Norman Van Aken
Norman Van Aken Norman Van Aken Norman Van Aken Among his many mas­ter­ies as a chef, Norman Van Aken is best known for in­tro­duc­ing "fusion" into the lexi­con of mod­ern cookery.

He is known as the "found­ing father of New World Cui­sine" – a cel­e­bra­tion of Latin, Caribbean, Asian, Amer­i­can, and African fla­vors. He is the only Florid­i­an Chef in­duct­ed into the pres­ti­gious James Beard Foun­da­tion's list of "Who's Who in Amer­i­can Food and Bev­er­age." He was a 2016 Menu­Masters Hall of Fame in­ductee, along with pre­vi­ous win­ners Wolf­gang Puck and Jacques Pépin. Van Aken is a James Beard semifi­nal­ist for "Best Chef in Amer­i­ca" and his name­sake Or­lan­do restau­rant, Norman's, was nom­i­nat­ed as a fi­nal­ist for "Outstanding Restau­rant in Amer­i­ca," the only one thus far in the en­tire state of Flori­da.

He has repre­sent­ed the Unit­ed States often, gar­ner­ing in­ter­na­tion­al recog­ni­tions that in­clude be­ing hon­ored along­side Alice Waters, Paul Prudhomme, and Mark Miller, as one of the "Founders of New Amer­i­can Cui­sine" at Spain's In­ter­na­tion­al Sum­mit of Gas­tron­o­my "Madrid Fusión" (2006), and repre­sent­ed the State of Flori­da at the USA Pavil­ion at EXPO Milano/World's Fair (2015).

Van Aken has shared his cook­ing and ca­reer, pen­ning six cook­books (Feast of Sun­light; The Exo­tic Fruit Book; Norman's New World Cui­sine; New World Kit­chen; My Key West Kit­chen; Norman Van Aken's Flori­da Kit­chen) and a mem­oir (No Ex­pe­ri­ence Nec­es­sary: The Culi­nary Odyssey of Chef Norman Van Aken). His cook­books have been hail­ed by the late Anthony Bourdain & Charlie Trotter as well as Thomas Keller, Emeril Lagasse, Eric Ripert, and Wolfgang Puck; while his mem­oir cap­tured the at­ten­tion of the pres­ti­gious IACP/Julia Child Award and rec­eived a fi­nal­ist nom­i­na­tion along with Michael Pollan, Anne Willan, and Luke Barr. His lat­est pub­lished book, Norman Van Aken's My Flor­ida Kit­chen, was sel­ect­ed to rep­re­sent the USA in the local cat­e­go­ry of the Gourmand In­ter­na­tion­al World Cook­book Awards and has been award­ed the Flor­ida Book Award's Gold Medal for Cook­ing.