Gourmand International World Cookbook Awards, Selected to Represent the USA in the Local Category
Florida Book Awards, Gold Medal for Cooking
“[Van Aken’s] easy-to-follow recipes unlock the secrets of . . . the power of Florida foodways.”—Creative Loafing Tampa Bay
“In his love letter to Florida’s abundant seafood, tropical produce and multicultural flavors, Norman Van Aken weaves lore and stories among his recipes.”—Edible South Florida
“The big dog of Florida cooking.”—Anthony Bourdain
“An excellent collection of recipes that showcase the abundance of seafood and fresh produce of Florida combined with Cuban, Caribbean, and South American influences.”—Emeril Lagasse
“Van Aken describes the rich culinary roots and historical traditions of Florida’s cuisine. I have an exceptionally deep craving to try these recipes for the fusion that only Norman has skillfully refined over the years. I trust him implicitly with my palate and soul.”—Mario Batali
“Norman Van Aken is a pioneer in Miami for creating modern cuisine inspired by Latin American and Florida flavors. Norman Van Aken’s Florida Kitchen embodies this creativity and excitement and pays homage to the melding of traditions and innovation. A new essential!”—Eric Ripert, chef and co-owner, Le Bernardin
“The father of Florida cuisine has delivered once again! Packed with delicious recipes and peppered with witty humor, this cookbook defines the food of the Sunshine State and offers insight into the great mind of one of America’s most talented and celebrated chefs.”—Virginia Willis, author of Lighten Up, Y’all: Classic Southern Recipes Made Healthy and Wholesome
“Vast and delicious, nuanced and intelligent, this essential book reaches as far back as our colonial history and leaps forward to a new and vibrant culinary landscape that speaks not only for Florida but for America as a whole.”—Edward Lee, chef and author of Smoke and Pickles: Recipes and Stories from a New Southern Kitchen
“The term ‘fusion’ in cooking, pioneered by Norman Van Aken, motivated me to want to explore the world as a young cook in the ’90s. Norman Van Aken’s Florida Kitchen sheds a light on that revolutionary time and its ongoing role in American cuisine through stories and recipes.”—Alon Shaya, executive chef and partner, Shaya
“Norman Van Aken is single-handedly the greatest influencer of new American cuisine.”—Vinny Dotolo, chef and co-owner, animal
“The recipes in this book are timeless and a delicious reference to food history in America.”—Jon Shook, chef and co-owner, animal
“Norman Van Aken is a visionary, a grand essayist and, after reading this book, the person you will most want to share a toast to a tangerine-mango- colored Florida sunset.”—Heather McPherson, coauthor of Good Catch: Recipes and Stories Celebrating the Best of Florida’s Waters
“A window into Florida’s foodways through time, from the heart to the palate.”—Sandra Gutierrez, author of The New Southern-Latino Table
“Norman elevates flavors that are the core of Florida’s cuisine. He is truly gifted in the way he makes them shine.”—Nina Compton, chef-owner, Compère Lapin
“Touches on the influences—from as far as the Middle East to as close as Cuba—that have helped mold and shape the dishes and ingredients of Florida’s cuisine. Delicious and compelling, it has become a regular ‘go-to’ cookbook in my kitchen.” —John Currence, chef-owner, City Grocery Restaurant Group
“Norman Van Aken’s bright cuisine continues to shine and inspire home cooks.”—Daniel Boulud, chef-owner, The Dinex Group
“Norman’s new cookbook is about all of us becoming better cooks at home, with all the stories, details, methods, and know-how to make exciting and delicious recipes.”—Dean Fearing, chef-partner, Fearing’s Restaurant
“A lively and wonderfully usable book.”—Colman Andrews, author of My Usual Table: A Life in Restaurants
“Inspires readers to roll up their sleeves, don their aprons, and get cooking.” —Ferdinand Metz, president emeritus, Culinary Institute of America
Award-winning chef and restaurateur Norman Van Aken invites you to discover the richness of Florida’s culinary landscape. This long-awaited cookbook embraces the history, the character, and the flavors of the state that has inspired Van Aken’s famous fusion style for over forty years. Drawing from Florida’s vibrant array of immigrant cultures, and incorporating local ingredients, the dishes in this book display the exciting diversity of Van Aken’s “New World Cuisine.”
Recipes include Key lime beignets; cornbread-stuffed quail with strawberry-ancho-guava jam and sweet and sour parsnips; “Spanglish” tortillas with hash browns, creamed spinach, and serrano ham; pork stew with raisins, tamarind, plantains, and chiles; and fully loaded cracked conch po’ boys.
While preparing these dishes, readers will enjoy advice and stories straight from the kitchen of a master chef. Van Aken infuses his recipes with tips, techniques, and personality. He reveals the key to a good gumbo, praises the acidity of a pickled peppadew, connects food innovation to jazz and blues music, describes hitchhiking adventures across the state with his wife, Janet, and tells the tale behind the Mustachioed Swimmer, a cocktail named for Tennessee Williams.
Norman Van Aken’s Florida Kitchen is a delicious read—the definitive guide to the historic past and multicultural future of Florida’s abundant foodways. With its forward-thinking blend of old and new, thoughtful step-by-step instructions for wonderful meals, and plenty of friendly conversation, this book is a rare immersion in a culinary artist’s world.
Norman Van Aken is chef-owner of NORMAN’S at The Ritz-Carlton, Grande Lakes, Orlando, and 1921 by Norman Van Aken in Mount Dora, Florida. Additionally, he is chef-partner at Three, a fine dining restaurant, and No. 3 Social, a roof deck lounge, in the Wynwood Arts District of Miami. His cooking school, In the Kitchen with Norman Van Aken, is also in Wynwood. Van Aken is the only Floridian inducted into the James Beard Foundation’s Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America and was a 2016 MenuMasters Hall of Fame inductee with Jacques Pépin and Wolfgang Puck. He is the author of five cookbooks, including My Key West Kitchen: Recipes and Stories with Justin Van Aken, and a memoir, No Experience Necessary: The Culinary Odyssey of Chef Norman Van Aken.
- Sample Chapter(s):
- Press Kit
Gourmand Cookbook Award - 2017
Florida Book Awards -
Florida Book Award for Cooking, Gold - 2018
Distills the multicultural essence of Floridian cuisine into a well flavored guisado of style and taste. . . . Densely laden with impeccable recipes and shout-outs to local producers, the book is a story of one chef continuing to discover the quilt of Florida cooking, for all of us.
Explore[s] the diverse cultural influences on modern Florida fare, from the Caribbean and Latin America to the Middle East.
Norman has created a useful book that can guide even novice cooks to greatness. His recipes are easy to follow and almost foolproof.
--Tampa Bay Magazine
[Van Aken’s] easy-to-follow recipes unlock the secrets of . . . the power of Florida foodways.
--Creative Loafing Tampa Bay
In his love letter to Florida’s abundant seafood, tropical produce and multicultural flavors, Norman Van Aken weaves lore and stories among his recipes.
--Edible South Florida