Dining and Restaurants / Eating / Food and Cooking

2011 FOOD TRENDS: The power of chefs; Eatery uptick coming; Hay is for restaurants

2011 American Salumi Calendar

Nibbles is a compendium of food, dining and beverage information and trends from the U.S. and the world edited by John Lehndorff (www.JohnLehndorff.com)

An interview with chef Thomas Keller reported by http://www.cnn.com/2010/OPINION/11/27/keller.pay.quality/index.html:
“What’s happening in our marketplace today at a retail level is a direct result of chefs. Everything that you see in your grocery store today, in terms of the higher quality and more variety and more seasonality, is a result of what chefs have done in their restaurants. Chefs have set the example that consumers follow. So I want arugula now, or I want to to see a short rib or whatever it is. It’s being written about. What’s being produced in restaurants, people see it and say I want to get them.”

Reported by: http://www.foodproductdesign.com/news/2010/11/restaurant-sales-expected-to-improve.aspx:
Slightly improved U.S. restaurant sales in the second half of 2010 will help keep the industry on a steady track leading into next year, according to new findings from , the Fitch 2010 U.S. Restaurant Outlook. Offering compelling values along with variety and high-quality food and service will remain a key priority for the industry. According to the findings, continued weakness in consumer discretionary spending, same-store sales (SSS) trends for the restaurant industry have been negative factors this year; however, personal consumption and consequently restaurant traffic could improve as the economy continues to recover and unemployment peaks during 2010.

Reported by http://www.nrn.com/article/pies-top-2011-restaurant-trend-list#ixzz15eseTYsn:
Andrew Freeman, whose Andrew Freeman & Co. of San Francisco consults on marketing for restaurants and hotels nationwide, detailed some top trends for 2011:
The new mom and pop. Self-financed restaurants built on limited budgets are growing in number.
One-ingredient restaurants. “Restaurateurs are taking one ingredient and building full restaurants around them,” Freeman said. Following on the several-year trend of gourmet burgers, the trend is extending to grilled cheese sandwiches, hot dogs and sliders.
Mini plates. “Small plates were the big buzz word over the last couple of years,” Freeman said. “This year mini is the new buzz word. Mini everything: mini portions, mini desserts.”
Dirt. Abandoning sauces, some chefs are turning to dried, crumbled, powdered ingredients to add texture and flavor. Noma in Copenhagen, Denmark, offers radishes with toasted-malt “dirt.”
Hearth-healthy. Wood-fired ovens will be used to roast vegetables and larger cuts of meat and whole animals.
Hot dogs and sausage shops. Examples include Brats Dogs & Wieners in New York. “They are moving from stands into restaurants,” Freeman said.Fried vegetables. Once-obscure vegetables are getting the crisp treatment with such items as fried Brussels sprouts, fried cauliflower and turnip chips.
Yogurt. It will show up as sun-dried, freeze-dried, smoked and pressed and in imported variations such as skyr from Iceland and labne from Lebanon.
Bellies. Goat and lamb belly are showing up on menus as pork-belly prices rise, producing such dishes as the lamb-belly watercress BLT at the Lonesome Dove in Fort Worth, Texas.

As far as popular ingredients go, Freeman suggests more influence by Necks (Lamb, beef, goat and pork); Kumquats; Smoking (olive oil, cumin and butter); Hay (Used for roasting and smoking, such as the leeks roasted on hay); and Honey. Chefs are developing partnerships with local beekeepers for use in sauces and dressings.

Complaints, tirades, comments, critiques? lehndorffj@aol.com

John Lehndorff is co-author with Kim Long of the American Salumi Calendar 2011, the first calendar devoted to cured meat artisans in the U.S. Lehndorff is a former caterer, nationally distributed newspaper food columnist and restaurant critic, author of a restaurant guide book, and one of America’s foremost pie experts.

The 2011 American Salumi Calendar: www.americansalumi.com

We’re willing to bet you’ve got at least one salted and cured meat enthusiast on your gift list this season, and it was for them that food writer and former restaurant critic John Lehndorff and author-illustrator Kim Long created the American Salumi Calendar. Part text book, part resource and part food porn, the 2011 calendar was made to celebrate the heritage of American cured meat, relating broadly to the cultural history of food production and the locavore movement.
It’s an educational compilation, featuring fun salumi facts, curing recipes, histories of sausage makers, definitions of different products and, of course, a sexy centerfold that displays lonzo, lamb coppa, duck prosciutto and pancetta, among other meats. And it’s sure to delight the food geeks in your family, who will read the thing until they memorize every single word, spouting off salumi facts at the dinner table. That’ll be us, actually, after we stop drooling over the close-ups of slices of silky prosciutto and the fat, meaty sandwich that is September’s feature.


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