Chefs Identify What’s Hot, What’s Not for 2010

Now the National Restaurant Association weighs in on restaurant trends for 2010.  Locally grown and sourced products, farm-branded ingredients, sustainable seafood, a back-to-basics approach,  nutrition, allergy awareness and better-for-you children’s meals are among the top trends identified by 1,854 professional chefs, members of the American Culinary Federation.  Some of the “hot” items revealed in the survey:   ancient grains, grass-fed beef, mini desserts, black garlic, artisinal cheeses, house-made ice cream, micro-distilled liquor and gluten-free beer.

photo source: Flickr, patrick properties

photo source: Flickr, patrick properties


Here’s a list of the top 50 trends and the percentage of chefs ranking them as “hot.”  Check the link to Restaurants & Institutions for the full list of 150 trends.

1. Locally grown  produce          88%
2. Locally sourced meats and seafood       84%
3. Sustainability      80%
4.  Bite-size/mini desserts       79%
5.  Locally-produced wine and beer      79%
6.  Nutritionally balanced children’s dishes         77%
7. Half-portions/smaller portion for a smaller price         75%
8. Farm/estate-branded ingredients           75%
9. Gluten-free/allergy conscious        74%
10. Sustainable seafood               73%
11. Superfruits (such as acai, goji berry, mangosteen)         73%
12. Organic produce           73%
13. Culinary cocktails (savory, fresh ingredients)           73%
14. Micro-distilled/artisan liquor           72%
15. Nutrition/health            71%
16. Simplicity/back to basics       70%
17. Regional ethnic cuisine           70%
18. Non-traditional fish (such as branzino, Arctic char, barramundi)             70%
19. Newly fabricated cuts of meat  (such as Denver steak, pork flat iron, petite tender)   70%
20. Fruit/vegetable children’s side items        69%
21. “Kid cuisine”/gourmet children’s dishes    69%
22. Artisan/house-made ice cream            67%
23. Ethnic breakfast (such as Asian-flavored syrups, coconut milk pancakes)       66%
24. Organic wine/beer/liquor          64%
25. Exotic fruit (such as durian, passion fruit, dragon fruit, paw paw, guava)       63%
26. Artisinal cheeses    63%
27. Black garlic               63%
28. Food-beer pairings         63%
29. Specialty iced tea (Thai-style, Southern/sweet, flavored)     62%
30. Craft beer/microbrews              62%
31. Ancient grains (such as kamut, spelt, amaranth)        62%
32. Tapas/mezze/dim sum (small plates)         62%
33. Dessert flights/combos              61%
34. Bar chefs/mixologists          61%
35. Grass-fed beef                          61%
36. Flatbreads (naan, papadum, lavash, pita, tortilla)        60%
37. Free-range poultry/pork        60%
38. Gluten-free beer               60%
39. Ethnic fusion                      60%
40. Micro-vegetables/mico-greens      59%
41. Organic coffee     59%
42. Specialty beer (seasonal, fruit, spiced)       58%
43. Children’s entree salads          58%
44. Inexpensive/underused cuts of meat (beef cheek, brisket, pork shoulder, skirt steak)       58%
45. Umami       58%
46. Savory desserts        57%
47. Flower syrup/essence       57%
48. Heirloom tomatoes            56%
49. Specialty/gourmet sandwiches             56%
50. Specialty potatoes (purple, fingerling, Baby Dutch yellow)       56%

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