Main content starts here, tab to start navigating


Book Cover

FLASH! This will be a postcard that will be history in one week! So, act now if you want to be a part of this very cool event.

We have invited New York based author Andrew Friedman to join me in a “Kitchen Conversation” that will start with one night at our newly opening “ITK” Cooking School right next to our restaurant here in Wynwood. The next night we will do this again at the landmark, “Books & Books” in Coral Gables. His book has already appeared in the pages of publications like ‘The Wall Street Journal’ and ‘Salon Magazine’. We will discuss ... while you have a few drinks and snacks and get one of the very first performances of the cultural mix that “In the Kitchen with Norman Van Aken” will be about. For tickets… Buy Here

Andrew has been making appearances in NYC. This is his South Florida visit. Get your autographed copy!

Here’s what his new book is all about.

Chefs, Drugs and Rock & Roll transports readers back in time to witness the remarkable evolution of the American restaurant chef in the 1970s and 1980s. Andrew Friedman goes inside Chez Panisse and other Bay Area restaurants to show how the politically charged backdrop of Berkeley helped spark this new profession; into the historically underrated community of Los Angeles chefs, including a young Wolfgang Puck; and into the clash of cultures between established French chefs in New York City and the American game changers behind the Quilted Giraffe, River Café, and other storied establishments. Along the way, the chefs, their struggles, their cliques, and, of course, their restaurants are brought to life in vivid, memorable detail. As the ’80s unspool, we watch the profession evolve as American masters like Thomas Keller rise, and watch the genesis of a “chef nation” as chefs start crisscrossing the country for work and special events and legendary hangouts like Blue Ribbon become social focal points, all as the industry-altering Food Network shimmers on the horizon.

A history told primarily in the words of the people who lived it.

And, yes…. I am one of the survivors!

— NVA.