Food News

Norman Van Aken Parts Ways With Three as It Announces Chef-in-Residence Program

Chef Norman Van Aken
Chef Norman Van Aken Photo by CandaceWest.com
Three has announced it has parted ways with founding chef and partner, Norman Van Aken. The amicable decision was made so the venerable chef can concentrate on other projects.

The James Beard Award winner has plenty on his plate, so to speak. The cookbook author is a chef/partner at Ad Lib in Coral Gables and helms Norman's at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando. Most recently, Van Aken opened two concepts at Time Out Market Miami: K'West by Norman Van Aken and Beach Pie. Both Time Out Market eateries are managed by Southbound Hospitality and its cofounders, Susan Buckley and Candace Walsh, who also manage Three and its rooftop bar, No. 3 Social.

The Wynwood restaurant will now incorporate a chef-in-residency series, with different toques creating new menus on a rotating basis.

Ari Taymor of Little Prince in Los Angeles is the first chef to take the reins at Three. Billed as an "all-day brunch café," Little Prince began as a pop-up concept. The restaurant, named for the beloved children's book, became a permanent Santa Monica eatery last year. Prior to joining Little Prince, Taymor worked in Michelin-starred and James Beard-winning eateries in San Francisco and southern France before opening his first restaurant, Alma, in 2012. The Los Angeles-based restaurant was named best new restaurant in America by Bon Appétit in 2013, and Taymor was nominated for a Beard Rising Star Chef award in 2015. He is the nephew of theatrical and film director Julie Taymor, who won a 1998 Tony Award for her directorial work on The Lion King.

During his tenure at Three, Taymor will curate and design completely new menus for dinner and brunch. In addition, he will create a new cocktail for the restaurant, conduct cooking classes, and host special dinners. The chef will also introduce Three's Miami Spice three-course prix fixe in August and September. Three will also offer à la carte dining in addition to its multicourse menus.

Taymor says he plans to incorporate his SoCal roots with inspirations from summer in South Florida. “Both places are melting-pot cities filled with diverse landscapes and people, and I’m very excited to bring a little of the West Coast to Miami," he says. Some new dishes include carrots and peaches with coconut and exotic spices; cabbage grilled over the fire with young garlic, smoked almonds, and a cured egg; and smoked and grilled whole lamb shoulder with cilantro and black vinegar chimichurri. Prices are not yet available.

Three cofounder Buckley is looking forward to what Taymor will bring to the table at the restaurant. “It’s an honor to collaborate with Chef Ari as he brings his Southern California charm, craftsmanship, and culinary prowess to Miami this summer,” she says.

Three. 50 NW 24th St., Miami; 305-748-4540; threewynwood.com.
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Laine Doss is the food and spirits editor for Miami New Times. She has been featured on Cooking Channel's Eat Street and Food Network's Great Food Truck Race. She won an Alternative Weekly award for her feature about what it's like to wait tables.
Contact: Laine Doss