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Here's a look at the 12 hottest food and beverage trends for 2014 compiled by the international food and restaurant consultants Baum + Whiteman.
Using their industry knowledge the company have laid down their predictions for food in 2014.
Below are the food and beverage trends they've predicted.
1: Restaurants in Retail Stores
They predict that we will see an increase in restaurants in shopping malls and department stores as companies aim to increase footfall and 'anchor' customers so they return to locations again and again. They predict this trend will also increase in hotels, airports and even museums.
2: Tasting-Only Menus
We've already seen this trend increasing with many of the world's best restaurants already opting for tasting only menus. In 2014 Baum + Whiteman predict the end of À la carte as restaurants take the safer route of "guaranteeing a specific average check along with a pre-costed, highly controlled inventory". They cite The French Laundry, Blue Hill and Eleven Madison Park as setting the trend with a 'trickle-down" effect expected or less elite restaurants.
3: The Rise of Chicken (Posh Chicken)
Chicken that's treat like the finest of steaks. Cooked Sous Vide and served alongside foie gras, black mission figs or quail eggs. The company site Rotisserie Georgette, Nomad's famous roast chicken for two ($79) and Pulet vert at Marlow in San Francisco as just some of the high end restaurants focusing on the mighty poultry. They also talk about a number of other newly opened restaurants that point towards a growing trend in fine dining chicken.
4: Out with Food Courts, In with Food Halls
The idea of food courts in malls that serve up tired, withered burgers and rock hard pizzas from the same group of big chain vendors is finally on the decline. Replaced by upscale food halls packed with artisan products and local restaurants. They talk about the rise of Eataly in New York and soon Chicago (also in Rome and soon in Milan) and East End Market in Orlando as helping set the trend. Baum + Whiteman predict halls where "food is better, fresher, memorable and pricey". Food, they say, is the new draw and malls, museums, stadiums and public attractions are realizing this.
5: The Rise of Fish
Anchovies, sardines and mackerel are all on the rise as consumers across the States opt for oily fishes. Fish on salads, warms, fried, tossed in salads and placed on top of pasta. Could fish big a food trend to bet on in 2014?
6: A Fresh Focus on Beverage
Teas, vermouth, soda, sour beer, pressed Juices and the rise of the mixologist. They predict that hard cider will be big in 2014 even drinks that are low in alcohol, gluten-free and food-friendly, a way to appeal to the health conscious non-drinkers of the world. With Starbucks now opening tea bars it seems that clever businesses will jump on this trend and increase their use of flavored teas. What about tea pairings for 2014? We've already noticed the increased use of tea in the kitchen as an important ingredient by many chefs around the world including Andoni Aduriz at Mugaritz and Lorenzo Cogo at El Coq.
7: Regular Butter Out
Regular butter with bread just isn;'t cutting it. Baum + Whiteman predict a change as restaurants offer extravagant spreads to go with artisan bread baskets. They list black garlic mostarda, tomato jam, smoked eggplant dips, roasted garlic butter, beet butter, salsa butter and even chicken liver butter. All this on top of rosemary hummus, whipped lardo, procini oil and smoked ricotta. It seems table spreads are changing.
8: Green in The Mainstream
Healthy, green establishments are no longer niche. The company predict that in 2014 early investments in green restaurants will now pay off as the veggie, eco-friendly, gluten free all become more mainstream. This is being driven by the rise of vegans, vegetarians, Paleo dieters, diabetics, the weight challenged and a number of high profile chefs who are focusing on vegetables, even veg only tasting menus.
It seems that René Redzepi was right all along.
9: Pop-Ups, Food Fairs and Single Item Restaurants
The Ramen noodle burger, ice pops, artisan connolis - all foods that started at weekend markets only to find themselves with such a cult following they're now opening or have opened one-item restaurants. Food fairs, food trucks and pop-ups are pushing the trend, allowing businesses to attract a following before taking the traditional bricks and mortar route.
10: Off-the-Plate Dining Experiences
We predicted a while ago that we would see a rise in more off-the-plate dining as food becomes just one facet in the whole dining experience. Baum + Whiteman note the rise of establishments that are now playing with our senses as we dine, Ultraviolet in Shanghai, Paco Roncero and his invitation only techno-dining room, el Somni by The Roca Brothers and a whole list of other multi-sensory dining experiences. It's something we think was catalyzed by Ferran Adrià who for many years spoke about the importance of playing with the senses of customers.
11: A New Wave of Asian Flavors
Gochujang, shichimi togarashi, parilla, sansho, shisito peppers and okonomiyaki - all Asian flavors that are on the rise as restaurants across the world start to focus on Thailand, Japan, Vietnam and China for new ingredient inspiration.
12: Middle Eastern Cooking
New dishes and ingredients coming from Turkey, Morocco, Iraq, Iran and Israel. Immigrants from all these countries, including Syria and Egypt, are bringing with them culture and cuisine. They predict Shakskuka becoming a big breakfast trend and claim that Freekeh (a toasted green wheat) is also catching on.