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20171220
Ethnic food, local ingredients on 2018 food trends lists
by Elaine Simon |


Ethnic spices are predicted to be a big hit in 2018Print

Predicting future food-and-beverage trends can be tricky—what is popular and what is not can change in the blink of an eye. But the National Restaurant Association went to the experts, in this case 700 professional chefs who are members of the American Culinary Federation, to find out what to expect in the coming year.

According to the NRA survey, menu trends that will be heating up in 2018 include doughnuts with nontraditional filling, ethnic-inspired kids’ dishes, farm/estate-branded items, and heritage-breed meats. Trends that are cooling down include artisan cheeses, heirloom fruits and vegetables, and house-made charcuterie.

“Local, vegetable-forward, and ethnic-inspired menu items will reign supreme in the upcoming year,” said Hudson Riehle, SVP of research at the National Restaurant Association. “Guests are implementing these trends in their own lifestyles and want to see them reflected on restaurant menus. In response, chefs are creating more items in-house and turning to global flavors.”

Here’s the NRA’s top 20 food trends

    New cuts of meat (e.g. shoulder tender, oyster steak, Vegas Strip Steak, Merlot cut)
    House-made condiments
    Street food-inspired dishes (e.g. tempura, kabobs, dumplings, pupusas)
    Ethnic-inspired breakfast items (e.g. chorizo scrambled eggs, coconut milk pancakes)
    Sustainable seafood
    Healthful kids' meals
    Vegetable carb substitutes (e.g. cauliflower rice, zucchini spaghetti)
    Uncommon herbs (e.g. chervil, lovage, lemon balm, papalo)
    Authentic ethnic cuisine
    Ethnic spices (e.g. harissa, curry, peri peri, ras el hanout, shichimi)
    Peruvian cuisine
    House-made/artisan pickles
    Heritage-breed meats
    Thai-rolled ice cream
    African flavors
    Ethnic-inspired kids' dishes (e.g. tacos, teriyaki, sushi)
    Donuts with non-traditional filling (e.g. liqueur, Earl Grey cream)
    Gourmet items in kids' meals
    Ethnic condiments (e.g. sriracha, sambal, chimichurri, gochujang, zhug)
    Ancient grains (e.g. kamut, spelt, amaranth, lupin)

Predicting the future in terms of F&B is also the goal of Andrew Freeman & Company, which has developed and launched concepts for more than 120 restaurants and hotels and created culinary events of all sizes. The company’s 2018 outlook names Washington, D.C., as the food city of the year, chicken as dish of the year, “fine-casual” as concept of the year and Israeli as cuisine of the year.

In addition, Andrew Freeman predicts the following food trends to become popular:

    Colorful, photo-friendly food
    An effort to reduce restaurant waste
    An increase in vegan menu items
    Mexican cuisine
    Pizza
    Food inspired by childhood preferences
    Classical entertaining
    Contemporary Chinese dishes
    Kosher offerings

Ingredients to keep any eye on, according to Freeman:

    Insects
    Sumac
    Za’atar
    XO Sauce
    Paletas (Mexican popsicles)
    Shakshuka
    Halva
    Koji
    Tahini
    Harissa
    Pandan
    Synthesized proteins and lab-grown meat
    Tapioca (and bubble tea)
    Calabrian chilies
    Cactus / nopal
    Queso
    "Other" wings (cauliflower wings, duck wings...)
    Sardines
    Everything bagel spice
    Cookie dough
    Geoduck

The NRA also shared what chefs listed as the top 10 concept trends for 2018:

    Hyper-local (e.g. restaurant gardens, onsite beer brewing, house-made items
    Chef-driven fast casual concepts
    Natural ingredients/clean menus
    Food waste reduction
    Veggie-centric/vegetable-forward cuisine (e.g. fresh produce is star of the dish)
    Environmental sustainability
    Locally sourced meat and seafood
    Locally sourced produce
    Simplicity/back to basics
    Farm/estate-branded items

“Chefs strive to strike the right balance between offering consumers what they want to eat now and guiding them toward new and exciting culinary frontiers," said ACF National President Stafford T. DeCambra. “ACF chefs dedicate countless hours to continuing education and professional development to stay at the forefront of culinary innovation, allowing them to respond to and redefine diners’ expectations in an ever-changing foodservice landscape.”


Source Hotel Management
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