No More Norman?

Has star chef Norman Van Aken been booted from his own restaurant, Norman’s 180 in Coral Gables? Rumors are flying. Despite the fact that a publicist says all is well and Van Aken is still in place there, at least three sources confirm the rumor. In addition to some departed kitchen staff, we heard from a source who likened Van Aken’s relationship with the restaurant’s investors to a bad marriage, saying it’s most likely headed for divorce court.
Van Aken addressed the rumors on Oct. 18 on Twitter: “I am still Chef at Normans 180 and [co] Chef Phil B [Bryant] is still there too. Rumors otherwise are bogus. Cooking in Nashville. Back in 180 on 10/19!” On Oct. 20, however, Van Aken was in his beloved Key West, tweeting “I hope you understand but I just had to get back to The Island again.” Which brings up another rumor: that the chef will be leaving the Coral Gables restaurant for one in Key West. And the mill churns …
In other Miami restaurant news, chef/restaurateur Jonathan Eismann has confirmed the sale of his two Design District restaurants Q American Barbeque and Fin. No word on what’s going in there next, but we’ll keep you posted.



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