We were invited to El Paso, Texas to cook at a gathering of ‘Oldways Preservation’, a non-profit organization based in Boston, Massachussetts. ‘Oldways’ is one of the premier educational forums for focusing on healthy, culturally diverse and historically respectful eating. They put on conferences around the world and invite scientists, farmers, professors, chefs and food/wine media to promote positive lifestyles.
It may surprise some of you but I used to be quite shy when it came to going into restaurants and trying dishes and ingredients I had not known growing up, (as I had) in a small town in Northern Illinois. Now I am known for being “all in” when it comes to that… but we all have our ‘earlier selves’...don’t we?
In My Key West Kitchen: Recipes and Stories, father-and-son chefs Norman Van Aken and Justin Van Aken present recipes inspired by Key West foods their family has relished throughout the decades, including Captain Tony's Sunday Fish Fry, Dennis Pharmacy Navy Bean Soup and The Midget's Brunswick Stew.
The Midget was one of the first places Norman Van Aken cooked in Key West after arriving from Illinois.