Norman's all-star anniversary party: Lagasse, Tower, Trotter, Fearing

Chef Norman Van Aken will celebrate the 10 year anniversary of his restaurant Norman’s at The Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes Orlando in stellar fashion Aug. 24. Joining Van Aken for the black-tie affair will be celebrity chefs Jeremiah Tower, Charlie Trotter, Emeril Lagasse, Dean Fearing and several local chefs including The Ritz-Carlton's Sean Woods.

Van Aken, who is known as the father of New World Cuisine, partnered with the Ritz-Carlton in 2003. The arrangement marked the first time the luxury hotelier had contracted with an independent chef. Van Aken's career has been marked by many other "firsts" and accolades.

He was the first to introduce food lovers to fusion fare and was the first American chef to become a member of the James Beard Foundation’s Board of Trustees. He won the prestigious James Beard Award, Best Chef in the Southeast in 1997. In 2006 he was honored as one of the “Founders of the New American Cuisine,” alongside Alice Waters, Paul Prudhomme, and Mark Miller at Spain’s International Summit of Gastronomy Madrid Fusion event.

For the anniversary event, Van Aken has also invited master sommeliers Andrew McNamara, Eric Hemer, George Miliotes, John Blazon and Brian Koziol to pair wines with each course.

The gala evening will begin at 6 p.m. with a cocktail reception followed by dinner at 7 p.m. The event will be in The Ritz-Carlton Plaza Ballroom.

The cost is $1,000 per person and includes a one night stay at the resort, autographed cookbooks by each of the chef-authors and an after dinner soiree  at Norman's with dancing, music, entertainment and libations.

For reservations call 407-393-4343.

This ticket is a bucket list event for true foodies. The talent Van Aken has assembled is amazing.

The resort is at 4040 Central Florida Parkway in Orlando.


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