Postcards

A Word On Food: Sardines

This year I am doing something different with my diary. It is my quotidian  record of where life is with me. 17th century diarist Londoner Samuel Pepys has a lot to do with my habit. Having read his work during that special period of time when I was no longer attending school…

A Word On Food: Children’s Menus

My wife, Janet and I have both been fully vaccinated, for which we are very grateful. We look forward to the months ahead and everyone that wants them gets them. Still we are precautious when we go to a place and make sure that it is safely operated. Recently we joined our…

Tom Waits Reads Charles Bukowski

Many years ago it was my great luck to see Tom Waits perform in a very small venue in Chicago. He was really just becoming the star he eventually would. But back then it was an insiders group that braved a nasty Midwestern storm to see his show. A single spotlight shone…

A Word On Food: Easter Ham

Historically lamb was the main course for Easter dinner and it still is in many parts of the world. It’s a tradition that’s about 3,000 years old and stems from the Jewish holiday Passover, which celebrates Israelites being liberated and their exodus from Egypt. The tradition held up in the United States…

“Dear Miami”; An Open Letter from Norman Van Aken

The Editors of the New York City based company, “Star Chefs” asked me to write a letter to our city to coincide with their publication of the new issue of the Star Chefs Magazine, “Rising Stars”. It is about the emerging and vital talents of our Miami culinary community. The ceremony recognizes…

A Word On Food: Tartare

We ate a lot more raw food as an earlier species. We simply had to in order to survive. Hunting is hard work. Ask a fisherman. We were much more capable at foraging and gathering for our calories. And besides that fire was not something humans had on hand for eons ……

A Word On Food: Frita Burgers

Sometimes they are called Cuban Hamburgers but I think that is more of an accommodation for those uninitiated in true Cuban food culture. Most folks drop the word ‘burgers’ and simply call them Fritas. So we will too.  Recently we got to know some folks in town that we are enjoying visiting…

A Word On Food: St. Patrick’s Day

We are on the cusp of a day that is steeped in a mix of traditions. The prevailing one is of strong drink and celebrations across the land! Like many traditions things began in a much different way than they are today. Here’s a biggie. St. Patrick was born in England ……

An Interview; Norman Van Aken by Marion Kane

Introduction: NORMAN VAN AKEN: There was no Internet and almost no cookbooks on the subject of Latin and Caribbean cooking so I began to go to the little restaurants that I’d known for a number of years – eating the food, enjoying the food but now “food sleuthing.” (Laughs). MARION KANE: You’re…

The Jacques Pépin Foundation New Cookbook Debuts!

Exciting news All! The @JacquesPepinFoundation has just released Cook with Jacques & Friends: Volume 2 and I’m proud to have a recipe featured in the Video Recipe Book. For many chefs, Jacques is a mentor who is generous beyond compare. His foundation supports free culinary and life skills training to individuals in…

A Word On Food: Greens

Such a small word. Such a simple word. Love is like that too. I didn’t grow up knowing and loving greens like so many in our American South. In Northern Illinois where I tromped, crawled, ran, ambled, slid, skidded and stumbled through childhood greens were not bubbling in a black iron pot…

A Word On Food: Choclo

We went to a restaurant that has history in Miami but a new story in that they have moved to a more permanent and spacious location. For now all of the seating is outside in a lovely courtyard. My wife Janet and I met up with our son Justin for lunch on…

A Word On Food: Roti

There are clusters of ethnicities in every city. Immigrants, encouraged by pioneers find a home within many urban centers in close proximity to others from their shared homelands. Chinatowns are the most obvious examples of them. Oftentimes when things turned threatening in ones home country people … wanting better for themselves and…

Forever Oceans Interview

Recently I was interviewed by Forever Oceans. They are a group intent on helping people have delicious and sustainable seafood. I first came to know of them via my friend and long time Chef Rick Moonen. Many know of Rick’s work already but if you don’t he’s become famous for his work…

 
© 2021 Norman Van Aken. All rights Reserved.