Posts tagged ‘2009 food & travel predictions’

2009 Food Trends

Originally published at Paper Palate on February 23, 2009.

We are nearly one-sixth of the way through 2009 so now is a good time to examine some of the emerging trends in the culinary world.  As a reference I will use two publications geared towards opposite ends of the table, so to speak.

Gourmet is aimed at the consumer.  Acting sort of as a liaison between those preparing the meals and those consuming them, Gourmet is one of the heavy hitters in the publishing world.  Conversely, Cooking for Profit is a trade magazine published by the Gas Foodservice Equipment Network and is intended solely for the restaurant industry.

In their 2009 food & travel predictions, Gourmet suggests that amuse-bouche (complimentary hors d’œuvres) will increase in popularity.  The report cites one chef in particular, Doug Keane of Cyrus in Heldsburg, CA who gives up to a half dozen tasty morsels to his guests.  Also among their prognostications is a growing interest in yogurts from ruminants other than cows and with it will come a boon in small artisan yogurt brands.

For their part the folks at Cooking for Profit forecast an uptrend in the use of single-bite desserts.  The more that non-foodies learn about the overall benefits of locally sourced produce and sustainable seafood the more they will demand it from their favorite eatery so both are also en vogue.

Both publications are in accord that American parents are finally thinking about their children’s wellbeing by requesting healthy kid’s meals.  According to Cooking for Profit nutritional children’s dishes are one of the top five trends in the restaurant industry this year.  At the same time Gourmet reports that school districts around the nation are reducing the amount of fats (especially trans fats), sodium and sugar in their cafeterias.

However, the two publications take opposing stances on the consumer’s desire for original and complex cocktails.  Gourmet expects a “mixology backlash” after years of quirky Martinis and molecular concoctions.  They believe the consumer is ready for a simple adult beverage.  On the otherhand, Cooking for Profit is predicting that signature cocktails will be the alcohol trends of the year.  But both seem to think the furture looks good for micro-distillers.

Another point that both magazines feel will dominate the 2009 restaurant scene is the economy, or lack there of.  Both agree that restaurants large and small will be offering discounts, incentives and gimics to get people in the door.  That is great news for the customer that can muster the cash to go out.

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February 24, 2009 at 12:41 pm


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Stuart Reb Donald

Stuart is a celebrity chef and award winning food writer. Donald performs live cooking demonstrations and penned the cookbook Amigeauxs - Mexican/Creole Fusion Cuisine. He hosts two Internet cooking shows "Everyday Gourmet" and "Little Grill Big Flavor."

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