We’ve all been there: searching for work but unable to find a break because of a lack of necessary experience. This rings true for every profession, cooking included. Yet there’s always hope. Chef Norman Van Aken began his illustrious cooking career by answering an advertisement in the newspaper that called for a short-order cook with “no experience necessary,” hence the title of his new memoir, No Experience Necessary. In his sixth published book, Van Aken spans 20 years of his life and recalls the memorable experiences that helped him become the culinary icon he is today. He has worked all over South Florida — from Key West to downtown Miami — and has seen and cooked it all. Van Aken is a culinary gem. He currently works as the chef and director of restaurants at the Miami Culinary Institute at Miami Dade College and is the mastermind behind the institute’s restaurant, Tuyo, as well as Norman’s at the Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes Orlando.
Fri., Dec. 6, 6:30-8:30 p.m., 2013