Norman Van Aken

Norman Van Aken


Strategic Alliance Partner of Strategic Solution Partners & Author, Hospitality Consultant, Teacher and TV/Radio Performer


My goal is create edible stories you will want to treasure with loved ones and/or cook for loved ones.


JAMES BEARD FOUNDATION AWARD
EXPERIENCE
ON STRUCTURE - I require the Plate to be the ‘beat’ of my presentation. I don’t want a plate to make a bunch of extra noise. I want it steady. I want it dependable. I want it to help rein in what else is going on. I want it Charlie Watts.
ON PROGRESS - If you cut the butter crooked the first time, straighten it the next.
ON LOGIC - Wipe the knife with a towel..not your tongue.
ON FLAVOR - Let the hot butter foam around the garlic and chilies… until you can smell the signal to ... move forth.
ON COURAGE - Pepper is not a gun meant to be unfired. Let it drop from your hand.
ON SHARING - Salt is not a sacrament for the few. Share it... like laughter.
ON TIMINIG - There is such a thing as turning off the soup you make … too early or too late.
ON BUILDING - Better to salt early then forget to salt at all.
ON FRIENDSHIPS- My pots and pans are like my friends. They are not "a set". All different and appreciated in a different way.
ON RIPENING - Tropical fruits no more like being in a refrigerator … than live parrots.
ON KINDNESS - Apples are hard but still...they bruise as fast as any heart.
ON ACIDITY - So many foods come roaring to life with only a squeeze of lemon and a pinch of salt. Sensual.
ON APPEARANCES - As in apples, mangos and tomatoes...don't confuse beautiful with delicious.
ON REALITY - I keep Dream Sheets.. but I still put my food in the window.
ON VARIETY - The more cooking vessels stained w different colors from prep... The more likely the meal will be interesting.
ON COOKING - Simmering is Smiling. Boiling is Laughing.
ON TYRANT CHEFS - Your lack of lasting power is in direct proportion to your abuse of it.
ON THE NEW SCIENTIFIC COOKING - Technique is only the context with which we present something in cooking. If it still doesn’t deliver a message from one’s true Heart it will never be memorable to me.
ON HOME - Food is supposed to be capable of taking you Home. Even if its a Home you've never been to before.

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Experience
Career Changer
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James Beard Award