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1921 by Norman Van Aken is the James Beard Award winning Chef’s restaurant in Mount Dora. Its forward-thinking outlook focuses on the bounty of ingredients and culinary traditions that encompass the local community. The restaurant is a true reflection of modern Florida cuisine.
Situated in a converted home built in 1921, the restaurant serves as a reminder that American cuisine is made up of a vast array of flavors, imparted by a wide range of explorers and immigrants. These culinary traditions have become entrenched in the land and local communities, including those found throughout Florida.
“With close access to some of the best local produce, meat, and seafood Florida has to offer, Mount Dora is a fitting location for us in terms of sourcing ingredients for our menu and connecting the restaurant with the local community that shapes our philosophy,” says Chef Van Aken. “I will be working directly with Chef de Cuisine, Camilo Velasco, to celebrate modern cooking while also incorporating time honored traditions of Florida.”
The philosophy of 1921 embraces sustainable practices when sourcing ingredients. The restaurant works closely with local farms and purveyors within Mount Dora and the surrounding area, maintaining an allegiance to the local growers, producers and food artisans of Florida.
1921 by Norman Van Aken is a vital part of the elegant Mount Dora Modernism Museum complex. This exceptional cultural, shopping and dining destination is the brainchild of Main Street Leasing. A feast for the eyes, as well as the palette, the restaurant features an extensive collection of artwork, including select pieces on loan from the Modernism Museum. This unique joint partnership between Main Street Leasing and Chef Van Aken brings the “art of dining” to life.
Chef Van Aken states, “1921 is my love letter to Florida and encompasses the totality of the state from its cuisine to its art to its culture and beyond. Just as the Modernist artists create their works from the tapestry of varying art styles, we create our menu out of the intricate matrix of cuisines found here.”