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Chef Norman Van Aken's $1,000 star-studded anniversary dinner

Staff writer

Looking to spend $1,000 on a once in a lifetime meal?

Head to Orlando the weekend of August 23 when Norman Van Aken, the founding father of New World Cuisine, celebrates the 10th anniversary of his Norman’s at The Ritz-Carlton, Grande Lakes, with a star-studded dinner.

Joining Van Aken at the eight-course black-tie dinner are legends Charlie Trotter, Emeril Lagasse, Jeremiah Tower and Dean Fearing, who, along with Van Aken, will each create a signature dish on the evening’s menu.

The ticket price includes the meal, a meet the chef’s reception the day before, an overnight stay at the resort and autographed cookbooks from each of the chefs. A portion of the proceeds benefits the Orlando Ballet

After a champagne reception, the August 24th dinner includes: oyster tartare, braised octopus and Kastakan pork belly (Tower); artichoke soup with Hamachi, rapini and saffron aioli (Trotter); Florida shrimp and Mirliton stuffed quail with grilled wild mushroom salad Lagasse); roasted pompano stuffed with Butifarra sausage, with caramelized cured foie gras and a veal-porto reduction (Van Aken with chef Juan Rendon of Norman’s Orlando); and maple soaked buffalo tenderloin, chile braised rabbit enchilada, with cooling fiesta salad and salsas (Fearing).

Van Aken was executive chef at a Lake Forest, Ill., restaurant in the early ‘80s when he hired Trotter to work in his kitchen. Trotter, who had been working as a busboy, now operates what is considered one of the finest restaurant’s in the world, Charlie Trotter’s in Chicago.

Along with his Orlando restaurants, Van Aken is chef and director of restaurants at The Miami Culinary Institute, home to the roof top Tuyo restaurant downtown Miami.

For more information and tickets, email or call 407-393-4343.

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