Food and Dining Trends for 2011
I came across 15 predictions from the Joseph Baum & Michael Whiteman Co. recently and thought I’d share them with you. (Editor’s note: I used to work for the late Joe Baum in the late 80s at Aurora on E. 49th. When Joe Baum walked in the restaurant, you knew it.) I’ve paraphrased some of the predictions to keep it brief:
1) Old Italian is Back: Think negroni’s, red-checkered tablecloths, pesto, speck, guanciale (pork cheeks), tripe, house-made mozzarella – you get the idea. It’s comfort food at its finest, and what Long Islander doesn’t like Italian, I ask the jury?
2) Good News at the “Wall”: Wall Street, that is. Upscale restaurants thrive because the financial sector thrives (good news for Long Island restaurants).
3) Restaurants Feel Competition: From “grab-and-go” departments at supermarkets, drug store chains and even service stations.
4) Keep on Trucking: Food trucks are cutting into the restaurant dollar.
5) Korean cuisine: Kimchee might become as ubiquitous as kale. Look for Korean food to gain as much respect as Thai, Indian, Chinese and Japanese cuisine has in this country.
6) Popsicles: Think gourmet ice pops like blackberry-black tea.
7) Pushing Customers Away: Baum & Whiteman predict signs like “cash only” or no reservations or rationing time spent by customers at tables.
8) Calorie Counting Cafes: it’s already becoming exhausting, but look for even more emphasis on menus as per calorie count, the fact that the food is “locally sourced,” that it’s “organic,” that it’s “local.” Yawn. But good.
9) Breakfast all day: Notice the battle between McDonald’s and Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks for the breakfast dollar?
10) Grits: Grits will find their way on to dinner menus.
11) Free: As in menus that are gluten-free, sodium-free, sugar-free, fat-free, lactose free …
12) Pop-up Restaurants and Chef Swapping: restaurants that will open for two months (say, in the Hamptons or Fire Island); chefs who swap kitchens for a night.
13) Sandwiches: think, um, more sandwiches on menus (Vietnamese, Mexican, Cuban)
14) Done: As in food crazes which are sooo over: Artisan hot dogs, pork belly, bacon (on everything) … cupcakes may peak; ditto to the gourmet burger.
15) In it Together: Groupon, OpenTable, Foursquare, BuyWithMe, Zagat – everyone wants in on either deals or offering deals.
Baum & Whiteman also offer predicted buzzwords for 2011: coconut water, bourbon, lavender, macarons (not macaroons), umami and poutine. What do you think about their predictions? I predict their right on a lot of accounts!
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