The celebrity chef that placed Mount Dora on Florida’s culinary map has moved on.
Chef Norman Van Aken, a James Beard award-winner and author of several cookbooks, is no longer affiliated with the Central Florida city’s restaurant “1921 by Norman Van Aken.”
The celebrated chef partnered with Mount Dora resident Ken Mazik, principal of Main Street Leasing, to open the downtown restaurant in a renovated historic home built in 1921. The location had previously housed the iconic Garden Gate Tea Room.
1921, a 150-seat restaurant, opened just over two years ago in August, 2016. Prior to its opening, Van Aken stated he envisioned Mount Dora like an early version of Napa Valley, yet the realities of the demographics were vastly different.
Recent rumors of the parting made the announcement not completely unexpected. Now the restaurant's name will just be 1921. Meanwhile, Van Aken will continue his culinary mission at the acclaimed Norman’s restaurant in nearby Orlando.
Mazik’s company owns several historic buildings in downtown Mount Dora and he was the founder of the area's Carlton Palms educational facility and the Modernism Museum.
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