As a dual certified chef, Certified Executive Pastry Chef and Certified Chef de Cuisine, ACF, for the past 24 years, I have seen the culinary arena from mom and pop places to the most prestigious dining venues all over the world. My one wish is that we not consume more than what is needed to sustain a harmonious balance in nature.
The most important trends for 2017 that you will see emerge on the horizon in the culinary arena are tiny bites, cooked differently, and layered flavors in tiny bursts. Call them pops because they literally explode with flavor in your mouth.
Expect to see more pop-ups, tents, and small eateries, lasting only for a few days or in establishments already up and running to test the waters on whether the local economy could sustain yet another restaurant in a given neighborhood. It helps if the owner of a restaurant decides to explore opening up a different place by either using the cuisine from his new establishment on the menu for a week, or by doing a pop-up close to the actual location proposed for this new eatery.
Other trends that are percolating:
- The emergence of group dinners, in outdoor/indoor areas are popping up everywhere.
- Flavors from the state of Hawaii and the continent of Africa will dominate menus.
- Less meat, more veggies are on the menu, but with lots of fresh flavor combinations.
- Ethnic cuisine and the regional specialties of many given nations will shine.
- More street food from food trucks to street vendors and I have to say I love this!
- No waste: The idea of throwing away food is cast out, and food leftovers are rethought and repackaged.
- Beef is what is for dinner but this time, it’s not the filet or the giant prime rib cuts. It’s the affordable cuts, new cuts, such as the shoulder, the oyster steak with lots of flavor. Affordable being the word to look for.
- Heirloom fruits and vegetables will take center stage on salads and as main entrees such as barbecued vegetables, to vegetable loafs, vegetable pates, even desserts using both vegetables and fruits.
A Community Feeling!
As a chef, I would like to see group community feedings, like giant church suppers, where everyone brings a dish to a community center or outdoor area so that people don’t have to go hungry. As an idea for the sick, suffering and the shut ins, consider coming together as a community to help them. Food should bring people together, not separate them by its cost or by where the eatery or restaurant is located.
Chef Mary Beth is a professional chef who has made her career as a private personal chef in the luxury field for over 25 years. Chef Johnson is the recipient of numerous culinary and visionary awards in her field and is often in the media for her expertise as well as appearing on television and she is an author to writing for major media publications.