy sauce)

1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon  + 1 Tablespoon rice vinegar

1/3 Cup minced garlic

1 Scotch bonnet, minced

1/4 Cup + 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil

1 cup sliced sweet onion


May 9, 2015
A picture of a full Key Lime Pie
Norman Van Aken


©1996 All Rights Reserved by Norman Van Aken

Yield: 1) 10” pie

For the candied fruit:

  • 30 kumquats
  • 1 ¾ Cup sugar
  • 1 ¼ Cup orange juice

Put the fruit in a heavy saucepan and cover the fruit with cool water. Now place the pan on high heat. Once it comes to a boil, drain. Put the fruit in a bowl of ice water and allow to cool. Now remove the fruit from the ice water and set it aside on a towel.


Feb 28, 2015

Listen to the aired episode by clicking play below.

Tournedos of Beef

Sep 27, 2014
Norman Van Aken


Norman Van Aken, 2012 © “My Key West Kitchen”, Kyle Books

Aroma Triggers

Sep 20, 2014


Sep 13, 2014
Norman Van Aken


©2014 All Rights Reserved by Norman Van Aken

Use on almost any preparation you would use a regular barbeque sauce on. Experiment!

Can also be used as a potent dipping sauce for fried and savory items.

Yield: 1 3/4 Cups 

·         2 Cups orange juice, reduced to a near syrup (about ¼ Cup, cooled somewhat)

·         ½ Cup Koshi Miso Paste (We use ‘Marukome Boy Koshi Smooth Paste’)

·         2 Tablespoons Dark Roasted Sesame Oil

·         1 Tablespoon soy sauce