6 Food and Restaurant Trends: What You’ll Be Eating In 2018

 

 

1. SWEET POTATO TOAST

Anyone noticed this is in NYC yet? Haven’t seen on any menus. Looks like a healthier, gluten-free alternative to avocado toast.

  • It got on my radar through the UK’s Daily Mail. They credit Kelsey Preciado with kick-starting its popularity. She runs the food-focused blog, Little Bits Of.
  • It’s a brand-new phenomenon. The Instagram hashtag #sweetpotatotoast has been trending in the last few weeks – has 13,000 posts so far.

Read on below for more on grains, pickles, Filipino food and sadly, why New York is losing so many young, talented chefs to the Midwest.

 

2. GREAT GRAINS

 

Clockwise, starting at bottom of the page: Barley Salad, Black-Eyed Peas, Farro Salad

 

HUGE FAN of grain salads and appreciate seeing them on menus. I’ve been making them more often – my go-to’s are quinoa, barley, and farro– but the most popular one in my repertoire is the black-eyed pea salad. All are extremely zesty and flavorful while low in calories so WIN, WIN.

Bruce Bromberg, co-owner of Blue Ribbon Federal Grill (part of the Blue Ribbon Group), said one of his best-selling dishes is the Grilled Shrimp and Farro Salad (below).

 

Shrimp and Farro Salad

 

3. FILIPINO CUISINE TOP FOODIE TREND FOR 2018???

Google searches for Filipino food have doubled since 2012

  • While I love the Filipino coconut buko pie (below) at Sari Sari in DTLA’s Grand Central Market, I do NOT see Anthony Bourdain’s favorite dish, sisig (a meal made from the snout, jowl, ear and tongue of a pig) catching on as Bourdain claims it will.
  • He insists sisig is the dish that will hook Americans to the cuisine – NO, NO, NO!!

 

On the other hand, I am a big fan of Dale Talde’s restaurants.

  • His menus are filled with super flavorful, approachable dishes – he calls them “in-authentically Asian.”
  • Talde’s culinary prowess is still emerging and I couldn’t agree more when he said: “I’m finding my flavors, my power, my point of view.”
  • He’s definitely one to watch but his style is Filipino with a twist, as opposed to authentic style.

 

4. NYC IS TOPS FOR VEGANS

New York is #1 on WalletHub’s “Best Cities for Vegans and Vegetarians” list.

  •  New York has the most restaurants serving vegetarian options per capita and the second-most farmers markets per capita.
  • The city ranks eighth for its vegetarian lifestyle and 41st for affordability.

However, the West Coast claimed most of the top 10 spots.

  • Portland, Oregon ranked second, San Francisco is fourth, Los Angeles is fifth, Seattle is sixth, Scottsdale, Arizona is eighth and San Diego, California is 10th.

8 million people, or 3.2% of adults in the U.S., are vegetarian or vegan. The number is higher in the northeast, with 5.4% saying they follow a meatless diet.

 

5. PICKLED EVERYTHING – BIG PERSONAL FAVE

 

Various pickles and pickling techniques are featured in the Tsukemono Board at Departure Restuarant + Lounge in Portland, Ore.

 

Pickles grew by double digits on restaurant menus in 2017, according to Datassential, in part due to chefs who are passionate about applying the age-old preservation method to just about any vegetable or fruit.

  •  Chef Troy Guard of Denver-based TAG Restaurant Group, created an entire pickling bar at his newest concept, Mister Tuna

Other restaurants are serving cocktails made with pickling juice:

  • Sable Kitchen & Bar in Chicago serves the Traveler’s Terrace cocktail with pickling juice.
  • Nick & Toni’s in East Hampton, N.Y., offers pickled items on its DIY Bloody Mary cocktail board.

Fried pickles are also trending:

  • American Whiskey in NYC offers a starter of fried cornichons with (f)ranch dressing
  • Chili’s, Texas Roadhouse and Buffalo Wild Wings all serve fried pickles.

 

6. NYC LOSING ITS BEST YOUNG CHEFS TO SMALLER, MORE MANAGEABLE CITIES

Bobby Flay recently noted in Food & Wine how difficult it is for young chefs to open restaurants in NYC because of how expensive and cumbersome it is to do business in NYC.

Our loss has become other cities’ gain.

  • Flay raves about the culinary happenings in Minneapolis. Gavin Kaysen, formerly chef de cuisine at Café Boulud returned to his Midwestern roots to open critically acclaimed Spoon and Stable.
  • Flay also crushes on Jersey City. I’m especially keen to try Razza (some NYC critics have called it the best pizza in the metro area). Also in JC, Leah Cohen’s new Piggyback Bar, which features Southeast Asian-inflected bar foods.
  • But Flay’s favorite is New Mexico – especially Santa Fe. He’s also keen on Native American cuisine.
  • Having had my fair share of meals in the Southwest, I am not sure I’m on board with this prediction.

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