Post 7: 2013 Top Five Food Trends
Between the worships, seminars, contests and food trucks at the 8th annual International Chef Congress (ICC) (http://www.starchefs.com/cook/events/icc/2013), chefs from across the world echoed five distinct food trends:
• Ethnic Influences: Interest in Asian flavors and ingredients, primarily miso, yuzo, kimchi, and Szechuan peppercorns. Chefs are inspired by the street foods of Vietnam, Japan, and Thailand. Spanish food is also making gastronomic inroads thanks with the use of sherry, Iberico ham, olives and more.
• Smoking Meats: Barbecue has been elevated to “smoke,” with chefs increasingly doing their own smoking. There’s also a trend towards house-made charcuterie. Lamb and goat seem to be the new "chicken" with different cuts of the protein featured on menus across the country.
• Farm to Table Remains a Big Influence: Chefs prefer cooking with local ingredients and maintaining relationships with area farmers. Sustainability remains a top priority with many using pickling and fermenting to extend the season.
• Return of the Classic Cocktail: The trend is thinking about cocktails in culinary terms, in venturing beyond traditional beverage ingredients to those chefs are using in the kitchen (hello savory herbs and spices).
• Return to Simplicity: Getting back to basics was a consistent theme at ICC. It’s all about using pure, simple ingredients with lots of flavors. Within this simplicity theme was a nod towards nostalgia, of creating taste sensations that bring back childhood memories.