2014 has come and gone, and with it a slew of culinary trends. The movement toward local and sustainable sourcing continued full steam ahead, as did the proliferation of natural, gluten-free, and vegan snacks and dining options. Far from simple flashes in the pan, these represent a larger shift in American culinary preferences that shows no signs of abating. We reached out to a handful of chefs and also put our collective heads together, and gathered predictions for what to expect from the culinary world in 2015.
We made 20 predictions heading into 2014, ranging from seeing an uptick in biscuits, sunchokes, tartares, and micro-distilleries, to more chefs owning full-scale farms and cooking invasive species. While some of these hit the nail right on the head — traditional French bistros and brasseries made a comeback as we predicted, with the opening of restaurants like Keith McNally’s Cherche Midi and Major Food Group’s Dirty French in New York, for example — but others didn’t fare so well; we’re still waiting for Richmond, Va. to have its moment and for sous-vide at home to really catch on.
One culinary trend that caught on like wildfire in 2014: Non-traditional reservation practices. Taking a cue from restaurants like Momofuku Ko and Next, plenty of in-demand restaurants also experimented with ticketing systems, including Trois Mec in Los Angeles, San Francisco’s Coi, Philadelphia’s Volver, and dozens of other restaurants nationwide, many using a system developed by restaurateur Nick Kokonas. As Grant Achatz’s business partner, Kokonas pioneered the system in 2011 and uses it at his three restaurants in Chicago, Next, The Aviary, and Alinea.
So where will 2015 take us? It’s obviously impossible to tell (nobody would have predicted that a cross between a croissant and a doughnut would have been the hottest food item of 2013), but we have a pretty good idea of what to expect. Read on for predictions for hot dining trends that we believe you can look forward to in 2015.
Back to Basics
“I think a back-to-the-basics trend is impending,” Chris Marchino, the executive chef at Chicago’s Spiaggia, told us. “People are now beyond the overly processed, overly showy presentations and preparations. People are going back to food that is simply prepared, tastes great, and makes you feel warm and cuddly inside." Eric Miller, chef/owner of East Hampton’s Bay Kitchen & Bar, agreed. “Regional cuisine and great old-school technique will make a comeback in 2015,” he predicted. “Long live slow food and warm hospitality!”
Bone broth is definitely having its moment right now, with New York’s Hearth offshoot Brodo and Northern California’s Belcampo earning a write-up in The New York Times. A favorite of paleo enthusiasts and cold people alike, and with a higher percentage of collagen, amino acids, and minerals than regular broth due to more bones being involved in its cooking, expect this comforting elixir to appear at more restaurants soon.