Florida celebrity chef Norman Van Aken opening restaurant in Mount Dora

By Heather McPherson, Contact Reporter - Orlando Sentinel October 1, 2015, 3:14 PM

Chef Norman Van Aken is opening a new restaurant in downtown Mount Dora "by the first of 2016." Van Aken, who has played a pivotal role in changing the way the culinary world looks at Florida fare, was drawn to Central Florida by the proximity to farms and local purveyors.

"Norman's at the Ritz Carlton in Orlando will continue to showcase my signature fine dining dishes, " said the 64-year-old chef who is widely regarded as the founding father of New World Cuisine.

"The new restaurant, which is still under interior construction, will have a refined rustic cuisine. Denim shirts as opposed to tuxedos, if you will."

The new eatery is yet to be named but Van Aken says it's a good bet that "1921" and his name will be part of it. The date is in relief on the building owned by Main Street Leasing. 

The space was formerly occupied by the Garden Gate Tea Room on Fourth Avenue next to the Modernism Museum gift store.

Van Aken said the synergy between the spaces and the potential for growth in Mount Dora is already influencing his menu.  Read more at: Orlando Sentinel

Dan Saal