Before we reveal our predictions for food and drinks trends for the coming year, we wanted to take a look back and see if our gastronomic guesses came true for 2015. Last year our editorial staff came up with an impressive list of predictions, dealing with everything from ingredients to cooking styles to types of restaurants. Here are a few educated guesses we got right: 2015 was the year of the bone broth, and quite frankly you’re probably tired of hearing about the trendy soup stock (it even comes in powdered form now!). But don’t worry; experts at Kendall College’s culinary school predict that bone broth fever will die down.
If you’ve been following The Daily Meal at all this year, you’ll also notice that many well-known chefs and restaurateurs have either come out against or completely gotten rid of tipping, including Tom Colicchio, Danny Meyer, and Thomas Keller — a development that we predicted a year ago. This year was also ripe for well-established gourmet chefs to dip into the realm of casual comfort food. David Chang opened up a fried chicken joint in March called Fuku, while both José Andrés and Daniel Humm (of Eleven Madison Park) announced the opening of fast casual restaurants in 2015. We also predicted the rise of cuisine from underrepresented Asian countries, and lo and behold, this year, New York City welcomed Singapore Restaurant Week for the first time, featuring traditional chili crab and other dishes from the small culinary-minded city-state.
As for 2016, we’re hoping to see grocery stores embrace “ugly” foods — which deserve just as much shelf space as cosmetically beautiful fruits and vegetables — and expect to welcome the return of full-fat foods. After a year of gluten-free, paleo, and clean-eating crazes, we’re ready to indulge in fat — and so is the rest of America. Fermented foods, like kimchi and kombucha, remain important because of how much they do for our gut health, which affects our overall health as well.
As Americans get more and more adventurous with their eating habits, we’re betting on 2016 as the year that delicious and “exotic” cuisines, like Filipino, Malaysian, and Hawaiian, gain a wider audience. Finally, as whole foods cement their place in the American diet, we’re anticipating two important changes to the way we eat — more vegetable-driven restaurant menus as fresh produce gets the respect it deserves; and, as Americans get smarter about sustainability, better welfare conditions for the animals we are eating.