Coconut Grove Arts Festival 2020

Norman Van Aken


Two legends in South Florida’s restaurant scene have joined forces to announce a new partnership that will showcase the culinary talents of three nationally known celebrity chefs at the 57th edition of the Coconut Grove Arts Festival next February.

Monty Trainer, president of the annual Coconut Grove Arts Festival and the Founding Father of New World Cuisine, Norman Van Aken, the most awarded James Beard Chef in the history of Florida, will share their wealth of experience to introduce a new Chef’s Table concept at the 2020 Arts Festival.

Attendees of the popular event will now be able to satisfy their appetites and palates for fine cuisine in a more intimate setting as part of this new initiative.

“The Arts Festival has always believed that culinary is a true art form,” said Monty Trainer, president of the Coconut Grove Arts Festival. “There’s no better artist than Chef Norman to introduce the exclusive Chefs Table at our event.  He has defined the true meaning of fine dining in South Florida and we are so excited about this new initiative with him.”

The popular Chefs Table will invite 30 food and cooking enthusiasts to three private sessions hosted by three of South Florida’s most distinguished chefs including Norman Van Aken on Monday, February 17th.

Chef Norman Van Aken was hailed as the “Big Dog of Florida Cooking” by the great Anthony Bourdain.  The Smithsonian Magazine wrote: “Before the celebrity chef craze… before the start of Food Network, Norman Van Aken was starting a revolution. He was doing something unheard of at the time, taking local ethnic flavors, merging them together at restaurants where he worked.”

In addition to Chef Norman Van Aken, the other celebrity chefs participating in Monday’s Chef Table will include Chefs Allen Susser ( and Jeff McInnis (

The exclusive Chefs Table will be located in the heart of Meyers Park.  Each of the three sessions will offer a 60-70 minute personal cooking demonstration on preparing two of the noted chefs’ signature dishes.  Each chef will be asked to prepare two recipes to serve to CGAF Norman Van Aken’s Chef Table ticket holders.

Proceeds from this new event will help to fund scholarships presented by the CGAF to qualified students in all mediums of the arts including, the culinary arts. Tickets for each of the three Chef Table session will go on sale, Cyber Monday, December 2, 2020 on the CGAF website:  For more information on Norman Van Aken please refer to his website:

The 57th annual Coconut Grove Arts Festival® will be held February 15-17, 2020.  It is produced by the Coconut Grove Art and Historical Association, Inc., a non-profit community organization.  The association also maintains the Gallery @ CGAF where it presents special exhibitions throughout the year from its location at the Mayfair.

For more information on the Arts Festival or to purchase tickets online, visit

Media Contact:

John Kiskinis
Kiskinis Communications, Inc.                                            
(P) 305-447-1224

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