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Download No Experience Necessary: The Culinary Odyssey of Chef Norman Van Aken Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample No Experience Necessary: The Culinary Odyssey of Chef Norman Van Aken, by Norman Van Aken Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Norman Van Aken Narrator: Norman Van Ake Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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No Experience Necessary is Chef Norman Van Aken’s joyride of a memoir. In it he spans twenty-plus years and nearly as many jobs—including the fateful job advertisement in the local paper for a short-order cook with “no experience necessary.”

Long considered a culinary renegade and a pioneering chef, Van Aken is an American original who chopped and charred, sweated and seared his way to cooking stardom with no formal training, but with extra helpings of energy, creativity, and faith.

After landing on the deceptively breezy shores of Key West, Van Aken faced hurricanes, economic downturns, and mercurial moneymen during the decades when a restaurant could open and close faster than you can type haute cuisine. From a graveyard shift grunt at an all-night barbeque joint to a James Beard Award finalist for best restaurant in America, Van Aken put his trusting heart, poetic soul, natural talent, and ever-expanding experience into every venture—and helped transform the American culinary landscape along the way.

In the irreverent tradition of Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential, and populated by a rogues’ gallery of colorful characters—including movie stars, legendary musicians, and culinary giants Julia Child, Emeril Lagasse, and Charlie Trotter—No Experience Necessary offers a uniquely personal, highly-entertaining under-the-tablecloth view of the high-stakes world of American cuisine told with wit, insight, and great affection by a natural storyteller.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Norman Van Aken is the Jimmy Page of his profession—a man who was there at almost every important moment in its history.”

    Anthony Bourdain, New York Times bestselling author of Medium Raw

  • “Bawdy, bizarre, and often brilliant…One of the most delightful menu-writers of his generation, Van Aken has crafted an exhilarating groaning board of uninhibited culinary writing.”


  • “Entertaining…Those who love food, food culture, South Florida, and biographies will enjoy this romp through the 1970s and 1980s as Van Aken evolves from entry-level cook to a famous chef, with many stops in between.”

    Library Journal

  • “Not only is Norman Van Aken’s culinary career astonishing, but his personal journey is perhaps even more amazing. He is completely self-taught as a chef, and he is perhaps the most literary-focused culinarian in America. This wonderful book brilliantly documents his extraordinary odyssey.”

    Charlie Trotter, James Beard Award–winning chef

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About the Author

Norman Van Aken is known as the founding father of New World Cuisine, a celebration of Latin, Caribbean, Asian, African, and American flavors. He is also known internationally for introducing the concept of “fusion” to the culinary world. Van Aken is the only Floridian inducted into the prestigious James Beard “Who’s Who in American Food and Beverage”; his restaurant, Norman’s, was nominated as a finalist for the James Beard Foundation’s “Best Restaurant in America.” His cookbooks include Feast of SunlightThe Great Exotic Fruit BookNorman’s New World CuisineNew World Kitchen, and My Key West Kitchen. He lives in Miami, Florida.