The food world is not a monolith, but an ever-shifting target as tastes change, new foods enter our palettes as novelties and become commonplace (remember when kale wasn’t a staple?), and past trends fade to nothingness. But as chefs become more eco-conscious, what are 2018’s big trends going to be?
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'As Cristina topped each bowl of carrot puree with a poached egg, she looked up at me and confessed, “You know how in our work we get used to having everything at our disposal? Now I am starting to think that such abundance of possibilities and ingredients can actually block our creative process. By having too much, we risk forgetting one of the most important elements: simplicity.' – Massimo Bottura Carrot Puree, Poached Egg, and Puffed Millet, recipe by Cristina Bowerman as featured in Bread is Gold, find out more at Phaidon.com
As diners become more ecologically inclined, cutting out food waste, and coming up with new and clever ways to use it beyond the compost bucket, are catching on with chefs. Whole Foods sees a “root-to-stem” movement in the works where stems, leaves, and other products generally set aside are used to make pestos, salads, pickles, and other goodies, while other restaurants are teaming with local businesses like movie theaters to turn their food waste into something delicious.
More Vegetarian Entrees
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🇺🇸/🇬🇧 Lunch time 🍴 I should call this plate the « Monday basics » 🙈 I always make some variation of this 👆🏼on Mondays because that’s what I have left in my fridge & pantry 😜 Sweet potato coins, arugula salad, a fried egg, 1/2 avocado and some sun dried tomato dip 🥑 topped with olive oil, black & red pepper and fleur de sel 🌿 Bon appétit! 🇫🇷 À table 🍴 Je devrais appeler cette assiette les « basiques du lundi » 🙈 Le lundi je me prépare toujours une variante de cette assiette 👆🏼 tout simplement parce que je fais avec ce que j’ai dans le frigo et les placards 😜 Rondelles de patate douce grillées, roquette, œuf au plat, avocat et caviar de tomates séchées 🥑 avec de l’huile d’olive, du poivre, du piment et de la fleur de sel 🌿 Bon appétit! #tastingtable #mangerbien #mangersain #food #healthy #eatmoreplants #healthyfood #brunch #dejeuner #breakfast #lunch #avocado #fries #vegetarian #veggie #sansgluten #glutenfree #dairyfree #végétarien #healthycuisines #cuisinesworld #recipes #recette #iamwellandgood #mindbodygreen #clemfoodie
Both agreed that vegetarianism, already fairly well-established in many fine-dining restaurants, will continue to expand as chefs roast cauliflower, experiment with jackfruit, and look to hominy to create different flavors and tastes. In some cases, this will involve molecular gastronomy, with powders and chemistry changing the texture of the vegetable. And that also means picking up on more vegetarian-heavy cuisines that Americans have largely ignored to this point.
Middle Eastern Cuisine Arrives
Everybody who’s ever popped a falafel or had hummus made from somebody’s mother’s recipe has probably wondered why not everybody is getting on this train. And it appears 2018 will be the year for Middle Eastern cuisines, such as Israeli, to finally arrive. In part it’s because there’s a stronger thread of vegetarianism in Middle Eastern cooking, but also it’s because we’ve gotten more used to different kind of cuisines, and — as it’s become easier to find hummus, lavash, and pita on store shelve — Americans are more interested in what else the cuisine has to offer.
The most interesting prediction from both articles, though, is a belief that more and more, the kitchen will be open in more than just the architectural sense. Diners care more and more about what they’re eating; where it comes from, how it’s grown, how it’s made, how it’s prepared, and what that means, long-term, for them and the community. It makes sense, as more of us get Fitbits for gifts and we keep hearing about the waste in our food system. What we eat is something we’ve got more and more interest in, and chefs hoping to get us to the table will cater to our desires.