ABOUT 1921 BY NORMAN VAN AKEN
“1921 by Norman Van Aken” is the James Beard Award winning Chef’s restaurant in Mount Dora taking a forward-thinking outlook on the bounty of ingredients and culinary traditions that encompass the local community as well as a true reflection of modern Florida cuisine.
Situated in a converted home built in 1921, the restaurant serves as a reminder that America and its varying historic cuisines are made up of a vast array of recipes and flavors imparted by a wide range of explorers and immigrants. These culinary traditions have become entrenched in the land and local communities found throughout Florida and the world.
“With close access to some of the best local produce, meat, and seafood Florida has to offer, Mount Dora is a fitting location for us in terms of sourcing ingredients for our menu and connecting the restaurant with the local community that shapes our philosophy,” said Chef Van Aken. “I will be working directly with Chef de Cuisine, Camilo Velasco, to celebrate modern cooking while also incorporating time honored traditions of Florida.”
The philosophy of 1921 embraces sustainable practices when sourcing ingredients. The restaurant will work closely with local farms and purveyors within Mount Dora and the surrounding area, maintaining an allegiance to the local growers, producers and food artisans of Florida.
1921 by Norman Van Aken completes the elegant Mount Dora Modernism Museum complex. The creation, design and execution of this exceptional cultural, shopping and dining collaboration is the brainchild of partner Main Street Leasing. A feast for the eyes, as well as the palette, the restaurant features an extensive collection of artwork, with select pieces on loan from the Modernism Museum. This unique joint partnership between Main Street Leasing and Chef Van Aken brings the art of dining to life in its truest sense.
Chef Van Aken states, “1921 is my love letter to Florida and encompasses the totality of the state from its cuisine to its art to its culture and beyond. Just as the Modernist artists create their works from the tapestry of varying art styles, we create our menu out of the intricate matrix of cuisines found here.”