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Lagasse, Trotter, Tower and Others Will Help Van Aken Commemorate Norman’s 10th Anniversary

Written By Scott Joseph On April 11, 2013

food vanakenHow’s this for a party?

Norman Van Aken’s restaurant, Norman’s at the Ritz-Carlton, is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, so Van Aken has invited a few friends to help him commemorate the milestone. That’s nothing new — he and his staff put on a fabulous dinner every year to mark the anniversary, and the dinner often is prepared by some of the area’s well-known chefs who gather at the beautiful Grande Lakes restaurant for the occasion. Here is a video from one a couple of years ago that featured Scott Hunnel of Victoria & Albert’s, James and Julie Petrakis of the Ravenous Pig and Brandon McGlamery of Luma on Park. Two of our local master sommeliers participated, too.

But Van Aken knew he had to do something really special for the tenth. Let’s face it: tin or aluminum just wouldn’t do.

So here’s what he’s thrown together for the dinner on August 24. He’s invited Emeril Lagasse, Charlie Trotter, Jeremiah Tower, Dean Fearing and several as-yet-unnamed local chefs to help him put together the dinner. For the wines, not two, not three, but five master sommeliers: Central Florida’s John Blazon, Brian Koziol and George Miliotes, as well as Andrew McNamara and Eric Hemer from South Florida. Five celebrity chefs plus five master sommeliers equals ten!

Tickets for the black-tie gala are $1000 per person, which includes one night’s stay at the Ritz. (I’m not sure that gratuity is included, but let’s assume for now that it is.) Guests will also receive autographed copies of cookbooks from the celebrity chefs. And after the dinner there will be entertainment, music and dancing.

Seating, of course, is limited. For more information, call Laura Errington at Norman’s, 407-393-4343.

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