Postcards

A Word On Food: Foraging

A few years ago my wife, Janet and I were at the farmer’s market on Biscayne when a young woman walked up to me and asked if I was Norman Van Aken. I nodded yes. She said, ‘Good. Can you wait a minute? I want to give you a book I helped…

The Ment’or Culinary Council

I am proud to be a member of The Ment’or Culinary Council a network of prestigious industry leaders who provide their culinary expertise and knowledge to the Foundation in a variety of significant ways. I am very appreciative of their commitment to inspiring Culinary Excellence in America. As you can see from…

A Word On Food: Chilies

The New World endowed the rest of the globe with one of the spices of life: chilies. The word comes from the Aztecs’ Náhuatl language. The Taino Indians called them ajíes, and in the Incan Quechua tongue they are known as uchu. The 1st of January is a festive occasion for the…

Cigar Aficionado: A Look Back Essay

NEW WORLD CHEF For Florida “fusion cuisine” pioneer Norman Van Aken, co-owner of NORMAN’S in Coral Gables, the kitchen is his classroom. By Mervyn Rothstein               January/February 2000 ~~~~~~ On West Flagler Street in Miami, not far from Calle Ocho, the long street that’s the heartbeat of…

A Word On Food: Barbecue

Few food topics unites us and divides folks in the USA like barbecue. I am of the belief that it is because it touches us in a very passionate place. Our sense of hunger mixed with tradition. What we grow up with. The Chinese philosopher Lin Yutang wrote, “What is patriotism but…

A Word On Food: Ventanitas

In 1971 when I … and three other wanderers .. crossed the short span named the ‘Cow Key Channel Bridge’ from Stock Island .. the island to the immediate north of Key West I passed forevermore through a magical window of life. What was unfolding all around me that Spring was so…

A Word On Food: School Lunches

When it came to going to school my sisters and I lived in a world that was routine. No home schooling existed. Many of you would add; mercifully. The only thing that prevented us from attending grade school every weekday from September until June would have been a white out blizzard. I…

City & Shore Feature and Interview

Journalist Greg Carannante of City & Shore Magazine asked some fun questions to me for City & Shore Magazine. I appreciate the fun he injected into the interview format! Have a read. “Let’s not allow the huffing and puffing of the current celebrity chef trend drown out the bellwether contributions of Florida’s…

A Word On Food: Tubers

Archeologists have discovered signs of potato cultivation as early as 9,000 years ago in the Andean valley. Researchers believe that people first domesticated the wild tuber on the shores of Lake Titicaca, along the borders of modern-day Peru and Bolivia. These early inhabitants bred yellow potatoes and white potatoes, fat ones and…

FLAMINGO MAGAZINE PONDERS THE BEARD AWARDS

Journalist Eric Barton writing for Flaming Magazine asked some questions about if those of us in Florida should still care about the annual James Beard Awards. It is a lengthy piece with an examination of the highly esteemed awards now coming under fire from some quarters. You can and should form your own…

 
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