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MCI Director of Restaurants Chef Norman Van Aken Named a Silver Star Restaurateur

Norman Van Aken 6

Chef Norman Van Aken

Miami, May 7, 2012 - The South Florida chapter of NEWH, a networking resource for the hospitality industry, recently inducted Miami Culinary Institute’s (MCI) Director of Restaurants, Chef Norman Van Aken, as a Silver Star Restaurateur. The award was presented at the organization’s annual Hospitality Scholarship Awards Dinner, held at the Institute’s crowning jewel restaurant, Tuyo, located at Miami Dade College’s (MDC) Wolfson Campus in downtown Miami.        

The Silver Star Restaurateur award recognizes individuals in South Florida with more than 25 years as exemplary leaders in the hospitality industry. Chef Van Aken, known as the “Founder of New World Cuisine,” is a James Beard Inductee and longtime international celebrity. 

In addition, NEWH awarded MCI student Alessandra Alvarez a scholarship.

Founded in 1984, NEWH is an international non-profit organization, with 18 chapters and 5 affiliated areas that supports education and provides networking opportunities for professionals in the hospitality industry. To learn more about NEWH, please visit

The MCI is an educational component of the International Hospitality Center at MDC. The Institute’s eight-story building is an architectural and engineering marvel focusing on exceptional space utilization, generating a limited carbon footprint and is currently tracking Gold LEED Certification. MCI has a solid seed-to-soil philosophy incorporated in the training, which serves as an important learning ingredient for the students while honing their professional culinary skills. This fosters eco-sustainable learning, ultimately benefiting our planet and the people on it.

The building features multipurpose organic kitchen and baking labs, a food and beverage theater with global connectivity capabilities through the latest A/V technology, a first-floor student run café and bakery, and, on the top floor, the Institute’s exceptional dining gem: the restaurant Tuyo, an exquisite fusion of New World cuisine under the direction of award-winning Chef Norman Van Aken.

To learn more about the Miami Culinary Institute, please visit


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