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Mushrooms on Brioche with Sherry Cream and Serrano Ham

Mushrooms are a feature of this recipe we will make. They are one of the greatest things to cook and consume. I created this dish while first working at The Café at Louie’s Backyard in Key West. I was doing more ’small plates’ at The Café and while this one is small it is mighty in terms of flavors and textures!…

Pan-Cooked Filet of Key West Yellowtail

This dish I learned in part when working with a woman born in Key West named Betty Howard. Betty lived in the Bahama Village area of town and likely learned this way with delicate fish from her family. It is simple but perfect like many simple things can be….

A Word On Food: Mamey Sapote

I was cooking at Louie’s Backyard in Key West when the real awakening to my love of specifically tropical produce came into full flower. It should not have taken me so long to become the evangelical I did given the bounty of the fruits and historical use of them in…

A Word On Food: Lychees

What an unfortunate name for something so sensual! This is definitely not what Katherine Hepburn objected to with Humphrey Bogart in the classic movie “The African Queen”! She was speaking of leeches.  Earlier this week we were standing on the sidewalk in Wynwood where it is often best to practically…

A Word On Food: Bone Marrow

I would guess that the first time I had any kind of bone marrow was when our mother would cook a pot roast and there would be that small, odd bit of fat within the well of a short bone that a brave adult would gobble up with a look…

A Word On Food: Beignets

Like so many of you we have not been on an airplane in over a year. For us traveling was part of our work, our life and our identities. So many aspects of life have been informed by the trips we take which, by and large are done to participate…

A Word On Food: Father’s Foods

We are still a ways off from Father’s Day coming up in June. So this show is not on that. This is about the foods that well up out of our memories unbidden… a surprise recalling of the things our fathers ate .. but we had forgotten about for a…

A Word On Food: Asparagus

Spring is in the air across the land. Even in Chicago .. the closest city to where I was born feels it. There are few things that push forth out of the life sustaining mud during this season … that send hunger pangs to my belly and flame to my…

A Word On Food: Eggplant

The plan was to see a movie. I bought our tickets online which seemed like a safe bet. But when we got to the theater at the large mall it was locked up. Easter being the reason. Despite the tickets we realized we’d not be watching the great Frances McDormand…

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…

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…

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…

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…

“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…

 
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