Pistachios, Plant Proteins and Small Plates: Predicting 2015’s Food Trends
Jan 13, 2015
Pistachios and hummus are in. Sriracha is out. Forget kale – cauliflower is the new hotness. Every year, food prognosticators gather a dizzying amount of data to predict the hot trends in food and drink. While many of these so-called trends won’t pan out in the end, some will endure and we’ll begin to see them everywhere. Remember when kale was just a salad bar decoration?
The 2015 trend report, published by food and restaurant consultants Baum + Whiteman, covers everything from behind-the-scenes restaurant tech (using Google Glass in imaginative ways) and “rediscovering” foods that have waned in popularity (oysters instead of pretzels at the bar) to hybrid liquors (think whiskey flavored with pumpkin pie spice). The report is an eye-opening look into how food trends are created by both food purveyors and a public that craves something new and different.
We asked a few of our own experts, the chef instructors of Culinard, the Culinary Institute of Virginia College, for their 2015 food trend predictions. Chef Dale Van Sky, chef instructor at Culinard in Chattanooga, believes we’ll be seeing more ancient whole grains, such as quinoa, kamut and spelt.
“These whole grains have a greater percentage of protein than most grains, which help supplement vegan and vegetarian diets,” Chef Van Sky says. “They are very versatile and can be substituted for rice in most recipes. I love the flavors and consistency.”
“I think the hot trend for 2015 will be vegetarian ‘butcher shops’,” says Chef Bill Wright, also of Culinard in Chattanooga.
Like their traditional deli counterparts, these vegetarian shops would serve a variety of meatless options to traditional products like sausages, bologna, charcuterie, jerky and cheeses. Chef Wright says vegan ingredients can be used to produce the same textures and flavor profiles found in meat products. “Jackfruit to add fibrous texture, pinto beans to add body, grains and legumes for added flavor and textures,” he says.
Think it sounds far-fetched? The nation’s first meat-free “butcher shop” is now open in Minneapolis. More are sure to follow to embrace a growing population of vegans, vegetarians and health conscious omnivores alike.
Culinard in Fort Pierce program director Steven Scerenscko says an enduring trend for 2015 and beyond will be small plate and sharing menus. Tapas and dim sum have been mainstays of trendy restaurants for years. These types of small plates and sharing menus are particularly beloved by young millennial diners.
No matter what trends are hot in 2015, it’s sure to be an exciting year for food and drink. So eat, drink and be merry – because you never know what food trends will be popular next year!