In general, my advice is to be prepared and buckle up.
From extra fancy country ham and bean-to-bar chocolate to small batch boutique spices and whole plant butchery, 2017 is poised to offer an array of interesting food trends. Modern, elevated takes on Indian, Korean, African, and Middle Eastern food are expected, as well as lesser-known Asian cuisines such as Filipino, Taiwanese, Laotian, Malaysian, and Indonesian.
Specific trends include creative, upscale breakfast sandwiches; dessert after breakfast; sardines; caviar; modern takes on tartare; and hand-pulled noodles. Pushing the envelope, expect to see chefs playing around with aging meat – in whiskey, in sake lees, quick-aging with miso powder as well as simple dry-aging. Pushing even further, there will be robots in restaurants as well as some commercial stabs at 3-D food printing. R.I.P. Chef Homaro Cantu.
Modern Southern Cuisine will continue to take influence from global techniques. As chefs of the Southeast will always celebrate the legacy of Southern cuisine, they are looking to the future. Their hunger for ginger, bamboo, sunchokes and heirloom Italian vegetables are opening doors for North and South Carolina farmers and producers. Expect to see not-so-Southern ingredients being grown and produced right here in our back yard in 2017. One last note: everything will become snack-sized. Chefs want their audience to enjoy a multitude of flavors, and patrons will be happy to oblige.
Top 10 Flavors of 2017
- Hatch Green Chili
- Espellette Pepper
- Egg Yolk
- Curry (all of them)
- Sweet Potato
Bobby Zimmerman is the Southern Foods Brand Manager. He leads product development for the Southern Foods portfolio, including hand-cut meats, seafood and cheese, specialty and local ingredients. Before entering the distribution business, Bobby experienced a full career in the food service industry as a Chef of several fine dining restaurants and country clubs around the country.