Top 25 Food Trends 2010 Slideshow

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#2 Gluten-Free Baking, Recipes and Packaged Foods

While dietary restrictions like gluten sensitivity are becoming more common, ever since the low-carb craze, gluten has gotten a bad rap. In addition to the proliferation of gluten-free cookbooks and blogs, restaurateurs like Mario Batali and Michael White are including gluten-free pastas on their menus as more establishments become gluten-friendly.

 

Trend Forecast: UP

#24 Bee-Keeping

Backyard beekeepers have been tending their apiaries for decades, but with the rising popularity of the local food movement, we’re seeing more rooftop and urban apiaries (in New York, thanks to the recent lifting of the beekeeping ban). Others are taking their beekeeping expertise and sharing it with developing countries with the goal of enabling people to improve their condition through self-subsistence. Everybody wins: Unprocessed honey is a good source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, and is thought to help alleviate seasonal allergies.

 

Trend Forecast: UP

#9 Butcher Chic

Arthur Bovino

For dedicated and environmentally-conscious food lovers, eating local and sustainable meat is the first step. Next? Learning how to break down the whole animal yourself. At certain butcher shops in Brooklyn and San Francisco, people can sign up to learn how to butcher like a pro. 

 

Trend Forecast: UP

#20 Foraging

Five years ago, no one would have guessed you would see wildly growing plants like wild nettles and purslane placed next to beef tenderloin or seared salmon on menus at high-end restaurants like Chez Panisse in Berkeley, Calif., or Cookshop, in New York City. Foraging is the latest food trend stemming from the larger local foods movement, and once you taste freshly foraged mushrooms or berries, you’ll understand why the flavors of these foods, growing wherever they want in the wild, have chefs wanting more.  

 

Trend Forecast: UP

#12 Classic Recipes Make a Comeback (tie)

With the return of Julie & Julia, many cooks and chefs are making a return to the classics that Julia Child championed. Both restaurant kitchens and home cooks are taking time-honored dishes like beef bourguignon and putting modern-day twists on them. Pies, always a classic holiday dish, are becoming increasingly popular and are being re-invented with non-traditional ingredients like a mix of pear and brie. 

 

Trend Forecast: UP

#17 No Reservation Restaurants (tie)

The days of impossible reservations to get may be over, as many new restaurants like  Pêche are not accepting reservations, taking the hard line that popular restaurants like Joe’s Stone Crab in Miami famously take. While some are easily discouraged by block-winding lines, other view the wait-for-your-table policy as fair — even more inclusive. Don’t forget the restaurant’s bottom line: Avoiding reservations altogether also helps minimize a restaurant’s losses.

 

 

Trend Forecast: DOWN

#14 Food Apps

With everything moving to the iPad/iPhone these days, food apps have upped their presence with cookbook publishers and magazines getting on board. The iPad even had the power to raise Gourmet magazine from the dead through an app featuring the shuttered magazines recipes and cooking tips. Notable iPad apps include Locavore which tells you how to eat locally in your area, Zagat’s food trucks app (banking on another one of our trends), and What’s the Wait for knowing how long it will take to get a table before you get to the restaurant. 

 

Trend Forecast: UP

#1 Food Trucks

Maryse Chevriere

This past year proved that culinary delights on wheels extend beyond the Good Humor truck. In fact, Food and Wine Magazine even named Roy Choi, owner of the Kogi BBQ Truck in L.A. as one of the Best New Chefs of 2010. With a number of city-wide competitions ranking the best trucks they have to offer, it has never been easier to find quality fast food. A number of the most popular trucks, such as Kogi BBQ, are even going brick and mortar.

 

Trend Forecast: DOWN

#3 Coffee Cool

Maryse Chevriere

2010 was a good year to be a coffee geek. Between the proliferation of artisan coffeehouses and the cult following of roasting companies like Stumptown and Intelligentsia, this year, bean talk became seriously cool. Learn the art of cupping or the ins and outs of high-tech home brewing machines — just don't mention Starbucks.

 

Trend Forecast: UP

#15 Coconut Water

 

While you could always crack open a fresh, young coconut to drink the water in the Caribbean, it is only recently that this new “health” elixir has gone mainstream, now readily available on supermarket shelves around the country. Why the sudden surge in popularity? Sure, Madonna, Matthew McConaughey, and Demi Moore have all recently invested in one brand, Vita Coco, but the truth is in the water: coconut water is a low calorie, all-natural, hydrating powerhouse packed with vitamins and more potassium than a banana. Is this alternative to Gatorade also the latest hangover cure?

 

Trend Forecast: UP

#17 Korean Food/Kimchi (tie)

A Korean food staple, kimchi, essentially pickled vegetables with different seasonings, along with bulgogi have become increasingly popular, showing up alongside American favorites like tacos and hot dogs. Then there’s the Korean fried chicken phenomenon, giving KFC a run for its money. If you’re inclined to pick up some fried chicken at any one of Bon Chon’s 18 locations across the map, pair it with some of our recommended wines

 

Trend Forecast: DOWN

#4 Rooftop Farms

Urban farming, greenhouses on boats and green roofs are things of the past. Here in New York, we’re putting our roofs to work by creating rooftop farms. Gotham Greens is building a 12,000-square-foot greenhouse on a church roof in Jamaica, Queens, and will begin harvesting next year. Marlow and Sons and Anella already purchase some of their produce from Annie Novak's working rooftop (and CSA/Farm Market) located in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, and the trend has caught on in other cities like Philadelphia and Chicago. 

 

Trend Forecast: UP

#5 Pig Ear, Skin, Snout, Trotters and Tails

Maryse Chevriere

While using traditional cuts of pork has been a popular trend for the past few years (think chops and belly), dishes featuring more less-used parts of the pig are popping up around the country. Share a romantic dinner at The Breslin in New York, where Pig Foot for 2 is on the menu or to feast on pig’s ear with crispy kale at The Purple Pig.

 

Trend Forecast: UP

#17 Asian Tacos (tie)

Arthur Bovino

It all started with KogiBBQ’s Korean tacos (see our #1 trend, food trucks) with short rib, spicy pork, chicken and tofu and news of the food truck’s fusion fast food quickly spread throughout the country. It’s one of the most accessible trends and there are almost limitless combinations. Tacos are quick to make and simple to eat (albeit somewhat messy), so it’s not a surprise that people started putting a spin on Asian tacos at home. Use traditional Asian ingredients to create treats like scallion pancakes wrapped around pulled pork, cucumber and drizzled with Hoisin sauce.

 

Trend Forecast: DOWN

#21 Salted Caramel

Maryse Chevriere

If salty sweets are a thing of beauty, salted caramel is the belle of the 2010 Dessert Ball.  On the rise in the past few years, we’ve seen it all over the dessert scene, in homemade pies and drizzled over pumpkin ice cream.  From high-end restaurant tabletops to mainstream chocolate boxes, this harmonious sweet-savory twosome has made its mark in 2010.

 

Trend Forecast: DOWN 

#12 Craft Ice (tie)

Arthur Bovino

Piggybacking on the trend of craft mixology is the rise of the craft ice cube. Frozen in large cubes and spheres or uniquely shaped to fit a specific glass, craft ice isn't just pretty to look at, it serves a function too. Because the ice melts more slowly, cocktails stay colder for longer without getting diluted.

 

Trend Forecast: UP

#23 Celebrating Vegetables

Sure, we’ve gone a bit pork-crazy, but it seems like everyone’s talking about vegetables. In the recent food issue of the New Yorker, root vegetables were brought into the spotlight for their great taste and quality. Whether they are simply baked or roasted with rosemary and sea salt, they can be appreciated even by meat lovers who show it on Meatless Mondays – even chefs like Mario Batali are doing it. 

 

Trend Forecast: UP

#7 High End Food Courts

Arthur Bovino

Forget mall quality fast food, 2010 has seen the complete reinvention of food courts.  From Westfield San Francisco Centre Food Emporium to Mario Batali’s Eataly in New York, the high-end food halls are taking over coast to coast.  Parting with Panda Express is made easy over a slice of Torta di Nocciole di Costiglio, Batali’s flourless hazelnut cake.

Trends Forecast: UP

#6 Restaurants with Their Own Gardens (And Farms with Their Own Restaurants)

This is a trend that has been growing (literally) for years, but has taken hold in 2010. Inspired by establishments such as Dan Barber’s Blue Hill at Stone Barns, an influx of high-end chefs are planting kitchen gardens and crafting menus based upon the bounty of their harvest. This trend is even making its way to urban settings, with restaurants such as Bell Book and Candle, which opened in New York’s West Village this fall, generating most of its produce from a vast garden on the rooftop of the restaurant.

 

Trend Forecast: UP

#10 Great Meal Deals

 

This was the consumer’s year as far as dining deals went. Restaurant weeks got extended and restaurants made a big effort to create affordable options and specials in response to the recession, using sites and newsletters like OpenTable.com to spread the news. But this was also the year that group buying sites like Groupon.com and also private sales sites like Gilt City brought the hungry public daily meal deals that made upscale restaurants that much more accessible.

 

Trend Forecast: UP

#22 Mixology as an Art

Maryse Chevriere

Call them what you want — bartenders, mixologists, bar chefs — there are some seriously talked folks shaking things up behind the bar these days. From places that venerate classic cocktails like Chicago's Violet Hour or Houston's Anvil, to the creative minds behind molecular mixology at restaurants like The Bazaar in L.A., mixing drinks has truly established itself as a respected culinary art form.

 

Trend Forecast: UP

#8 Fried Chicken

Maryse Chevriere

David Chang put it on the menu at his Noodle Bar late last year, then Thomas Keller followed suit by serving it up at Ad Hoc—fried chicken has certainly been making the rounds. Whether buttermilk-brined in the traditional Southern style or double-fried as a crispy Korean specialty, the nation-wide craving for this finger-licking comfort food is insatiable. This trend coincided with a number of others this year, including the rise of elevated comfort food and Korean food.

 

Trend Forecast: DOWN

#11 More Transparency in the Food Industry

 

This past year, city, state and federal administrations have instated new restaurant policies that expose more industry information.  The Calorie Disclosure Mandate calls for more accountability on the part of large restaurantchains, by way of calorie counts on their menus and drive-through displays.  Similarly, New York City hasadopted a letter grading system that requires restaurants to bare their health inspections grades in plain sight for the public.

 

Trend Forecast: UP

#16 Tiki Bars

How to explain the resurgence of the tiki bar — was it the retro-cool factor? The fun mugs? The stronger-than-they-taste fruity island cocktails? We say, all of the above. In New York, hotspots like Painkiller and The Hurricane Club elevated this could-be-tack concept with an eye towards high-end mixology. Who wants a Mai Tai?

 

Trend Forecast: DOWN

#25 Elevated Comfort Food

Arthur Bovino

That a restaurant like David Chang's Momofuku Noodle Bar is making bank on a fried chicken dinner special says something about people's desire for comfort food. That some of the country's hottest chefs are opening burger joints speaks to that point too. But we're not just talking about dolled up Southern staples or upscale Americana classics, comfort food means different things to different people. Explains why ramen shops, korean fried chicken, and restaurants like Marcus Samuelsson's newly-opened Ethiopian spot, Red Rooster, are so hot.

 

Trend Forecast: UP