A Word On Food

Norman Van Aken's A Word On Food
8:00 am
Sat August 10, 2013

Gee Whiz! Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches

Click the play button above to hear the radio version of this post.

When I go to a city as a guest chef, our hosts usually take great care of us and routinely offer to take us to one of the fancy or “Four Star!” restaurants in town.

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Norman Van Aken's A Word On Food
8:00 am
Sat August 3, 2013

Strike Gold With The Heavenly Taste Of Avocados

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I was out walking Bounder, the little dog our son Justin brought home from a shelter a few years ago, and was almost back home when I spotted a McArthur Dairy milk crate brimming over with a harvest of 20 or more backyard grown avocados on the edge a neighbor’s lawn.

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Norman Van Aken's A Word On Food
8:00 am
Sat July 27, 2013

Roux The Day!

Credit wikipedia.org

One of the more dominant techniques that began to show up in the kitchens of the 17th Century was roux. Seldom has a technique undergone such a transformation in opinion amongst chefs and dedicated home cooks.

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Norman Van Aken's A Word On Food
1:31 pm
Sat July 20, 2013

Three Kings And Arepa Love

A high-pitched voice called out, “Arepa, Arepa, Arepa de Maiz!”

The ‘Parade of the Three Kings’ was heading our way and our son was marching with his South Miami High School band. Justin normally played the viola back in those days, but he surprised me as he hefted a huge drum and beat on it with energy and precision while he and his bandmates proceeded in musical celebration past us while tears of pride fell on my chest.

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Norman Van Aken's A Word On Food
8:00 am
Sat July 6, 2013

Thank You Marco Polo! The Universal Love Of Spices

Mongolian Veal Chop
Credit Norman Van Aken

I have heard the sing-song voices of children in the swimming pools of hotels I’ve stayed in from Hattiesburg to Honolulu as they play a game called, “Marco Polo”. 

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Norman Van Aken's A Word On Food
8:00 am
Sat June 29, 2013

Keeping The Tradition Alive: The Great American Hot Dog

Credit Norman Van Aken

You may be making plans to celebrate our day of "National Independence" from the once “Tax Mad” English by having friends and family over for a backyard party. Possibly your menu will feature one of the all-time icons of American gastronomy, "The Great American Hot Dog".

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Norman Van Aken's A Word On Food
8:00 am
Fri June 28, 2013

Cafe Con Leche: It's The First Kiss Of The Day

Credit Wikimedia Commons

Each day begins the same. It is want mixed with laziness. Which strikes me as why a café con leche is so perfect. The ‘want’ is the café. It is strong, primal, dark and concentrated. The ‘lazy’ is the leche, (the milk)…relaxing, passive, pure-white and life-giving. In the right ratio you can find the way to enter the day and go forth!

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Norman Van Aken's A Word On Food
8:00 am
Sat June 8, 2013

Big Steaks: Argentinian 'Matambre' Will Kill Your Hunger

Credit Norman Van Aken

Feeling carnal? Do you need to gnaw? Got a bone to chew on?

Here in the water wonderland of South Florida many of us are stampeding to steak houses like, well, like cattle.

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Norman Van Aken's A Word On Food
8:00 am
Sat June 1, 2013

Searching For The Origin Of The Chorizo

Credit Wikimedia Commons

Most everyone knows, but I will say it for the un-baptized…chorizo is a kind of sausage. The first time I remember seeing chorizo was back in my hometown of Diamond Lake, Illinois in 1965 or so. It was around that time that many Mexican families began to immigrate to the area. They worked very hard founding a close knit neighborhood, which eventually became part of the broader patchwork quilt that epitomizes so much of North America now.

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Norman Van Aken's A Word On Food
8:00 am
Sat May 25, 2013

Caesar Salad: The Most Unconquerable Of History's Salads

Credit domesticdaddy.net

Without a doubt this is history’s most unconquerable of all Caesars!

Go anywhere in the U.S. and, from truck stops to swank spots, this is the one salad you are most likely to encounter.

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Norman Van Aken's A Word On Food
8:00 am
Sat May 18, 2013

The Real Deal Story Behind The Cuban Boniato

Credit enenutricio.wordpress.com/

Back in the late 1990‘s at the original NORMAN’S restaurant in Coral Gables we had a young man who became our Lunch Chef named Eliecer Garcia. Like many young chefs he was very interested in cuisines from all over and when we talked about what to put on our lunch menu his ideas ranged from France to Hong Kong. I loved that but sometimes I’d say, “Eliecer. I want you to show me flavors your Cuban Grandmother would make and then we can twist them a little. Okay? Why don’t you show me how she would cook with … oh… boniato for instance? And then we’ll go from there.” 

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Norman Van Aken's A Word On Food
12:24 pm
Sun May 12, 2013

Hobo Packs: A Culinary Treat For Old Time's Sake

Janet's 'hobo pack' designer beans
Credit Norman Van Aken

We flew up to join the family to celebrate my Mother-in-Law’s 90th (!) Birthday Celebration. When our family gets together we, like many families, get straight to the heart of the matter. What are we cooking?! What are we eating?!

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Norman Van Aken's A Word On Food
8:00 am
Sat May 4, 2013

A Brief Taste Of The Latin American Tamale

We love to pack a little carry on of food before getting on a plane. It’s a fine way to pass the time and avoid the bland, predictable and unhealthy!

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Norman Van Aken's A Word On Food
8:00 am
Sat April 27, 2013

When Curry Chicken Calls, You Have To Answer

Credit Wikimedia Commons

I was sitting on the verandah of a hotel overlooking Waikiki beach waiting for a lunch menu. The mighty Pacific Ocean purred like a Lamborghini in the distance. I'd spent hours walking in Chinatown from early morning looking for beautiful and unique dishes I love to use for the thematic ‘Tasting Menus’ at our restaurant. But I had little luck and a keen hunger was rising up in me.

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South Florida Arts Beat
1:00 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

South Miami Cultural Arts Center, Hollywood ArtWalk, Chef Norman Van Aken & Miami Arts Calendar

South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center
http://www.smdcac.org/

04/26/13 - Next time on South Florida Arts Beat, Eric Fliss has all of the exciting details about events coming to the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center in Cutler Bay. Hollywood’s urban redevelopment continues with its Mural Project, their Downtown ArtWalk and their Live Music Initiative. Manny Pila tells us more.

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