Cuban Guys in Hialeah

The Grinder

Burger Beast’s The Grinder: Chef Norman Van Aken

From winning a James Beard Award to having Playboy magazine naming one of his restaurants “One of the 25 Best Restaurants in America.”, is there anything left for Chef Norman Van Aken to do in the culinary world? Sure, a return to Coral Gables with Norman’s 180 and of course, Burger Beast’s The Grinder:

Burger Beast: What’s the best Burger you’ve ever had?

Norman Van Aken: My wife Janet’s “BBQ Stuffed Mushroom Burgers.”

BEAST: What’s the worst idea you’ve ever heard of (or tried) for a Burger?

Van Aken: Boxed frozen pre-made hockey puck burgers made from questionable parts of animals and plants.

BEAST: Are toasted buns necessary? Yes or No?

Van Aken: Yes. It adds in the sweet caramelization.

BEAST: 20 years from now Burgers will…

Van Aken: … probably be illegal.

BEAST: Who did you name the “WIG” Burger (from the Norman’s 180 menu) after, hmm…?

Van Aken: Don King and Dolly Parton.

BEAST: If you arm wrestled Emeril Lagasse for a Burger, who would win?

Van Aken: Me. Picture proof:



About Burger Beast’s The Grinder:

What happens when I ask some chefs, restaurant owners and maybe even celebrities, yes I said celebrities about burgers and other things not pertaining to burgers? You get The Grinder. So sit back, read and enjoy.

“Maybe I even thought there was indeed some small possibility of a “good time”–but I surely had reason to know better. I did know better. But I walked straight into the grinder anyway.” – A.B.

Make sure you check out all the episodes of The Grinder.

About the author

Burger Beast

Eat. Write. Read. Repeat.

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