Chef Norman Van Aken
Chef Norman Van Aken is known internationally as “the founding father of New World Cuisine,” a celebration of Latin, Caribbean, Asian, African and American flavors. He is also known for introducing the concept of “fusion” to the culinary world in a symposium on American cooking in Santa Fe in 1988. He is the only Floridian inducted into the prestigious James Beard list of “Who’s Who in American Food and Beverage.” He is also a recipient of the James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef in the Southeast honors. 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.
The New York Times deemed his fine dining restaurant, "NORMAN’S", “the Best Restaurant in Florida and Norman Van Aken its best Chef.” Similarly, the Beard Foundation nominated “NORMAN’S” as “The Best Restaurant in America.” Chef Van Aken has been hailed as a “culinary genius” by Johnson and Wales University and awarded an honorary doctorate. He is on the Culinary Institute of America's "Latin Cuisine’s International Advisory Council." Chef Norman Van Aken has published four books: Feast of Sunlight 1988, The Exotic Fruit Book 1995, Norman’s New World Cuisine 1997, and New World Kitchen 2003.