Menu Trends: What You’ll See and What You Won’t

image via Deep South Sweets

image via Deep South Sweets


Menus are making way for upgraded oatmeal and turmeric everything.
Ricotta is the new Greek yogurtAncient grains are bumping sweet potatoes right off the plate. Iced tea is getting a makeover while iced coffee holds its ground.
So says a survey of 1,575 chefs-members of the American Culinary Federation. The National Restaurant Association asked the chefs to comment on a couple of hundred food items and identify the ingredients, influences, dishes, and techniques that are shaking things up on the nation’s menus.

Hot Trends:

  • chef-driven fast casual concepts
  • make it in-house (small-batch condiments, ice cream, pickles, and charcuterie)
  • DIY (brew your own beer, butcher your own meats, mill your own flours)
  • street food influences
  • heirloom apples
  • ancient (and inadvertently gluten-free) grains (teff, amaranth, millet)
  • new ethnic condiments (harissa, peri peri, chimichurri)
  • African flavors
  • regional gravy (red-eye, tasso, black pepper)
  • Southeast Asian cuisines
  • prix fixe brunch menus
  • specialty iced tea (Thai, matcha, Southern sweet tea)
  • grain bowls and porridges
  • native herbs (lovage, lemon balm, hyssop, angelica)
  • sustainable fish varieties

Yesterday’s News:

  • deviled eggs
  • tater tots
  • flatbread appetizers
  • wedge salads
  • vegetables in desserts
  • smoked salt
  • edible insects
  • bone marrow and organ meats
  • foams

There are the new movers and shakers, the trends that are hanging on past their prime, and then there are the perennials. Chefs identified the classic dishes that are enjoying a certain current popularity, but are eternally welcome at the table:

  • fried chicken
  • biscuits
  • barbecue
  • French toast
  • pulled pork
  • comfort foods
  • classic desserts (fruit cobblers, profiteroles)
  • bacon

 

2 Responses to Menu Trends: What You’ll See and What You Won’t

  1. Janice says:

    I’d happily swap the french toast for last year’s marrow bones and deviled eggs. Talk about cholesterol!

  2. Tom Adams says:

    So is cholesterol increasing among the avant foodies? Seems that the last group of foods are pretty darned full of it, though I’ll admit to having a certain yearning for French Toast.

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