Our Favorite Chefs Want To See These Food Trends Die In 2017

It’s tempting to chase food trends. They’re splashy, enticing, and they photograph well. Sure, you might want to taste a rainbow bagel once or twice, but do you really want to settle down with it? Can some crazy overloaded milkshake truly please you the way an old fashioned Frosty can?

The trend-ization of food has certainly changed the game for chefs. They can’t just think about running restaurants anymore, they have to think about how each dish connects on social media. Not surprisingly, most of the chefs we know are a little burnt out on the whole deal. So when we asked them which trends they’d like to skewer, they were more than happy to oblige.

FOOD PORN — Chef Max Schlutz of Sessions West Coast Deli (Huntington Beach, CA)

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Foodporn. It’s sad to see shock value replace quality. We see low-cost foods, irresponsible proportions, cheap chemicals and dyes, and mediocre taste go viral because it’s considered eye candy. In 2017, I hope to see a return to the art of plating, to focus on the composition of the dish, the intermingling of flavors and textures… Put an end to the social irresponsibility!

PUMPKIN SPICE and “FROM SCRATCH” — Chef Abraham Salum, Salum (Dallas, TX)

Come fall, everything is pumpkin spice — there was even an enema that was pumpkin spice. Pumpkins have no flavor! You add cinnamon, allspice, and other spices, but they have nothing to do with the way pumpkin tastes.

Also, people using the word “from scratch” — meaning what? That you make your salsa at home instead of out of a can?

POWDERED CHIPOTLE — Chef Lydia Shayne of DeLuscious Cookies (Los Angeles, CA)


Let’s face it, spices make a huge difference in food whether we’re talking meals or desserts. We’re in favor of replacing powdered chipotle with turmeric. And yes, adding it to a cookie. With all its medicinal properties you can satisfy your taste buds and anti-inflammatory needs with turmeric.

Sometimes, trends focus more on appearance than they do on taste – our goal is to make anything look good and taste great!

MISLABELED SEAFOOD and WAGYU BEEF — Chef Rick Moonen of rm seafood & Rx Boiler Room (Las Vegas, NV)

I want to see the end of mislabeled seafood…honest food please.

I am OVER Wagyu this and Wagyu that and paying through the nose to get a mouth full of super rich fat. Next…

FAKE MEAT, POKE, SUSHI BURRITOS, OVERDONE BACON, LOADED FRIES, and GLUTEN FAKERS — Chef Jason Quinn of The Playground DTSA & Playground 2.0 (Santa Ana, CA)

Fake meat restaurants: You decided to leave the club! You’re welcome back any time but you decided you could live without fried chicken so stop ordering fried “chicken” “burgers.” Vegetables are delicious! If I had to choose veg or meat there’s no question I’d choose vegetables. I went to Native Foods and was told to order the “Reuben” — it was as disgusting to me as a vegan would feel eating a real reuben. You know what they didn’t have there? Beautifully roasted vegetables with lemon, maldon salt, and olive oil.

Poke Restaurants: There is a shortage of fish in the sea! We can’t afford to be piling it on rice bowls in huge 6oz portions. There are so many of these places and the amount of fish they have to throw away is alarming. Most of these places have to use frozen diced pieces in order to control cost and keep up with demand.

Sushi Burritos: Walk into a reputable sushi bar and order the omakase nigiri menu. If you love that, congratulations, you love sushi! If you think at any point that your meal needs cream cheese, you are never to walk into a sushi restaurant again. We have a shortage of fish!

Bacon: When used obnoxiously (not more than twice a menu, and keep it out of desserts)

Piling shit on top of fries: Anyone who follows my cooking knows that’s hypocritical of me… but I said it anyways.

Gluten fakes: I understand that people with celiac disease (and other horrific conditions) can have a really tough time with gluten, but there are dickheads out there who are doing it because they think it’s cool or because it’s a good diet or their neighbor told them it’s helps with the kids’ ADHD or what not. The continued catering to non- celiac (and other horrific conditions) needs to stop.

Side note: Pao de quejo is my favorite bread. Fresh out of the oven, there are few things better; I love mine with quince membrillo. The best part is that the bread is made with tapioca flour already, naturally gluten free.

FARM TO TABLE — Chef Jay Lacuesta of Twenty Eight Restaurant & Lounge (Irvine, CA)

In the past year its “farm to table” but next year will be the rise of the specialty cattle ranches. A lot more restaurants will be working with ranchers and meat packers for different cuts and specialty “meats” — especially with beef.

TREND CHASING, BACON DESSERTS, and OCTOPUS — Chef Craig Connole of La Casa del Camino Hotel, K’ya Bistro Bar & The Rooftop Lounge (Laguna Beach, CA)


As a chef, it’s important to know that we aren’t necessarily the ones looking for the “hot new trend” when we’re cooking. It’s a result of the general public looking for something new and exciting to try.

With that said, some food trends I hope to see die down in the new year are pork belly, bacon desserts, and octopus. The thing about food trends is that it’s more of a matter of opinion and what you’ve become bored of at the moment. For example, cupcakes never go out of style. Guests bring them into our restaurant all of the time, simply because they like them! I’d rather not think about things I want to go away as I am more inclined to spend my time thinking about what I find interesting and want to try next.

HIPSTER FOOD TRENDS — Chef Julio Hawkins of Fly-n-Fish Oyster Bar (Newport Beach, CA)

Hipster food trends have got to go in 2017. Why is it that every new restaurant feels like they have to recreate the wheel and put everything they know into one dish or on some sort of cutting board? Less is best. Keep it simple, pure and fresh! Not on some cutting boards where you can somewhat identify the previous patron’s meal embedded into the knife cuts left behind.

SRIRACHA, GLUTEN FAKERS, EGGS ON EVERYTHING, and ‘FARM TO TABLE’ — Chef Danny Allen of Ways & Means Oyster House (Huntington Beach, CA)

I would like to see the Sriracha craze slow down! Don’t get me wrong, I like the stuff, but every time I turn around I see a Sriracha Burger or a Sriracha Aioli. It’s pretty much on everything now.

Gluten free can take a hike! (I am sensitive to people that truly have celiac disease.) Another trend I would like to see die is adding an egg on everything. Unless you’re eating a Loco Moco on the shores of Hawaii, let’s keep the eggs for breakfast. Next would be the term “farm-to-table.” If you’re putting that on your menu, it better be from a farm!​ ​Just to wrap up this rant, two more foods I’d like to see off menus in 2017 are Pho and Ramen. I mean, ramen is 25 cents a bag but​ ​you’re going to throw in a couple ounces of meat and a few veggies and jack the price up to $15 and people are standing in line for this stuff?!