What’s new and emerging in sweet, savory, and beverage trends this year in Dallas? Symrise asked the city’s top StarChefs to share their valuable knowledge and experiences of patrons' preferences. Are public shifts in foods and flavors affecting the development of style and taste in the incoming Dallas food scene of 2022?
During the StarChefs.com Dallas Rising Stars awards in December, an event sponsored by Symrise, Emmanuel Laroche, Vice President of Marketing and Consumer Insight at Symrise, moderated a panel drawing in some of the best chefs in the best venues in the city. He asked the Dallas top chefs about the trends, dishes, and flavors they’ve noticed taking a front burner this year.
Some of the real standouts the Rising Stars have noticed include:
- A rising fashion for charcuterie boards in Dallas
- Fruit is being brought into savory culinary settings. Examples include innovations like yuzu in honey mustard at Shoyo and the pear and celery root soup with chanterelles and horseradish at Georgie
- Pistachio nuts are increasingly used in desserts and to flavor coffee
- The fascination with customized ethnic cuisine adapted to US palettes
- Mixing Asian and traditional Texan food styles, making use of similar seasoning spectrums and shared techniques to support the new fusions
However, comfort and custom are also having their say. More than anything, the trends in food and beverages in Dallas came down to one word: nostalgia. The town has a long-standing fondness for steakhouse food and fashion, and that continues, providing a foundation upon which new styles can be built. Chefs and diners alike were interested in menus that combined the comforting and familiar, even when creative twists were added.
The longing for yesteryear wasn’t a matter of looking back to memories of the Texas cattle that once dominated the city. Today's cuisine in Dallas isn't about expensive steaks. Instead, the chefs and bartenders are focused forward in a progressive food city, complete with a backdrop of a robust and distinctive culture.
Most of the Star Chefs in attendance at the Rising Star awards came to the Big D within the past five years. City residents and visitors were just starting to get interested in creative cuisine back then. Dallas didn’t embrace the new celebrity chefs right away. Instead, they quietly supported well-known local chefs who produced unique flavor combinations. Eventually, the food community came to honor both. Today, many of those local chefs are celebrated themselves.
Now, Dallas is a full-fledged foodie paradise, with locally sourced ingredients that have inspired various exciting dishes that were on-trend regionally. The chefs in this city encourage their patrons to try new flavors and elevate their palates.
Top Dallas Food and Beverage Trends for 2022 and Beyond
Here are more insights we learned from our Dallas Food Trek to the city’s hottest restaurants.
Petra and the Beast
Chef Misti Norris noted the popularity of fermented foods and the previously mentioned charcuterie boards. These new foods include koji-cured spalla, house-made pickled mustard, and dishes that offer contrasts of tastes and textures, like the restaurant's tea-braised pig tails.
Chef Norris also noted an increasing investment in restaurant and chef partnerships with local farmers, often announced on a chalkboard for customers to see. The support of local production and local agriculture is increasingly marketable, rewarding the wallet and the conscience.
In the same vein of local production, all charcuterie is made in-house at Lucia. This pattern of on-site produced artisanal foods is becoming a strong Dallas trend. Lucia's menu also includes one chef’s choice of salumi with high-hydration focaccia bread and sourdough bread made with cocoa and rye offered with eggplant caponata.
Lucia is on-trend for both the city and the nation, presenting an "on fleek" pistachio babka with crème anglaise as an in-fashion dessert offering, a trend that may be fueled by last year's modest but solid crop.
Cane Rosso Deep Ellum
Complete with fun décor with pop culture references, Cane Rosso is sometimes over-the-top with its toppings — but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. They offer Neapolitan-style pizza with toppings that can include spicy honey, bacon marmalade, and prosciutto.
They have Brussels sprouts, smoked mozzarella, vodka sauce, chives, and ranch pesto for their dishes, too. It’s an excellent example of a traditional and nostalgic meal made evocative with new taste combinations.
Chef Junior Borges, a Rising Star chef at Meridian, creates refined twists on classic Brazilian street food dishes. Customers order queijo, a popular cheese skewer snack grilled over burnt sage and thyme grown on-site in their garden, providing another instance of the popular local-onsite trend.
With very high-end décor and layers of flavors, this restaurant stayed away from many Brazilian steakhouse items best known in the States and geared toward lesser-known ethnic dishes.
Monkey King Noodle
Chef Andrew Chen prepares a Texas-meets-China menu of dishes that are a true mash-up. There’s brisket prepared with a combination of Chinese spices like Szechuan peppercorns over fried rice.
It’s a fast-casual restaurant focusing on noodles, fried rice dishes, stir-fries, and dumplings. These comfort food dishes, popular for their familiarity coupled with zhuzhed up novelty, definitely stand out.
Georgie by Curtis Stone
Chef Christian Dortch pays close attention to detail with the dishes of this Art Deco-themed, high-end establishment. Their menu offers dishes with many layers of flavors and showcases ingredients like dehydrated blood orange segments and pine nuts marinated in Calabrian chiles.
Dortch incorporates plenty of citrus for acid and serves artisan bread with high-end butter from Normandy. Other exciting ingredients include foam made from horseradish and whey from ricotta used in other dishes. They also provided thoughtful wine pairings to round out the experience for each dish.
Bahay at Revelers Hall
Serving traditional Filipino food, Chefs Denise Apigo, Paloma Hinahon, and Sarah Rañola specialize in home-style cooking. The word bahay itself means home, so diners can expect traditional comfort foods like garlic fried rice.
Some dishes have been reimagined from the traditional recipes, like the longganisa sausage in meatballs. They also have distinctive and unfamiliar beverages like their blended calamansi and tea, which offers a new twist on an Arnold Palmer.
Roots Southern Table
Another Rising Star Chef, Tiffany Derry, has prepared a Southern-inspired menu complete with floral and acidic cocktails. Their amazing fried chicken, fried in duck fat with natural salts, is popular along with cornbread made with hot water and served with collard greens.
Another popular dish is a delicious seafood gumbo with layers of flavors inspired by the chef’s home cooking. There’s also a noteworthy duck breast served with offal dirty rice. Most dishes come with vinegar and vinegar-based hot sauces.
Chef Jimmy Park encourages diners to eat with their hands to enjoy a full sensory experience without ruining the delicate pieces of sushi. Even though Shoyo is a high-end sushi restaurant that incorporates non-traditional ingredients, it’s also a comfortable environment with a bar and intimate seating options.
Shoyu offers outside-the-box pairings and inspirations, like a yuzu-mustard sauce inspired by hot dogs and mustard, as well as basil and fried mozzarella with salmon. Some dishes used smoke for flavoring.
Shoyo's presentations are impressive, with a noteworthy and beautiful dish being the steamed eel in a corn husk. Other dishes feature high-end ingredients like wagyu or a toro, caviar, and 24-carat gold leaf embellishment.
There are plenty of exciting trends in beverages, too, starting with the work of Bartender Illugy Recinos at Botanist. He creates cocktails based on personal memories, with each drink telling a story.
The cocktails introduce many complex combinations of spirits. For example, a drink might include Japanese whiskey with flavored rum and scotch. Glasses are garnished with botanical elements like a cucumber or a bay leaf, and the bar itself is decorated with a lot of brass and plants. The result is a natural feel that’s fresh and trendy.
Bartender George Kaiho provides a slightly more formal experience at this bar, where customers can expect a high level of attention to detail and surprising layers of flavors.
For example, the Boulevardier pour-over coffee or the coffee and Campari are both delicious. Texas and Japan inspire other drinks. Other drinks have savory ingredients, like Parmigiano and black pepper as a garnish to a sour.
Beverage trends continue at Midnight Rambler, a discreet cocktail lounge tucked away inside The Joule Hotel. Chef Gabe Sanchez is an award-winning bartender, and he offers thoughtful cocktails that entice the senses with interesting aromas. One visit, and there’s little wonder why this establishment is a Dallas favorite.
They play with nostalgia here, especially with the décor. For example, they’ve created a printed newspaper-style menu, using children’s toys to illustrate the cocktail offerings.
Food and Drink Trends from Dallas Continue To Inspire
Emmanuel Laroche, the vice president of marketing and consumer insights at Symrise, hosted the Dallas Rising Stars Roundtable Discussion, in collaboration with StarChefs. Their shared goal was to inspire members of the food and beverage industry to learn more about the innovative menus in the Big D.
As well as offering intriguing insights into the Dallas food scene, the event also allowed top chefs to share how these influences also shaped the city. By learning more about the rotating menus and inspired ingredient lists, attendees could see how nostalgia was transformed into modern culinary masterpieces.
Rising star chefs unveiled their own processes for creation, starting with their backgrounds and current roles. After all, many of the dishes at the heart of the modern food and beverage trends in Dallas and beyond started from chefs' culinary experiences from years past. The industry has changed, and so has the Big D.
Symrise is always interested in sharing the inspiration and creative menu items from around the nation and globe for the food and beverage industry. To learn more about new flavor trends for meals, libations, desserts, and information on upcoming events, contact us today.