Norman Van Aken, owner of Norman’s at the Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes in Orlando, will be among the chefs judging the 2010 Bocuse d’Or USA competition this weekend at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. The winner of the competition will represent the United States at next year’s Bocuse d’Or in Lyons, France. Van Aken’s fellow judges include Grant Achatz, Paul Bartolotta, Traci Des Jardins, Paul Liebrandt, Walter Manzke, David Myers, Daniel Patterson, Georges Perrier, Alain Sailhac, André Soltner, Susan Spicer, Laurent Tourondel, Alan Wong and Eric Ziebold.
Often referred to as the Olympics for the culinary world, Bocuse d’Or is the biennial competition that challenges chefs from around the world to outcook each other. Bocuse d’Or was founded by Paul Bocuse, one of the owners of Les Chefs de France at Epcot.
Following the weekend event, Van Aken will return to Central Florida for a special Bocuse d’Or fundraising dinner at his restaurant on Wednesday, Feb. 10. The menu will honor Bocuse (who turns 84 the following day) with such dishes as black truffle soup elysee en croute, French toast with foie gras, and Painted Hills roasted beef tenderloin. The five-course dinner is open to the public and costs $150 per person, all inclusive, with wine pairings. The dinner begins with a Champagne reception at 7 p.m. For reservations call 407-393-4333. Click here to see the entire menu.
Norman’s is the only Florida restaurant invited to participate in the nationwide event. Other restaurants include Stir in Boston, Alinea in Chicago, Corton in New York City, and RN74, Jardiniere, La Folie, and Coi in San Francisco.