When you visit a restaurant, you’re generally at the mercy of the menu. For the more timid and controlling among us, that might mean frequenting those spots that serve familiar-feeling dishes. And no judgment — who doesn’t love a cheeseburger or some pizza on occasion? But the real treat often comes in trying something new. Taking a risk on the papaya salad, some escargot, or a vegan tagine.
The thing is, many of the more unusual items that end up on menus are the result of massive trends in the industry. Getting in on things before they blow up in a big way means knowing what to look for both when dining and when shopping for your own kitchen. With a whole world of food at your fingertips, why limit yourself?
With endless food possibilities in mind, we asked some of the brightest names in the culinary game to make predictions about what the new year will be bringing to the table. Their picks certainly left us excited about the future of fermentation and the lifestyle changes they foresee in their field. Read on and drop into the comments to identify some trends you think will hit big in 2019.
INDIGENOUS FOOD — Brian Yazzie, Diné Chef of The Sioux Chef
Indigenous food isn’t a new trend or a young cuisine. This beautiful resilient food culture has always been here and has just been overlooked and overshadowed by romanticized and colonized terms like “farm to table” or “American cuisine.” Our Indigenous ingredients survived manifest destiny and traveled around the world, playing major parts in countless cuisines. Tomatoes, corn, beans, squash, chilies, maple, agave, pawpaws, acorn, pinons, and cranberries are more than elements on plates. They each have sacred ceremonies, carry ancestral memories and tell stories through colorful flavors. Food is our medicine, and when we serve the people, it nourishes and reintroduces flavors that have been forgotten due to culinary colonization.
The scene of Indigenous cooks and chefs reclaiming their spaces in the American culinary world in 2019 will be major, and the movement is headed in the right direction. As to awakening the minds of our next generation, we will be creating relationships with allies and breaking barriers around culinary cultural appropriation and food justice.
SLOW COOKED MEATS, REDUCING WASTE, & CHAYOTE SQUASH — Ariel Fox, Concept Executive Chef of Dos Caminos
Slow cooking meats. I am keeping my eye out for new ways to slow cook less desirable cuts of meat. Reducing food waste. I definitely think sustainability is on the rise as waste is becoming more and more top of mind in the foodservice industry. it’s important to do our part.
Also, chayote squash. I’m interested in using more chayote squash in my menu at Dos Caminos. It’s becoming more popular and trendy now that people know it’s a “superfood.” Luckily for us, it has been a key ingredient in regional Mexican cooking for ages.