Norman Van Aken
Long before Jimmy Buffett wrote “Margaritaville” about Key West, James Beard award-winning chef Norman Van Aken had already pledged allegiance to the magical little scrap of land at the end of the rainbow. He and his son follow up that pledge with My Key West Kitchen: Recipes and Stories (Kyle Books, $29.95). Part cookbook, part travelogue, part memoir, the two stroll through the streets of Key West, reminiscing and recreating dishes from “little joints,” established restaurants, and from the kitchens of friends and family past and present. “. . .a brilliant tour of one of the most special places in America.”—Mario Batali. Van Aken, known internationally as “the founding father of New World Cuisine,” is the chef and director of restaurants at Miami Dade College’s Miami Culinary Institute.