Orange Bowl

Van Aken headlines celebrity chefs

For more information or to purchase VIP or general admission tickets, please call 305-341-4701.
© Orange Bowl Staff

Miami Lakes, FL( –James Beard inductee and chef, Norman Van Aken of NORMAN’S at The Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes will headline a group of celebrity chefs at the annual Orange Bowl Impact and Excellence (OBIE) Awards: A Taste of South Florida presented by Florida Blue and supported by Publix Super Markets on May 30, 2014 at the Broward County Convention Center located at 1950 Eisenhower Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, FL.  

Van Aken, known as “the founding father of New World Cuisine,” a celebration of Latin, Caribbean, Asian, African and American flavors, is also known internationally for introducing the concept of “Fusion” to the culinary world.

He is the only Floridian inducted into the prestigious James Beard list of “Who’s Who in American Food and Beverage.” His restaurant “NORMAN’S” was nominated as a finalist for the James Beard Foundation’s “Best Restaurant in America”. He has been a James Beard Foundation semi-finalist for “Best Chef in America”. The James Beard Foundation also awarded him “Best Chef in the Southeast.”  Van Aken’s additional awards and accolades include being named “Top 10 restaurants in America” by Condé Nast Traveler, and The New York Times has stated that “NORMAN’s is the best restaurant in South Florida and Norman Van Aken is its best chef.”

No stranger to the media, Van Aken has appeared on many television programs including CNN, to Emeril, to Jimmy Kimmel Live. He also hosts his own radio show, “A Word on Food,” which appears each week on NPR station WLRN.

His new book is a memoir, titled “No Experience Necessary: The Culinary Odyssey of Chef Norman Van Aken”, which has been praised by the likes of Thomas Keller, Mario Batali, Emeril Lagasse, Wolfgang Puck, and the late, great Charlie Trotter. It has also been nominated for the prestigious IACP/Julia Child Award.

The OBIEs will feature a night of extraordinary food, entertainment and celebrates those who share Orange Bowl’s mission of giving back to the South Florida community. Chef Norman Van Aken will host the event’s VIP reception and VIP ticket patrons will have the opportunity to meet Chef Norman Van Aken and will receive an autographed copy of “No Experience Necessary.”

A number of South Florida’s top restaurants will also participate in the OBIEs and offer tastings to capture the title of best chef/restaurant as chosen by the event attendees.  Van Aken headlines an already impressive lineup of South Florida’s celebrity chefs and restaurants including Ralph Paganoof Naked Taco and Alba Seaside Italian, and Paula DaSilva of 3030 Ocean. Both Pagano and DaSilva appeared on FOX’s popular show, Hell’s Kitchen, with DaSilva earning runner-up honors on season five. Other featured restaurants include Fort Lauderdale’s popular YOLO and S3 along with 1826 and Anthony’s Coal Fire Pizza. Both of which recently landed on OpenTable’s prestigious Top 100 Hot Spot Restaurants in America, based on diners’ reviews. Additional chefs and restaurants will be added at later dates.

The evening will be hosted by South Florida radio legend Paul Castronovo from the Paul & Young Ron Morning Show on Big 105.9. Musical entertainment will be provided by Miami’s own DJ Cruz.

Over the years, the Orange Bowl has been able to invest millions of dollars in the South Florida youth and sports through support of intercollegiate athletics, education, events, organizations and causes, in addition to the tremendous economic impact it provides. At this year’s event, more than $100,000 will be given back to the South Florida community.

Beneficiaries include the Make-a-Wish Foundation of Southern Florida and Special Olympics Florida. Several high school senior student athletes will receive scholarships and additional proceeds will go toward the Orange Bowl the Leadership and Character Academy, which is scheduled to launch a pilot program in the fall.

The Orange Bowl will also recognize two individuals for the impact they have made in the community and youth sports with the Orange Bowl Keith Tribble Impact Award and the Orange Bowl Jr. Courage Award.

Florida Blue has partnered with the Orange Bowl sponsoring the annual benefit for the last decade. Joining Florida Blue to celebrate scholastic achievement and outstanding community service is supporting sponsor Publix Super Markets. Additional event sponsors include AutoNation, Deloitte, FedEx Express, Gold Coast Beverage Distributors, Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB, Stella Artois, Sun Life Stadium / Miami Dolphins, TD Bank.

For more information or to purchase VIP or general admission tickets, please call 305-341-4701 or go to


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