Many thanks to Katie Sobel (Chef’s Training Program 152) for forwarding to us the Chef’s Survey: What’s Hot in 2010. The survey, conducted by the National Restaurant Association (the other NRA), tracks the hottest food and menu trends each year, as identified by 1800 chef members of the American Culinary Federation.
Worthy of note this year are 7 of the top 20 trends:
- locally grown produce
- locally sourced meats and seafood
- gluten-free/food allergy conscious
- sustainable seafood
- organic produce
Some of this year’s trendiest food items include “ancient grains,” “whole grain bread,” and “seaweed.” Sound familiar? Trends this year, but they’ve been around forever. Particularly, they’ve been matters of ongoing interest and commitment to Natural Gourmet since its founding in 1977 by Annemarie Colbin.
In one sense, these emerging trends are great news. Healthier, high-quality food finally enters the zeitgeist in a big way. Really, who cares how or by whom it got there! On the other hand, trends by their very nature suggest something that’s ephemeral and superficial. Hopefully, the mere mention of “locally grown produce” next year won’t elicit an eye roll and an “Ugh, locally grown is so 2010!” And with any luck “organic” will outlive sous vide cooking, liquid nitrogen, and the cuisine of Maghreb.
My hope is that local, organic, sustainable will survive the black hole of “what’s trending now.” If the way Natural Gourmet has grown and developed over the years is any indication, I think I have reason to be hopeful.