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Norman Van Aken has a long history as a great communicator, leader and educator in the food business. If he were not a chef, he could be a poet or writer, as he has a natural gift for expressing and writing about food, service and the whole restaurant experience. He has mentored numerous chefs over the 30 years that I have seen; has taught classes; has been a pioneer in new and exciting formats for teaching young people about the food business. Running restaurants and being a chef is a tough business; one thing that is amazing about Norman is the universally positive feelings that you hear expressed about him.
Norman Van Aken is considered one of the country’s most respected James Beard Award winning chefs, not only because of his exceptional skills as a chef but as a mentor, leader and innovator in the American food world.
“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.”
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