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What would you say are the newest "trends" ?


Kbear919
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The direction of cuisine is twofold.

One is a downward trend with the proliferation of crappy chains like Chili's/TGIFs etc. Regional-ness is lost and the public's tastes are homogenized by these villains.

The other is, at least in PA, a greater trend to BYO places that specialize in keeping a small place that makes great food. Artisanal cooking. Often the chef-owner is burned out from the line at a fine food place...or grossed out by what he's doing at a Chili's. These places can be phenomenal.

Edited by gfweb (log)
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The gourmet burger has been played out in my opinion..

What new techniques in the kitchen, types of restaurants and directions of cuisine are people seeing?

From what I've seen:

- Foams

- Local, organic produce

- Domestic, artisnal cheeses

- Peruvian chicken restaurants

- Papusas

- More pho restaurants

- More integration between restaurants/food service and wine shops

- Weight Watchers-friendly menus (total points)

What seems to be passe:

- Martini bars

- Cigar bars/clubs

- Atkins-friendly menus (total net carbs)

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Nation's Restaurant News predicts the following for 2008. This is overall market stuff, as opposed to what's going on at the gourmet end of the spectrum:

8 trends for ’08

    *

      FULL FLAVOR

    *

      ROASTING

    *

      GRILLING

    *

      SPICINESS

    *

      BLENDING OF CUISINES

    *

      HERB INFUSIONS—PARTICULARLY FOR BEVERAGES

    *

      HEIGHTENED ALLERGY AWARENESS

    *

      SMALLER INDULGENCES, ESPECIALLY FOR DESSERT

FAD ABOUT TO FLOP?

LOW CARB

That "blending of cuisines" one, that's pretty cutting edge, huh?

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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As said elsewhere re. restaurants, high quaity food in less expensive surroundings. Organic foods are just starting to get a real foothold, and due to high prices of commercial products ($4.50 fo a gallon of milk), we may see a larger return to local artisan foods in retail and resturants.

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The "small plates" trend and its sinister upscale cousin, the "tasting menu" aren't new, but they seem to be picking up steam here in DC. Likewise, we're seeing the rise of the "boutique chain," if you will, with local chefs spinning off new places like mad even as Ripert and Puck and are set to arrive in town (and Jose Andres opens something in LA). And a few years after Nuevo Latino failed to conquer the world, we're getting a new influx of mid- and upscale Latin American restaurants that are pleasantly removed from those places where they smoosh your guacamole tableside in order to make you think that their margaritas really are worth $14.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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As said elsewhere re. restaurants, high quaity food in less expensive surroundings. Organic foods are just starting to get a real foothold, and due to high prices of commercial products ($4.50 fo a gallon of milk), we may see a larger return to local artisan foods in retail and resturants.

So you think that a small farmer is going to be putting their kids through college and paying their mortgage selling organic milk for less than $4.50 a gallon? I hate to break it to you, but everywhere I've shopped the cost of responsibly produced ingredients is higher than the factory farmed alternatives.

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No trends in my town, but in my travels it seems everyone is co-opting the tapas concept. This and the tasting menus are perverted cousins, so if you drive the porsche you eat tasting menu, if you drive a caddy then you eat tapas. Either way - less commitment and higher payout.

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As said elsewhere re. restaurants, high quaity food in less expensive surroundings. Organic foods are just starting to get a real foothold, and due to high prices of commercial products ($4.50 fo a gallon of milk), we may see a larger return to local artisan foods in retail and resturants.

So you think that a small farmer is going to be putting their kids through college and paying their mortgage selling organic milk for less than $4.50 a gallon? I hate to break it to you, but everywhere I've shopped the cost of responsibly produced ingredients is higher than the factory farmed alternatives.

But if the price of factory farmed good rises relative to organic and artisan goods, you might see a shift. Restaurant X may not be able to afford local milk that's twice as expensive as the wholesale stuff, but if its only 40% more expensive, they may be able and willing to make a shift.

That being said, DC still doesn't do much organic, but the "local" thing continues to expand.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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Local farmers can compete better if their market prices become similar to that of commercial farms. If general market prices rise to the level that local farmers need to make their mortgages and put their kids through college..., well, there might be more of them.

Here in Austin, we've been buying locally grown produce for decades, I'd like to see that done in more places.

Edited by BigboyDan (log)
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So far I'm seeing a lot less in foams and froths, and more long cooks, braises, sous vides, etc.

I do think that the molecular gastronomy work is going to filter down into more kitchens, and tricks will become techniques (I'd say that Paul Pairet's Jade on 36 is a good example of this - effective cooking using new methods, but not obsessed by the gimmickry). Anybody know where I can buy a liquid nitrogen company?

Vegetables are seen to be coming back, but while I think there's always a place for fresh produce, I don't see them holding the main place. I think we'll see a lot of good quality produce working its way in to middle spot in the menus.

Fusion, or "???/Pacific" cuisine (fill in the question marks) will stop getting the bad press it has ("fusion confusion" is still in use). You'll see more Asian ingredients creeping into things (the way lemon grass has taken over in some of the Paris bistros). My favourite, Szechuan peppercorn, may be the next big flavour.

And, countering fusion, I think you'll see more and more people looking for authentic ethnic cuisine. The trick is if enough people will like it when they find it, and provide enough cash to keep it on the table.

Cheers,

Peter

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That being said, DC still doesn't do much organic, but the "local" thing continues to expand.

You raise an interesting point. Ironically, the organic / local influence may be working from the 'burbs in.

Take, for example, the use of local / organic ingredients at the Inn at Little Washington and (the now defunct) Four and Twenty Blackbirds. Since those restaurants are amidst the cows, vineyards and fields, I think the local-thing worked at a level that you see in Napa and Sonoma. I think that influence is creeping in toward the city.

I also think of my local farmer's market (In Burke, VA) and have noticed that patronage continues to grow each year.

Edited by Vicious Wadd (log)
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Foam, floam, just stop the foams already. And the sauce smear everyone does.

No kidding. That smear looks like poop on a plate.

And while we're at it, can we please stop with the garnishes on everything? I like obscure microgreens as much as the next self-styled gourmet, but I fail to see how a tiny sprig of microcilantro elevates a bowl of rice.

And that big ol' sprig of rosemary they still use in the land beyond the outer boroughs is NOT attractive.

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I'm seeing and hearing about:

--Savoury chocolate 'tastings', i.e., pairing not-sweet great chocolate with savoury ingredients

--Korean, Goan and Uyghur food [in Montreal] seem to be the next big things

--Kitsch nostalgia food (70s dinner party food, basically)

--Herb infusions in sugar syrup for cocktails, iced teas, deserts, etc.

--Functional foods and nutraceuticals (Coke with vitamins, anti-oxidant enhanced foods)

--...

"The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the ocean."

--Isak Dinesen

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These are trends that seem to be going mainstream

-organic is surely taking foothold, but what's interesting is people are confusing "organic" with healthy and still eating too much :)

- local seems to be very important, and potentially a more powerful indication of quality and political correctness than "organic"

-natural seems to be very important

-trans fats and high fructose corn syrup are definitely things you don't want in your list of ingredients

- in pastry and confectionary, it seems combining savory with sweet is going mainstream as noted above.

- I think our dear Rachel is on her way out.

Stephanie Crocker

Sugar Bakery + Cafe

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