Tasting menus, high-end chicken, upscale food halls and Asian flavors are among the top food and beverage trends that meeting professionals can expect to see in 2014, according to food and restaurant consultants Baum+Whiteman (B+W), which has released its list of the 12 Hottest Food & Beverage Trends for Restaurants and Hotel Dining for 2014.
“This years trends are about the experiential, saidagency president Andrew Freeman in a statement.
And a new experience is exactly what we’re seeing predicted. So far, 2014 looks like it’s going to be about culinary creations like mixing age-old favourites chocolate with not-so-popular veggies like eggplant, and changing up traditional dishes like Cobb salad to give them a flavourful kick.
Other trend forecasters, predicts buzzy menu options likecreative cauliflower, Jewish-Japanese fusion cooking and even Middle Eastern dishes called “shakshuka”being a big hit next year. We’ll be saying goodbye to 2013 superfood favourites like kale and quinoa and introducing other pantry must-haves like freekeh (green wheat).
Restaurants in retail stores:Thirty years ago, American department stores kicked out their restaurants Big mistake. Now retailers, large and tiny, are mainlining food discovering the magic of dwell time: Keep hungry customers on the premises longer and they buy much more, explains B+W, which cites upscale restaurants in stores like Tommy Bahama, Urban Outfitters and Nordstroms, to name just a few.
So Long Chicken?Picky eaters beware, you may not see as many chicken options on menus anymore. Restaurants are honouring more adventurous eaters and diners’ palates with a variety of meat options instead of relying on chicken dishes, which are often dubbed “safe.”
Hybrid Heaven:Chefs are suddenly turning into mad scientists and whipping up some not-so-scary kitchen hybrids. We’ve already seen the popularity of the cronut in 2013, but trends forecast more ramen burgers, souffle and brioche hybrids and even dessert pizzas with Nutella.
We All Scream For Ice Cream (Sandwiches)!Cupcakes and doughnuts won’t be as popular going into 2014. Trend seekers are expecting ice cream sandwiches to get all the attention, and hey, we’re not complaining.
Play Your Chips Right:We won’t be seeing that many chips and dip dishes, but we can expect alternatives like fried potatoes, beef tender crisps or crostinis with dip.
Oiling Up:Chefs are stepping away from basics like olive oil and getting their hands dirty with oil flavours like avocado, hazelnut and sesame seed. Even mixologists are getting into the groove with oil-enhanced cocktails.
Old Is New Again:Everything “old” is coming back in style. We’re talking about the return of pickling, fermenting and homemade bread, so your grandparents should feel right at home.
Veg Out:Expect more vegetarian options and veggies sneaking into your favourite traditional meals and desserts. For example, some restaurants in New York are experimenting withchocolate and eggplant. We’re interested.
Not Your Parents’ Braai:The next time you want some slow roasted barbecue ribs, you won’t have to wait around until the summer. Chefs are taking back classic barbecuing (braai) techniques and adding them to restaurant menus.
Under The Sea:Salmon and shrimp areso 2013(as well as the decade previous). It looks like we’re heading towards restaurant menus featuring everything under the sea, including sea beans and fish cheeks.
Tasting menus:A three-year bull-market is fueling a proliferation of tasting menus around the country, says B+W, which predicts that such menus will trickle down from fine-dining restaurants to mid-scale eateries.
Ice Ice Baby:Ice isn’t just for chilling anymore. Bars will be more likely to infuse their ice cubes with herbs and other ingredients for cocktails.
Haute Comfort Foods:You may start seeing highbrow peanut butter and jelly sandwiches taking over some joints. In 2014, chefs will be going back to childhood favourites and making high-end versions of classic comfort foods.
Food halls:Cookie-cutter mall food courts serving repetitive same-old chain food are on the downslide, B+W says. Enter upscale food halls artisan food staffed by local, name-brand restaurants. The best of these combine on-premises manufacturing, eating, takeaway and retail.
Anchovies:The no-no of Caesar salads has become respectable, B+W notes. People are ordering anchovies especially Spanish salt-packed ones called bocquerones, and even fresh ones. Youll find them on Nioise salads and fresh mozzarella, or tossed with breadcrumbs atop pasta.
Beverages:Among the beverage trends that B+W has noticed are tea, vermouth, craft sodas, sour beer and pressed juices.
Creative spreads:EVOO and balsamic vinegar are too old-hat. Now the ante is upped as chefs litter your table with creative spreads, according to B+W, which says bread baskets are now being served alongside spreads such as black garlic mostarda, vanilla tapenade, tomato jam, whipped lardo, rosemary hummus, smoked ricotta, whipped beet butter and porcini oil, to name just a few.
Healthy food:According to B+W, healthy fast-casual restaurant chains like Sweetgreen and Veggie Grill are sprouting up all over the country, while upscale restaurants are offering vegetarian tasting menus.
Move Over Boring Cobb Salad
Cobb salads will still be popular next year, but forget typical toppings like bacon and chicken breast, and think crispy avocados, jerk chicken and Scotch bonnet peppers.
One-item restaurants:Weekend popup markets make room for wacky food creations that often graduate to brick-and-mortar restaurants, says B+W, which cites restaurants around the country that specialize in a single items, such as meatballs, waffles, dumplings and biscuits.
Eatertainment:Food is not enough, restaurants are enhancing the dining experience by fiddling with our senses, says B+W, which points to restaurants that sport features such as high-def projectors, smell diffusers, speakers and LED lights.
Asian flavours:A new wave of Asian flavors (and menu items) is upon us, according to B+W, which offers examples such as gochujang, a Korean mix of fermented hot chili paste and soy; shichimi togarashi, a Japanese seven-spice blend that includes sesame seeds, ginger, nori and hot peppers; and Thai and Vietnamese fish sauce.
Middle Eastern cuisine:Forget Spain and Greece the south side of the Mediterranean and the Levant are where new tastes and dishes are coming from: Turkey, Israel, Morocco, Iraq, Iran, concludes B+W. The cookbook Jerusalem is flying out of bookstores and you need to read it.
Source: baumwhiteman.com and www.huffingtonpost.ca