It’s already mid-January, time for the worst excesses of holiday indulgences to have been dieted or exercised away, or, perhaps, to be lived with until the next milestone incentive arrives.
So, it’s time to start savoring the New Year’s bounty. Don’t we all deserve a treat in the dead of winter?
One fun approach to this is to think about one’s own view of what the gastronomic future brings this year, and compare it to what the experts are predicting. Maybe it’s a delicious grilled cheese sandwich treat from a new food truck, or anxiously awaiting the opening of your neighborhood farm market (or garden center, if you are fortunate enough to grow your own vegetables).
This year, we have the benefit of an array of educated prognostications, courtesy of Les Dames d’Escoffier New York. Their panel discussion, “The Next Big Bite, What You Will Eat and Crave in 2016,” brought together Amanda Cohen, chef/owner, Dirt Candy; Amanda Hesser, co-founder/CEO, Food52; Marion Nestle, Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies and Public Health at New York University; and Mimi Sheraton, pioneering food journalist and restaurant critic, all moderated by the formidable Rozanne Gold, four-time James Beard Award-winning author, chef and journalist.
In summary, the top ten culinary trends identified by this august group were:
- The end of food elitism as younger chefs open more restaurants in off-the-beaten-path neighborhoods
- A growing desire for locally sourced food, sustainability of farms, and more organic options
- The fusion of traditional and exotic cuisine (e.g., Louisiana dishes cooked with West African recipes and spices)
- Increasing interest in Eastern Mediterranean foods from countries like Israel, Tunisia and Morocco
- Focus on the root-to-stalk movement that elevates vegetables from side dish to entrée status
- The shift of meat from center plate to the sidelines, in response to new World Health Organization report guidelines on the health risks from eating processed and red meat
- Proliferation of food trucks with multi-cultural cuisine
- The continuing decline of soda consumption and sales
- Expanding restaurant business challenges, from all-inclusive tipping policies to new training regimens
- A more politically-active food community impacting governmental policies and humanitarian causes
Go to www.ldny.org, and click on The Next Big Bite to watch or listen to the entire presentation.
And, myMEGusta is looking forward to reading YOUR comments!