Like fashion, prime-time TV shows, and pop-culture crazes, restaurant fads come and go. Some, like hamburgers, appear to be here to stay. Others, like the foam course or the deconstructed whatever, thankfully disappear in a flash.
The National Restaurant Association (NRA) releases a “culinary forecast” for the forthcoming year based on a survey of professional chefs who are members of the American Culinary Federation. The chefs are queried on which food, cuisines, beverages, and culinary themes will become hot trends on restaurant menus in the months ahead. The NRA’s What’s Hot in 2016 survey was conducted in the fall of 2015 with nearly 1,600 chefs looking into their sauté pans to see what the future holds. These are their top 20 trends for 2016:
- Locally sourced meats and seafood
- Chef-driven fast-casual concepts
- Locally grown produce
- Hyper-local sourcing (e.g., restaurant gardens, onsite beer brewing, house-made items)
- Natural ingredients and minimally processed food
- Environmental sustainability
- Healthful kids’ meals
- New cuts of meat (e.g., culotte/sirloin cap, Denver cut, tri-tip, pork T-Bone chop)
- Sustainable seafood
- House-made or artisan ice cream
- Ethnic condiments or spices (e.g., harissa, curry, sriracha, chimichurri)
- Authentic ethnic cuisine
- Farm- or estate-branded items
- Artisan butchery
- Ancient grains (e.g., kamut, spelt, amaranth)
- Ethnic-inspired breakfast items (e.g., Asian-inspired syrups, chorizo scrambled eggs, coconut-milk pancakes)
- Fresh or house-made sausage
- House-made or artisan pickles
- Food-waste reduction and management
- Street food and food trucks
TELL US: Which trend are you most excited about? Leave a comment below or tweet us @ExperienceLife.
For more restaurant trends, go to www.restaurant.org/Downloads/PDFs/News-Research/WhatsHot2016.