Norman Van Aken may not be a household name like some of his friends, but that's probably the way he wants it. Credited with being one of the founders of New World Cuisine, Van Aken paved the way for his publicly celebrated friends, such as Emeril Lagasse, Anthony Bourdain, and Mario Batali by creating (and making the world take notice of) the culinary revolution taking hold in the U.S. during the 1980s.
All photos courtesy Norman Van Aken Van Aken looks back at the road less traveled in his memoir, No Experience Necessary.
Before becoming an internationally renowned chef, he worked as a carny and sold flowers in Hawaii barefoot. He is more public radio than Food Network; more Key West than South Beach. Van Aken may be a chef, but everything he experienced on the path to discovering that calling has made him a storyteller, a skill he displays on his NPR radio show, "A Word on Food" and in his new book, No Experience Necessary: The Culinary Odyssey of Chef Norman Van Aken.More »