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Miami Culinary Institute’s Chef Norman Van Aken Named to James Beard Foundation’s National Advisory Board

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Miami, August 19, 2013 - Chef Norman Van Aken, Director of Restaurants at Miami Dade College’s (MDC) Miami Culinary Institute (MCI), is now a member of The James Beard Foundation’s National Advisory Board, a network of industry leaders who lend their culinary expertise and knowledge to the Foundation in various ways. The MCI is an educational component of the college’s International Hospitality Center.

The Institute’s renowned restaurant, Tuyo, is led by Chef Van Aken, internationally known as “the founding father of New World Cuisine” for his celebration of Latin, Caribbean, Asian, African, and American flavors. He is also regarded for introducing the concept of “fusion” to the culinary world, and is the only Floridian to be inducted into the prestigious James Beard Foundation’s Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America. Chef Van Aken is also the author of five cookbooks, a memoir that will be released this fall and currently has a weekly radio show on WLRN 91.3 FM called “A Word on Food” (   

Founded in 1986, the James Beard Foundation is dedicated to celebrating, preserving, and nurturing America’s culinary heritage and diversity in order to elevate the appreciation of culinary excellence. A cookbook author and teacher with an encyclopedic knowledge about food, James Beard, who died in 1985, was a champion of American cuisine. He helped educate and mentor generations of professional chefs and food enthusiasts. Today, the Beard Foundation continues in the same spirit by administering a number of diverse programs that include educational initiatives, food industry awards, scholarships to culinary schools, and publications, and by maintaining the historic James Beard House in New York City’s Greenwich Village as a “performance space” for visiting chefs. For more information, please visit

The MCI has a solid seed-to-soil philosophy incorporated in the training, which serves as an important learning ingredient for students while honing their professional culinary skills. This fosters eco-sustainable learning, ultimately benefiting our planet and the people on it. 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. 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 student-run café and bakery, and Tuyo on the top floor with panoramic views of the city. 

To learn more about the Miami Culinary Institute, please visit  

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