December 31, 2013

5 food trends for 2014With the new year in sight, foodies, restaurateurs and graduates of culinary programs are all looking ahead to 2014 and wondering what trends it will bring in the food industry. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the wonders you’ll likely be finding on your plate once the calendar turns over.

This trend has already taken root across the country, but 2014 promises to be the year of the locally sourced. Whether you look at the National Restaurant Association’s (NRA) “What’s Hot in 2014” list or pretty much any food blog anywhere, locally sourced meat, produce, cheese and drink will be at or near the top of their list for the coming year. So get ready to find out what’s being raised and cultivated right down the road.

This difficult to describe taste – which people have still been trying to articulate for centuries – is also known as the “fifth taste” (after salty, sweet, sour and bitter). Translated from the Japanese, umami means “pleasant savory taste.” As chefs across the country search for new ways to cook and new flavors to use in that cooking, the ever-illusive umami is sure to be at the top of their list of things to try.

One of the greatest things about the growth of creativity in the food business is that chefs have learned how to make vegetables incredibly tasty, even for the avowed meat eaters out there. And as more vegetables are used to decorate plates and add depth to meat dishes – while also catering to the growing vegetarian and vegan populations – there will surely be even more to come in 2014.

The gluten-free movement is one that has inspired strong reactions, both positive and negative. But whatever you think of the drive to eliminate wheat, it is probably here to stay. At least for 2014. More than 75 percent of the chefs surveyed in the NRA’s “What’s Hot in 2014” listed gluten-free as something they will be experimenting with in the coming year.

Gourmet pizza
Even the most sophisticated foodie can usually get down on a regular old slice of pizza. Nonetheless, this staple of American cuisine is getting a facelift, as many chefs are applying their creativity and experience to a food that is often thought of as being pretty perfect in its most basic form.

These are just a few of the trends to look forward to in 2014. But if you’ve taken some culinary classes, maybe the next big thing will be thought up in your kitchen.