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Top Food Trend Predictions for 2012 Slideshow

Top Food Trend Predictions for 2012 Slideshow

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Jane Bruce

Not content to be confined by Food Network's "small-time" studios, chefs are going Hollywood. Batali is on The Chew (the first daytime "soup") and in movies; Colicchio, Chang, Dufresne, and Ripert were on Treme (partially written by Anthony Bourdain); Bobby Flay was on Entourage. (We won't mention Emeril's abortive sitcom years ago.) We know chefs are the new rock stars, and hey, some play guitar, but look for more more chefs in Hollywood, and more celebrities mingling with them. With their higher profiles, you've seen social activism exhibited by more successful chefs. Why not the late entry of a chef in politics? We saw the rise and fall of a former restaurant executive in politics. Why not a chef? Geoffrey Zakarian looks presidential lately...

#16. President Mario Batali and Bobby "Brando" Flay

Jane Bruce

Not content to be confined by Food Network's "small-time" studios, chefs are going Hollywood. Why not a chef? Geoffrey Zakarian looks presidential lately...

#15. Arancini

Meatball madness was big in 2011. Top Chef contestant Dave Martin's The Meatball Factory, great D.C.-based French chef Michel Richard's "Balls," and other specialty shops abound, while meatballs in some form or another have become de rigueur on American menus everywhere. The trend hasn't reached bacon proportions yet — wait for turducken meatballs with curry peanut sauce to signify that. Wait, The Meatball Factory did that? Well, expect more anyway.

But we're also likely to see other round fingerfoods… above all arancini: little fried balls of risotto, either plain or filled with cheese or prosciutto or… we shudder to think. They're getting more visibility and have gone mobile in St. Louis. If I had had some seed money, I'd have opened my own shop already.

#14. Exotic Fish

We're not talking about raiding your tropical fish tank, but as concerns about overfishing of traditionally appreciated varieties continue, and industry players learn more about which fish are most successfully farmed, you may start seeing lesser-known fish — wild and otherwise — in your local fish market and on menus. Paiche, fugu, and toadfish for everyone!

#13. Jewish Food


Zahav started giving Israeli-inspired food a good name in Philadelphia a few years ago, but now with Kutsher's and Parm (Italian, but with Jewish flare) opening in New York City, expect Jewish (and Jewish-inspired) cooking of different kinds to be given a closer look. Wouldn't surprise us if goyim across the country serve brisket and matzoh balls for dinner on Christmas Eve 2012, with gefilte fish incorporated into the Feast of the Seven Fishes.

#12. More Neapolitan and Funky Pizzas

In 2010, The Daily Meal said 2011 would feature the return of the regular pie. Would that it were so.

In New York City at least, the dollar slice made inroads, if nothing else, and not for a quality effect (1-percenters aside, New Yorkers would be better served by D.C.'s jumbo slice taking root), and the pizza-as-Superbowl-dip-on-cardboard went national in the frozen food aisle. In fact, 2011 saw the demise of a New York regular-pie original, Famous Ray's of Greenwich Village. Sure, Grimaldi's came to Manhattan, so too did Zero Otto Nove, but Forcella brought fried pies to Williamsburg and the Bowery, and the Neapolitan craze continued to take over America.

So what's next from pizza? Look for more Neapolitan, crazier toppings, and funkier presentations. As evidenced by the mobile Neapolitan pizza operations by Roberta's and Pizza Moto, and in 2009 by IT consultant turned celebrated pizza-lebrity Paulie Gee, the tools and knowledge for how to make good pies are becoming more increasingly known. Of course, the return, nationwide, of the simply great slice joint, à la Joe's or South Brooklyn Pizza, would be nice.

#10. Wild Greens

Celebrity vegetable farmers may not be popping up everywhere (though they are winning Beard awards) but foraging (and with it, an increased use of wild greens) isn't going anywhere. Neither are rooftop gardens. Expect someone in Portland, Ore., to convert his rooftop into a winter greenhouse where he grows fiddlehead ferns, collards, mustard greens, and purslane along with his garlic scapes, tomatoes, squash blossoms, and ramps all winter long.

#9. The Great Burger Migration

Arthur Bovino

Yes, the movement has been happening for years; burgers from different regions spreading out, infiltrating new markets, banging buns against new competitors, and testing hype against hamburger. But as the world gets smaller, America's regional burger favorites become even less location-specific. Five Guys' overhyped expansion continues, West-based Smashburger arrived in Brooklyn in 2011, beloved California original In-N-Out planted a flag in Dallas, and L.A. darling Umami Burger just inked a deal to go national and open 25 locations by 2013. 2012 will see more West Coast burgers making eastern inroads, and at some point, the beginning of the end for West Coast hype: Danny Meyer's superior, rapidly expanding Shake Shack chain will finally open in a city with an In-N-Out. Dogs and cats living together; mass hysteria may ensue.

#8. Reservations with Many Reservations

Many hot new restaurants either don't accept reservations (love means never having to say you're sorry, and high demand means never having to promise anybody a table) or accept them only on their own terms (hey, whatever's most convenient for you, guys) — you know, like, "Reservations are accepted only by Skype, exactly 49 days and 6 hours ahead of time, unless the moon is full, in which case…" More and more, too, you'll see successful restaurants refusing to accept reservations for parties less than four and also bowing out of Open Table or whatever Google-powered Open Table killers there are on the horizon.

#7. Food Halls

Big open complexes combining eating with retail food shopping, food halls have long been a European staple (take, for example, famous ones at Harrod's in London and KaDeWe in Berlin). Dino De Laurentiis, Giada's grandfather, tried to bring the idea to America in the '80s with DDL Foodshow, but the project flopped. Macy's and other department stores have flirted with the concept for years, but never committed wholly. Then, in 2010, New York City suddenly had Todd English in The Plaza (expanding), and, months later, Eataly. More Eatalys are coming — Mario Batali plans to open five more in the next 10 years, and other entrepreneurs have taken notice of the success. Expect more of these operations in other big cities and the trend's inevitable culmination: Ron Burgundy-style turf battles between teams of celebrity chefs who have joined forces to open food halls across the street from each other.

#6. Alternative Iconic Sandwiches

Arthur Bovino

The sandwich doesn't always have the iconic power and allure of one of its subgenres, the burger (which is a sandwich, for crying out loud), but it has hardly been forgotten. Chefs have been feeling the need to open up their own burger and sandwich joints for years, but some of the classics have been a little taken for granted in favor of trendier staples like the Cubano.

Consider that it was only with Torrisi's turkey sandwich a few years ago that people started talking about turkey sandwiches again. Among other alternative iconic renditions, expect the French Dip (already at Minetta Tavern), chicken parm, and club sandwiches to make comebacks, and for the trend to jump the shark, with mothers packing pickled herring smørrebrød, chorizo bocadillos, and towering multi-ingredient Dagwoods for their bougie kids.

#5. Miami Is the New Las Vegas

In years past, while every major chef (even some big-deal French ones) seemed to be opening up a spot in Vegas, you started to see a trickle of outposts of big chefs and restaurants also making their way to Miami — Daniel, Mr. Chow, Hakkasan. Well, that was just the beginning. Danny Meyer opened a Shake Shack there last June, and has another one planned for Coral Gables; Andrew Carmellini has just opened a branch of The Dutch there, and José Andrés's first post-L.A. Bazaar is underway. Can Eataly be far behind?

#4. Gluten-Free… and the Backlash

You started to see it happening towards the end of last year, the "Rise of the Gluten-Free." And while it's likely that the gluten-free trend — and we're talking the trend here (the "I'm tired of being lactose-intolerant, because then I can't have a Frappuccino with whipped cream, so maybe I'll try gluten-free because they even make brownies that way now" thing), not the medical condition that some are afflicted with — is going to continue to go mainstream, 2012 may begin to see a bit more backlash against it. Can your system really not tolerate something you've been eating without ill effect for 35 or 40 years, or is this just another way of making yourself feel special? (Hey, just asking.)

#3. X Is the New Cupcake

In the past few years, people have tried to identify all kinds of desserts as the cupcake's successor: pies, doughnuts, ice cream, Twizzlers, you name it (macarons came closest in 2011, but, well, they're French). And all the while, the humble little cupcake itself continued its evil quest for world domination. New cupcake places opened in cities already rife with them, and they expanded into new municipalities that hadn't previously succumbed to their crumby frosting; they even took over some culinary competitions on TV.

The truth is, God willing, nothing will ever be the next cupcake. Pie is seasonal (so too are ice cream and frozen yogurt), doughnuts have always been around so are hardly news, cake is for birthdays, and cream puffs had their shot (though some of us still mourn Beard Papa's closing). Nonetheless, you can be sure that some confection or other will try to stake its claim this year. (Our bet for the next contender? Cookies — especially sandwich cookies. But they're not cupcakes.)

#2. Fast-Food Reinventions

Jane Bruce

#1 Nordic Cuisine

Wikimedia Commons/Antissimo

René Redzepi's Noma took over the mantle of "world's best restaurant" from elBulli in 2010, and you've already seen the Noma effect take hold, not just all over Scandinavia (shrimp with rhubarb jelly and buttermilk–horseradish granita in Reykjavik!), but even in America — and you can expect the trend to continue and strengthen. Be on the lookout for cured fish, lingonberries, foraged beach plants, exotic proteins like snow grouse and reindeer, and aquavit cocktails.

2012 Food & Dining Trends

In no particular order, here are my predictions with a tiny sprinkling of wishful thinking.

More transparency and labeling in the food system
Have you been to a supermarket lately? All the seafood is now labeled so you know where it comes from and whether or not it is farmed and if color is added. That is amazing considering that not long ago seafood had barely any labeling at all, but it's just the beginning. I believe consumers will demand labels on produce and meat too. Food contamination and security issues are only a few of the issues driving this trend.

Foraging, hunting and wild food
Wild and foraged ingredients are showing up on more and more menus and there are classes and books to help you learn about this return to a more primal way of eating. The poster boy for this trend is Hank Shaw. The poster Girl? Georgia Pellegrini!

Local culture on the plate
Rene Redzepi the chef at NOMA, (the world's number one restaurant according to one survey) has inspired countless chefs and delighted diners. He uses local ingredients to create a unique cuisine that is a reflection of a singular time and place. This is where high end dining is going. Something that can only be found in one spot is the ultimate in exclusivity.

The world's first sweetener and a product from bees who we are dependent upon for pollination of fruits and vegetables from avocados to watermelon. Bees have already been in the news because of colony collapse but I think their honey will get some more attention soon too, now that the scandal of widespread bogus honey has been revealed. Honey is an unrefined sugar and a true expression of flora. Trying and learning about honey is as exciting and never ending as learning about wine or coffee.

Digital cookbooks
Epicurious is leading the way here with ecookbooks, offering a variety of best selling cookbooks you can now save to your "recipe box." Since we are already using our computers in the kitchen and to look for recipes, this makes a lot of sense. It makes finding, sharing and using recipes much easier.

Lamb, goat, rabbit and bison
I'm sorry to disappoint any vegan activists, but it's just not likely that Americans are going to give up eating meat. However I do believe they are going to think about sustainability and start making more informed choices. Goat is the most popular meat in the world, we already love goat cheese, the meat can't be far behind. Likewise lamb, rabbit and bison represent more sustainable and ecologically friendly choices than industrially raised pork, beef or chicken.

I'm seeing chia everywhere. It's a fascinating seed, considered a superfood by some, loaded with vitamins and minerals, omega-3 fatty acids, protein and fiber. It creates an amazing gel like texture but can also be used like a grain in baked goods. I hope chefs are as inspired to play with it as I am.

Chefs doing good
As we get more and more tired of the endless self promotion associated with celebrity chefs (not to mention some food bloggers) I think chef charities will gain in visibility as a way of chefs getting limelight, but for all the right reasons. Great examples include the Mario Batali Foundation, Jamie Oliver Foundation which includes Fifteen and the Ministry of Food, and Rachael Ray's Yum-o!

Handmade sodas
More and more restaurants are offering housemade soda as a non-alcoholic option. Sophisticated and not overly sweet, I expect we will see a lot more of them. Some good local ones try include Jesse Friedman's seasonal offerings from SodaCraft.

Perhaps the David Sax book Save the Deli led to a resurgence in interest in Jewish delicatessen food. While LA style Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen failed to knock my socks off, the excitement over their pop-ups indicates a real desire for it. I do believe good deli is on it's way. Perhaps it's the new charcuterie?

Lower alcohol wines
I think this year in Napa might be the turning point. It was a cooler than normal growing season and vintners found that lower brix in this year's vintage meant an opportunity to craft more elegant and lower alcohol wines. We will see how consumers react. But I hope they can learn to appreciate something beyond the big fruit bombs Napa has become known for producing.

Small plate breakfasts
Ok I admit it, this is wishful thinking. But a girl can dream can't she? After having the most spectacular brunch ever at Michael's Genuine in Miami, I just hope this idea catches on. Imagine instead of a big stack of pancakes, just one. Plus a single egg benedict, and a house made pop tart? Heaven.

The other Mediterranean
Perhaps I am just inspired by my trip to Morocco, but I can't help think that Moroccan, Egyptian, Tunisian, Algerian, Lebanese and Turkish food will be on the rise. They are part of the Mediterranean but often get overlooked in favor of French, Italian and Spanish cuisine. Think of them as the new frontier. At very least, recently released cookbooks by Mourad Lalou and Paula Wolfert will fuel the interest in Moroccan flavors.

When bacon made it's way into lip balm, I think it jumped the shark. It's not that bacon will ever go away, but I think we are ready for something else. Kale perhaps?

"Farm-to-table" "natural" and "artisanal"
They have all become virtually meaningless. When is food not farm to table? When it's factory to table? Natural has no legal meaning and once Round Table Pizza used the word artisan to boost sales, we knew it was over.

Celebrity chefs
Perhaps it all started with that iconic Gourmet magazine cover of chefs as rock stars. But enough is enough. The endless self-promotion has gotten tiresome. So have celebrity chef feuds.

Agave syrup
I never really understood the hype. This may be a marginally better type of sugar, but it's still sugar. It lacks the depth of molasses, sorghum or honey. There are some benefits, but they aren't enough to convince me to use it.

Mexican coke
Admit it, hipsters drink it because they think it's cool. Gimme a break. It's not cool. It's sugar water for chrissake. Hopefully this is the year they will stop paying $5 a bottle for it.

So what do you think the trends will be? Share your thoughts in the comments!

The Epicurious Blog

As 2011 sunsets into history, it&aposs time to reflect on the major food trends we see emerging in 2012. As we&aposve done for 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011, our editors compiled culinary forecasts, divided into Front Burner (trends you&aposll likely see dominate) and Back Burner (those things whose popularity has peaked). Are we right? Wrong? Tell us what you think of our predictions and weigh in on what trends you foresee this coming year!


Front Burner: The Return of Hotel Dining
The big boys are back in the hotel kitchen, again. After years of chefs leaving large and often mediocre hotel dining rooms to open up small, casual standalone spaces, high-quality hotel dining has returned with a vengeance: José Andrés was among the heavyweights to head back with his BAZAAR at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills April Bloomfield opened The Breslin at New York&aposs Ace Hotel and Heston Blumenthal followed with Dinner at the Mandarin Oriental in London. Dr. Miguel Sผhez Romera brought new luxury to Manhattan&aposs Dream Downtown hotel. We expect more collaborations in the year to come from the likes of Daniel Humm, Charlie Palmer, and Daniel Boulud.

Back Burner: Pop-Up Restaurants
It seemed like everybody, including the James Beard Foundation, got into pop-up restaurants this year, but with Grant Achatz&aposs NEXT taking the pop-up concept to a permanent space, we think this trend has peaked.

Front Burner: Fin-to-Tail Eating
If you really want to take snout-to-tail to the next level, look to the lakes and seas. More and more restaurants are adding whole fish entrees to their menu, and Zak Pelaccio and Marc Forgione are among the chefs who&aposve taken to frying their fish bones and serving them to guests.

Back Burner: Lobster Rolls
Once the jewel of secret underground restaurants and New England vacations, the expensive lobster roll can now be found in food trucks off-season and sporting arenas. Let the crustacean backlash begin.

Front Burner: Singapore
One of the tastiest cities on Earth (thanks in large part to its food courts whose multiethnic offerings border on flavorful insanity), Singapore is the place to eat in 2012. The nation has more fine-dining restaurants per resident than any other country on earth, according to the Wall Street Journal, and Daniel Boulud is among the most recent chefs who&aposve added their mark to the island&aposs culinary map.

Back Burner: Brooklyn
New York&aposs coolest borough will always hold a place in our heart, but it&aposs attracting overpriced and overhyped restaurants along with its new higher-income residents.

Front Burner: "Moonshine"
Drinking un-aged whiskey out of a label-less bottle seems so Boardwalk Empire cool. We love these burning white spirits, but if you have a liquor license and are paying taxes on the hooch you&aposre distilling, please don&apost call it &aposshine. It&aposs White Dog or Corn Whiskey. Let&aposs leave the moniker to those brave souls who make it illegally in a mountain still under the light of a silvery moon.

Back Burner: Celebrity Vodkas
When Kanye West&aposs ex Amber Rose becomes the spokes-model for marshmallow-flavored vodka, and J Woww shills for Svedka, you know the traditional choice for impresarios and moguls is down on its luck.

Front Burner: Happy Diet
Eating healthy shouldn&apost make you sad. That&aposs why we&aposre excited about Dr. Drew Ramsey and Tyler Graham&aposs Happiness Diet, which focuses on foods designed to boost your mood--and shrink your belly.

Back Burner: Wheat Belly
Cardiologist Dr. William Davis&aposs best-selling diet book advocates a wheat-free approach to eating that&aposs akin to gluten-free living. While those with celiac should always go gluten free, the remaining 97% of us who don&apost have this serious disease should remember avoiding wheat means a likely deficit of fiber, protein, and added vitamins in our daily diet.

Front Burner: High-End Indian
With Chef Hemant Mathur&aposs Tulsi getting a Michelin star this year, haute Indian dining in America is finally getting some recognition. Look for more delicious things to come from top end Indian restaurants like Rasika in Washington D.C. and San Francisco&aposs Amber India.

Back Burner: High-End Korean
We&aposll still splurge on fancy Korean barbecue and hot pots in hot rocks, but bulgogi was so 2011, and we don&apost need it to be fused with every other cuisine on the planet.


Front Burner: Fennel Pollen
The latest in rare, must-have ingredients for chefs? An Italian favorite: fennel pollen. While Mario Batali extols its virtues, chefs far and wide are finding inventive uses for it, including Canlis in Seattle, where the powder dusts snapper sashimi. Where to get it? Try the Pollen Ranch.

Back Burner: Edible Dirt
Remember when edible dirt was just a crushed Oreo atop chocolate pudding and gummy worms? A few years ago this year&aposs It chef, Rene Redzepi elevated edible dirt to a fine-dining centerpiece. It seems everyone is now calling coffee grounds, crushed cardamom, pulverized olives, and the like, dirt. It&aposs time to relegate these crumbs back to where they belong: on grade-school birthday treats.


Front Burner: Homemade Dairy
You can gauge the next big homestead cooking project on the horizon by the how-to cookbooks that precede it. This year, a slew of homemade dairy books made their debut, meaning it&aposs only a few more months till all your friends are trading homemade yogurts, fresh cheeses, and butters.

Back Burner: Pig Roasts
Everybody loves their whole-hog barbecue, their La Caja China Cuban roasters, and Hawaiian pig roasts, but it&aposs just not practical to do it in your yard. Leave it to the professionals and go make some cheese.

Front Burner: Fried Sweet Dough
When you take something sweet and fry it, you&aposll always have a winner. We&aposre not advocating for State Fair fare, mind you, but churros (preferably with cajeta on the side), beignets, and koeksisters are a killer ending for a meal.

Back Burner: Mini Desserts
This year saw the rise of the miniaturized cannoli, doughnut, popsicle, and macaron, but we quickly forget these tiny treats have long held sway at Dunkin&apos Donuts and Whole Foods. This trend should have vanished two bites ago.


Front Burner: Cheesemaker
Cheesemongers like Anne Saxelby have helped Americans understand why artisan cheese is a delicious, good-for-the-earth slow food. Heck, our pipe dream has always been to open a cheese farm in New England. It seems many new food professionals will beat us to it.

Back Burner: Mixologist
We&aposll always love our bespoke cocktillians, but they&aposve saturated the bar market with esoteric and sometimes silly drinks.

Top Food Trend Predictions For 2014

2013 was a fascinating year in the world of food. Arguably, the biggest food item of the year was the Cronut, Dominique Ansel's donut-croissant hybrid that's had New Yorkers lining up for hours every morning since its debut, and it's an item that nobody could have predicted would dominate the culinary world this year. But that's just how it is: you think we're heading in one direction, and we head off in another one entirely. And while it's impossible to predict the future, we've put our heads together (and recruited some of the country's top chefs to pitch in), and have assembled a list of 20 food and drink predictions for 2014.

Let's take a step back and take a look at last year's predictions for 2013 and see how we measured up.

#21: Healthier In-Flight Options: Healthy options exist, but we're still at about the same amount as last year.

#20: Eastern Europe as a Culinary Destination: Not yet, but it'll happen, trust us.

#19: Urban Honey: The trend is still going strong, with even the Waldorf-Astoria installing beehives on its roof.

#18: Lardo Is the New Pork Belly: Pork belly is still the new pork belly, and lardo is still waiting for its moment.

#17: Restaurants Charging for Bread: You'll find this occasionally, but it hasn't become the norm by a long shot.

#16: Chips and Salsa. for a Price: Again, it's something you see occasionally, but it's nowhere near commonplace.

#15: Beer Cicerones: Still waiting for their moment in the spotlight.

#14: Beer and Wine Hybrids:Didn't really encounter any new ones this year. People want their beer or they want their wine, but not mixed together.

#13: Smoked Everything: This one we certainly saw plenty of.

#12: Sea Beans: We didn't see much of these on menus this year.

#11: 'Designer' Brand-Name Meats: While Pat LaFrieda still doesn't quite have Prada levels of cultural cachet, we've seen a rise in this in 2013. Strassburger in New York, Brandt Beef in California, and Double H Farms in Nashville are turning up by name on local menus, however, and we certainly expect this trend to continue as more and more diners want to know where their meat comes from.

#10: More Bloggers to Cookbooks: Want a cookbook deal ? Start up a blog that develops a massive fan base. This year saw plenty of examples.

#9: 'New' Cuts of Meat: We definitely saw more of this in 2013. Butchers looking to show off their skills began to hawk the spinalis (formerly just the outer edge of the rib-eye), the sirloin filet, the Denver cut, and, of course, the "Vegas Strip," which all rose in popularity.

#8: Fast-Food Mash-Ups: If 2012 was all about the Doritos Locos Taco, this year certainly kept the trend going. People simply love it when two of their favorite foods are combined. While it's not fastfood , even the Cronut is a mash-up.

#7: Korean Inspiration in Our Kitchens: Two years ago, most people still couldn't tell you what kimchi was. In 2013 Korean food continued to become more mainstream, and now its influence is undeniable.

#6: Eggs in Appetizers: In 2013 eggs didn't just end up in appetizers more, they ended up in everything. Heck, Marc Forgione's new steakhouse American Cut even lets you top your steak with one.

#5: Brooklynization of the World: Brooklyn's cultural star certainly reached its zenith in 2013, and doesn't show any signs of slowing down. If you want your brand to be cool, just tack the word

#4: Queens Is the New Brooklyn: While Queens continues to have some of the city's best culinary offerings (especially Greek), it's still on the sidelines to its neighboring borough.

#3: Alternative Citrus: While we didn't see much of a rise in use of kumquats and Buddha's hands in 2013, blood oranges continue to be everywhere you look, and more chefs are discovering that there's an entire world of ways to add brightness to a dish using a citrus other than an orange or lemon.

#2: High-End Counter Dining: For proof of this trend, look no further than New York's ZZ's Clam Bar, which opened this year and is one of the hottest (and most expensive) seats in town. The centerpiece of the restaurant? A counter.

#1: Rise of the Pressure Cooker: More and more home cooks continued to be swayed by the pressure cooker's charms this year, and while they're still not in every household, even Mark Bittman'sbeen singing their praises lately.

We didn't quite nail them all, but certainly were on the right track. So what do our editors think 2014 has in store? More vegan and vegetarian dishes in non-vegetarian restaurants, more chefs turning to invasive species, the rise of microdistilleries.

A Force for Good

Consumers continue to want more out of companies than just products. They want alignment with their core values, and there is an increased interest in supporting people and the planet. We see this expanding beyond premium options to mainstream aisles as brands adopt a sustainable mindset. In some ways we may see the food system sustainably reinvented.

Many companies made large climate change and carbon footprint goals recently, and we can expect to see further results as companies work toward these goals. This also means improving supply chains, and in many cases making supply chains as local as possible. This ties into the macro trend for transparency across the supply chain. With global economies down and many consumers forced to stay and eat local, we expect an increase in support for local businesses and local supply chains. From sustainable supply chain practices to transparency and driving local economies, the food industry is focused on becoming stewards for good.

The Epicurious Blog

&aposTis true that making predictions can be a fool&aposs errand, but still we press on with our ears to the ground and our lips to the plate and glass (yes, it&aposs a funny-looking position), boldly predicting the food, drink, restaurant, and cooking trends for 2011. Judging from last year&aposs trends post, we&aposre more Farmer&aposs Almanac than Nostradamus, which is to say, most of our prophecies have indeed come to pass. So, what&aposs next in the world of good eating? Here are the top ten trends whose time has almost come.

America may be a century or two behind on this trend, but we are finally embracing the food hall, in all of its gluttonous, groaning-shelves glory. Following in the footsteps of giants worldwide (Paris&apos La Grande Épicerie and the food halls at Harrods of London and Takashimaya in Tokyo), New York has gotten into the act in a big way. Mario Batali and the Bastianich family recently opened Eataly, a boisterous celebration of Italian cuisine, in Manhattan, plus a smaller version called Tarry Market in suburban Port Chester Todd English made his mark with the Plaza Hotel&aposs Food Hall Jeffrey Chodorow introduced the first installment of his FoodParc and the former Limelight nightclub was converted into the Limelight Marketplace. Of course, the trend isn&apost limited to New York: Thierry Perez just debuted L&aposÉpicerie Market in Los Angeles Cathal Armstrong of Restaurant Eve is opening Society Fair in Alexandria, Virginia, next spring and there are rumors that San Francisco&aposs Todd Humphries is planning a small food hall in the Napa Valley. We hope this trend becomes as ubiquitous here as it is in Europe.

Korean Cuisine

Could kimbap be the next sushi? Evidence is mounting that smoky, piquant Korean is America&aposs next big cuisine. Witness the burgeoning obsession with double-fried, spicy chicken, as championed by New York&aposs Momofuku Ko and Los Angeles&apos Kyochon, and the meteoric rise of the Kogi BBQ truck in L.A., selling kimchi quesadillas and short rib sliders. Finally, look out for Stop and Bap, a 13-part series on PBS devoted to Korean cuisine and culture, debuting next spring and starring Jean-Georges Vongerichten and his wife, Marja. If JG says Korean is where it&aposs at, we are true believers.

Cupcakes and pies are looking downright crusty these days. Macarons, usually made with ground almonds or almond paste, sugar, and egg whites, will be 2011&aposs sweet sensation. These gluten-free, delicate confections are the subject of many new books, such as I Love Macarons, Macarons: Authentic French Cookie Recipes From the Macaron Café, and the upcoming Macarons. Renowned pastry chef François Payard is a fan because, as he told Epicurious, "it&aposs more than a cookie it&aposs a delicate pastry. People are intrigued by the flavor and the color. It becomes so exciting, because you can change the flavors every season. So incredible!" At his François Payard Bakery in New York City and on, the most popular varieties are passion fruit, mint chocolate, chocolate, and coffee.

Meatless Mondays & Tofu Thursdays

While it&aposs hip to go whole hog, with butchers gaining star power and roasts as the focus of many a dinner party, there is a concurrent trend of eating less meat. As we recently pointed out in Back to the Future: 10 Food Trends to Watch Over the Next Decade, the proportion of people eating no meat or less meat is growing, and the nonprofit Meatless Monday initiative no doubt has been one motivator. Meatless Monday&aposs goal is to encourage U.S. consumers to cut their meat consumption by 15 percent for the betterment of our health and the planet. School districts from Baltimore to New Haven, Santa Barbara to Syracuse, have embraced the cause, as have more than 20 public health organizations, not to mention prominent chefs such as Marcus Samuelsson. We&aposre forecasting that eating meat-free will be on the calendar more than once a week.

While foraging may be just a fancy term for the way humans have sourced food since time immemorial, top chefs are going beyond the farmer&aposs market and heading to quiet pastures or untrammeled forests in search of wild greens, nuts, berries, and even bark. As The New York Times recently reported, this longtime trend exploded when it was revealed that 2010&aposs It chef, René Redzepi of Noma in Copenhagen, is a big forager. New York&aposs David Chang likes to make salad from lily pad shoots, while Tim Wiechmann of T.W. Food in Cambridge, Massachusetts, uses wild violets in his Frozen Violet Flower Meringue with Candied Orange and Almonds. The foraging trend will go from restaurant to kitchen table in the coming year, as foodies take trowel in hand for some "wild crafting," as it&aposs called. Already there&aposs the crowd-sourced Philadelphia Food Harvest Map, dotted with the locations of wineberry bushes, plum and fig trees, and other worthwhile wild things.

The remaining five trends are after the jump.

What&aposs old is new again, not just in fashion but also in cocktails. Polynesian-style drinks, those multi-ingredient fruit juice and rum concoctions adorned with flowers and umbrellas, will be the quaffs of choice in 2011. Though you may be tempted to think this trend is yet another stylish symptom of the current craze for anything &apos60s-retro or Mad Men-inspired, the "new" tiki cocktails&apos roots go back even farther. Dale DeGroff, author of The Essential Cocktail and The Craft of the Cocktail and founding president of the Museum of the American Cocktail, told Epicurious, "the revival of the tiki trend, ironically, is closer to the classic tropical period, right after Prohibition, pioneered by Ernest Raymond Beaumont Gantt (a.k.a. Don the Beachcomber). The tiki movement today is coming from the craft bartending community, using fresh ingredients and attempting to find the original recipes. Julie Reiner&aposs sophisticated take on tropical cocktails at Lani Kai in New York City is a perfect example." Try out a Planter&aposs Punch, Mai Tai, Hurricane, or Zombie, and then join the discussion with the rest of the neo-Polynesian crowd on Critiki. Or get ahead of the curve by visiting one of the tiki bars listed on Tiki Central.

Food trucks are as ubiquitous as, well, trucks, but the freewheeling, catch-as-catch-can insta-restaurants are now picking up steam. Why? Little capital, resources, or planning is needed, and chefs have greater freedom to try out menu items, restaurant themes, and locations. Chefs can create their own venues, in art galleries, public areas, or their own homes, as did Ben Greeno of London&aposs Tudor Road. In Los Angeles, chef Ludo Lefebvre opened what he calls a "guerilla style pop-up restaurant," LudoBites. And Top Chef&aposs Stephanie Izard (of Girl and the Goat in Chicago) started out with an "underground" place called Wandering Goat, which enabled her to preview her menu and generate publicity. Meanwhile, San Francisco is leading the trend, with a multitude of pop-ups, no doubt a reflection, at least in part, of the city&aposs high rents and overcrowded restaurant scene. Eat Restaurant holds a monthly dinner in different locales so chef Tommy Halvorson can run the stoves without running his credit line. (We&aposve even had our own pop-up restaurant, Epicurious Entertains NYC.) Look for more of these in 2011.

Sweet Potatoes

This sweet root vegetable, bursting with beta-carotene and fiber, is finally getting the love it so deserves. With this fall&aposs bumper crop estimated at two billion pounds, more prominence on restaurant menus (not just in fry form), and an impressive nutritional profile, the sweet potato will be crowned the Vegetable of 2011. According to The New York Times, ConAgra just opened a plant devoted to processing frozen sweet potato products, and Google searches for the root vegetable (OK, albeit in fry form) have jumped 40 percent from last year. Chefs love them for their flavor, texture, and color: Sarah Stegner of Chicago&aposs Prairie Grass Café and Prairie Fire serves up Stuffed Sweet Potato Bread French Toast with Cream Cheese Filling. At DC Coast in Washington, D.C., chef Brendan Cox makes Sweet Potato Panzotti with Sage, Guanciale, and Toasted Hazelnut.

Urban Wineries

Move over, canning. The DIY trend is moving Sideways, enabling you to become the Mondavi of your block. At the Brooklyn Winery, oenophiles learn the process of taking grapes from vine to vintage, doing the de-stemming, crushing, and pressing and then bottling their own wine. At Cork This! Winery, in Montgomery, Texas, wine lovers can bottle the stuff and personalize the label. And at San Diego&aposs Carruth Cellars Winery, Adam Carruth blends, ages, and bottles right in the middle of a city block. Could urban-wine tasting tours be next?

Pimentón de La Vera

You may never have heard of this ingredient, but chances are you&aposve used its less smoky cousin many times. A specialty of Spain&aposs La Vera region, this smoked paprika is a building block of Spanish cuisine. It lends a sweet heat to roast and grilled meats, paellas, sauces, and soups. Because of the widespread popularity of Spanish cuisine, Pimentón de La Vera is gaining traction stateside, on restaurant menus and with specialty stores and online retailers. While all paprika is ground from a mix of Capsicum annuum peppers, the flavor is determined by the type of red chiles used, whether or not seeds are added, and the processing method. In La Vera, the chiles are smoked over an oak fire for two weeks before being carefully ground. Try the spice of tomorrow in this Turkey Cutlet Sandwich with Smoked Paprika and Mayo from Bon Appétit.

Happy new food year from Epicurious! And keep us posted on what&aposs in your culinary crystal ball!

The Epicurious Blog

It&aposs that time of year again. As we did for 2008 & 2009, we&aposve compiled our list of food trends to come in 2010. Our forecasts are divided into Front Burner (those things you&aposre likely to see next year) and Back Burner (trends that have peaked and are receding in popularity). Disagree with us? After reading the list, tell us what you think and what you foresee for this new decade.

Front Burner: Fried Chicken
With its crispy skin, moist meat, luxurious flavor and inexpensive price tag, what&aposs not to love? Top chefs agree: Thomas Keller&aposs Ad Hoc restaurant has fried chicken night, New York&aposs pig heaven Hill Country is set to open a fried chicken spinoff, and 2009&aposs hottest chef, David Chang, serves the dish in a high/low style at Momofuku Noodle Bar.

Back Burner: Burgers
With as many haute burger stands flooding the country as there are McD&aposs, we&aposve reached meat saturation. (Sorry Hubert.)

Front Burner: Mini Whoopie Pies
A staple of the south, this chocolate sandwich filled with marshmallow cream is a dream come true. Chronicle is publishing a whole book devoted to the subject and famed chocolatier Michael Recchiuti did a limited run carrot cake whoopie.

Back Burner: Mini cupcakes
As we&aposve watched our wallets shrink, so too have cupcakes, but these bite-sized icing bombes just leave us feeling unsatisfied and on jittery sugar highs.

Front Burner: Lamb
Are ewe as much a fan as we? Lean, often grass-fed, and nutrient- and flavor-packed, this is meat that can be dressed up (loin) or down (burgers). Eat Me Daily agrees: "Lamb is the new pork, lamb neck is the new bacon!"

Back Burner: Pork
We love pork, but when every corner cafe has a bacon-wrapped item on the menu, it&aposs time for something new.

Front Burner: Eating an immunity-building diet
With H1N1 (flu) hysteria continuing unabated, building your immunity with foods, such as those suggested by John La Puma, M.D., in Chef MD&aposs Big Book of Culinary Medicine is poised to become the big health trend of 2010.

Back Burner: Dining on Omega 3s
We all know how important Omega 3 fatty acids are, but we also know that too much mercury, found in Omega 3-rich fish like tilefish, swordfish, king mackerel, and grouper, can make you sick. (Thank you Jeremy Piven.) That, coupled with the overfishing of so many varieties, makes the pill form easier to swallow.

Front Burner: Butcher
Hipsters have moved from farming to butchery, embracing becoming one with their food, and trading in their plow for a good meat hook: Tom Mylan is the poster boy for this trend. As The New York Times&apos Kim Severson wrote in Young Butchers Gain Rock Star Status in the Food World, "With their swinging scabbards, muscled forearms and constant proximity to flesh, butchers have the raw, emotional appeal of an indie band. They turn death into life, in the form of a really good skirt steak."

And celebrity blogger Julie Powell (of Julie & Julia fame) is about to publish Cleaving: A Story of Marriage, Meat, and Obsession, detailing her butchery exploits.

Back Burner: Mixologist
We love inventive cocktails but are growing weary of the Las Vegas style over-the-top theatrics. Just pour us a drink with good ingredients.

Front Burner: Homemade Beer
Marrying the rebirth of microbrews and the popularity of homemade wines, hosts who want a real house beer are going hyperlocal with beer kits such as Cooper&aposs and Rogue Brutal Bitter.

Back Burner: Mad-Science Cocktails
After all the smoke and mirrors, these crazy cocktails made with essence of bubblegum or pulverized eye of newt are just too precious, expensive, and silly.

Front Burner: Vancouver
Before the Olympics was a glimmer in the mayor&aposs eye, Vancouver was turning into an amazing food city, with some of the world&aposs best Japanese and Thai fare, stunning and sustainable seafood restaurants such as C Restaurant and Blue Water Cafe, terrific food markets like Granville Island Public Market and now, some delicious local wines.

Back Burner: Barcelona
As the leading edge of first the tapas movement and then molecular gastronomy, this city has jumped the shark. While it will always have stellar wines, produce, and tapas bars, many of the restaurants are overpriced and underwhelming. There, we said it.

Front Burner: Potlucks
With wallets and schedules tight, having guests bring a specialty reduces the burden on the host and lets your friends show off their own Iron Chef culinary skills.

Back Burner: Formal Dinners at Home
Elaborate multicourse meals feel off-base in today&aposs economic climate. The trendiest hosts are now into unpretentious entertaining that focuses on exciting food, not bells and whistles.

Front Burner: Sam Kass
The baby-faced White House&aposs Food Initiative Coordinator has a full plate: Among his duties are leading official policy to encourage sustainable and healthy eating habits in our country&aposs school children, running the First Family&aposs garden, and oh yeah, cooking daily at the White House. But this 28-year-old is also a hot dish himself.

Back Burner: Curtis Stone
He has shown the Biggest Losers, as well as the country, how to eat healthfully and deliciously, and he&aposll always have a place in our heart. But we&aposd like to see him be a bit more creative in his suggestions as it&aposs easy to fall off your diet wagon if you&aposre bored of the same ole grilled chicken or fish.

Reusable products


Expect to see more reusable cup days at Starbucks (which already gives a discount for bringing your own), plus strawless lids and sustainable utensils, Food Business News says. The trend allows consumers and customers to promote environmentalism, but also a ploy to get consumers to come back.

Food Trends 2013: Push-Pop Cakes and Boozy Bar Food Make List

As 2012 comes to a close, here are some of the delicious food and drink predictions for the upcoming year compiled by Andrew Freeman & Co., a California consulting firm. Take a look at some of the new and continuing trends we'll see in 2013.

Next time you order popcorn, the bartender might check for identification. At Perbacco in San Francisco, Campari-infused popcorn was created for a Campari-sponsored party. At the Stinky Cheese Shop in Brooklyn, the Harpersfield Double Soak is a cow's milk cheese soaked twice in local beers.

Push-pops aren't just for frozen desserts. The plastic containers are now housing cupcakes, making them easier to eat than ever before. New York City's Go Cakes serves flavors like green velvet or confetti with choices of frosting and toppings.

Toast isn't toast. Crostini, pieces of toast slathered with anything from cheese to meat, are popping up on menus across the country. The one- to two-bite snacks can be sweet or savory. Fig and Olive restaurant in West Hollywood, Calif., serves a dessert "crostini" made with Amarena cherry and mascarpone on pistachio shortbread.

Gluten-free isn't just a fad. In an effort to accommodate clients, restaurants are offering gluten-free alternatives. The Fairmont hotel chain offers a Lifestyle Cuisine Plus program with specialized menus for those who eat gluten-free. The White Barn Inn in Kennebunk, Maine, sells gluten-free baked goods made by a local bakery. Casa Nonna, an Italian restaurant in New York City, offers a special menu for diners that includes gluten-free penne. Chefs are also experimenting with grains like bulgar and quinoa as a new update to rice or pasta.

Drink your vegetables. From cocktails to cleanses, it's time to dust off the juicers. Kale, beet or celery juices are appearing in cleanses from Blueprint or in cocktails at the Trencherman in Chicago. Liquiteria in New York City is a popular juice bar with a cult celebrity following.