Food Trends for 2011
January 2011 Food Trends: Foodie Courts, Fusion Fun, Fruit Fantasy
Food megacomplexes with artisanal shopping and restaurants are proliferating. At Seattle's Melrose Market, visitors can have the Persian chicken stew flavored with pomegranate and walnut from chef Matthew Dillon's Sitka & Spruce, buy provisions like yogurt or pickles at Sitka's larder and purchase charcuterie to take home at Rain Shadow Meats next door.
"If Mexico hadn't shared its chiles with China, would we have spicy Chinese food?" asks chef José Andrés. His new Vegas spot, China Poblano, with dishes like Asian duck tacos, shows how more and more chefs are combining seemingly unrelated cuisines.
FarmVille, the Internet craze, has 30 million users. New to the game is frozen-fruit giant Cascadian Farms, which gives players the chance to "plant" organic fruit. Inspired, F&W's Grace Parisi flavors sweet rolls with frozen raspberries and streusel cake with frozen peaches.
Sail The new Oceania Marina debuts with a restaurant from culinary icon Jacques Pépin.
Snack World-famous brothers Ferran and Albert Adrià open Tickets, La Vida Tapa, in Barcelona.
February 2011 Food Trends: Bike Delivery, iPad Wine Lists
Delivery guys on bikes with bags of Chinese food are an essential part of city living. Now people can get Fair Trade coffee beans and small-batch preserves brought to them by bike, too, all in the name of eco-consciousness. In Portland, Oregon, Shauna Lambert and Jed Lazar own SoupCycle, a "soupscription" service in which customers get deliveries via bike. Cumin-spiced red lentil is a favorite.
iPad Wine Lists
You usually think of sommeliers as wine geeks, but many of them are tech geeks, too. Their latest toy is an iPad to let customers peruse the offerings. The sommeliers still provide pairing advice, though: Olivier Dufeu of NYC's South Gate recommends a Muscadet with cavatelli and mussels.
Eat The WigWam hotel outside of Phoenix debuts two restaurants from consulting chef Chris Bianco.
Watch Deauville, France, hosts the Omnivore Food Festival with an impressive roster of chef talent.
Stay Rosewood unveils a new hotel in the heart of Mexico's historic San Miguel de Allende
March 2011 Food Trends: Chef Reads, Chicken Chic, Vintage Beers
Chefs and fixated foodies are revealing their passions and obsessions in new books. Look for two intense chef memoirsGrant Achatz's Life, On the Line and Gabrielle Hamilton's Blood, Bones & Butterplus tech genius Nathan Myhrvold's epic 2,000-plus-page Modernist Cuisine, on kitchen science.
Old beer sounds unappealing, but aged beerthat's a concept with promise. Greg Engert, beer sommelier at Washington, DC's Birch & Barley, stocks more than 50 aged beers. "Aging brings out subtle new flavors, like raisins and toffee," he says. Dark beers that are high in alcohol tend to age best.
More chefs and home cooks are buying responsibly raised chickens; some even have backyard coops. The trend has prompted author Mindy Fox to write A Bird in the Oven and Then Some, featuring citrusy chicken salad and Aleppo-pepper roast chicken.
Stay The Four Seasons opens a luxe hotel in Marrakech with an amazing spa and Turkish baths.
Eat San Francisco restaurant RN74 launches a Seattle location with star sommelier Rajat Parr.
Stay Edition hotels, a new hotel brand with a food-and-health focus, debuts an Istanbul property.
April 2011 Food Trends: Offal Cooking, Breakfast Sandwiches
Chefs have been experimenting with offal ever since St. John became a must-visit London restaurant. Jennifer McLagan's forthcoming cookbook, Odd Bits, shares offal recipes for home cooks that taste much better than they soundas in her spicy Indian-style liver.
The megatrend of restaurant breakfasts has spawned a mini-trend: the restaurant breakfast sandwich. At The Point in L.A., chef Mark Peel piles sourdough with creamed spinach, roasted mushrooms, a fried egg and provolone. And at Manhattan's Peels, chefs Preston and Ginger Madson offer a build-a-biscuit sandwich with eggs, ham, cheddar and jam.
Shop Steuben and Jonathan Adler introduce a new tabletop and accessories collection.
Watch Vine Talk launches on public television with F&W's Ray Isle as host and wine expert.
Go New York City's second-annual Lucky Rice Festival celebrates cuisines and cultures of Asia in America.
May 2011 Food Trends: Cooking Cameos, Homemade Honey
Chefs aren't just eating at each other's restaurants when they travel, they're actually cooking in them. Los Angeles's Animal recently hosted Jeremy Fox of Tyler Florence's restaurant group, who spent a week serving dishes like butter beans bagna caudavegetarian choices not typically seen on Animal's meat-centric menu.
The newest hotel guests are bees, staying in apiaries on the property and making honey for hotel restaurants. At Carmel Valley Ranch in California, "Guests do everything from operating the smoker to doing hive checks," says beekeeper John Russo. Carmel Valley chef Tim Wood's honeyed chicken wings honor that hard work.
Eat In Washington, DC, star chef Fabio Trabocchi debuts Fiola with food from his native Le Marche, Italy.
Read Mission Chinese Food, San Francisco's beloved do-good restaurant, releases a self-titled cookbook.
Stay Top Piedmont winemaker Pietro Ratti opens his family's 13-room estate, Villa Pattono, to guests.
June 2011 Food Trends: Rooftop Gardens, General Store Redux
General Store Redux
What's next, now that we've seen stores dedicated to selling only local ingredients? General stores with a locavore bent. Saxapahaw General Store, in a gas station near Chapel Hill, North Carolina, offers everything from motor oil to Chapel Hill Creamery cheeses. Take 5 Urban Market in Seattle sells dry goods next to house-made carrot cupcakes and chicken parmesan.
Chefs all around the United States are taking part in the kitchen-garden trendeven when that means they have to drag seeds, pots and bags of soil to their restaurant's roof. The 3,000-square-foot terrace garden at the Fairmont Dallas hotel provides chef André Natera with the essentials for his superfast tomato-mint salad with feta.
Go Our own Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, June 1719, has spectacular cooking demos and wine seminars.
Read Ice cream whiz Jeni Britton Bauer publishes Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams for the Home Kitchen.
Eat In Sheffield, England, the two-day Chef: Field festival is dedicated to "celebrating food in its purest form."
July 2011 Food Trends: Ice-Pop Age, Asia in Paris, Supper-Club Style
The new artisanal ice pops are an all-natural take on the Popsicle. In L.A., Popcycle Treats uses seasonal produce to make flavors like salted cucumber and lime. And in Manhattan, Nadia Roden of Lily Lolly's Ice Kitchen makes an excellent Campari-grapefruit ice pop. "I wanted to experiment," she says. "People will want a taste, not a tub."
Asia In Paris
Some of Asia's most dominant hotel companies have set their sights on Paris. Raffles enlisted Philippe Starck to redesign Le Royal Monceau; the super-luxe Shangri-La brand launched a new hotel in the 19th-century palace of Napoleon's grandnephew, importing a team of chefs to create Paris's first venture into Chinese haute cuisine. On the horizon: ambitious new projects from the Peninsula and the Mandarin Oriental.
Dinersand the chefs who feed themare embracing retro dishes like sole amandine. At NYC's The Darby, Alexandra Guarnaschelli perused old supper-club menus and came away with ideas for cheese soufflé and chilled tomato soup, which she presents over a bowl of cracked ice.
Stay Los Angeles's historic Hotel Bel-Air reopens after a two-year renovation with 12 acres of gardens.
Drink Canada's Niagara region hosts the Cool Climate Chardonnay Celebration.
August 2011 Food Trends: Food & Music Fests, DIY Soda
Food & Music Fests
For the first time ever, bands like the Strokes are sharing billing with star chefs as rock festivals strive for real food-and-wine legitimacy. As culinary director of Lollapalooza, music fanatic Graham Elliot Bowles of Chicago's Graham Elliot masterminded two food courts where he dished out his own sweet-and-sticky kung pao turkey drumsticks.
Mixologists and chefs were the first picky drinkers to make their own sodas. Now more and more DIY-ers want to do it. iSi's Twist 'n Sparkle charger, available at Williams-Sonoma, can carbonate all kinds of drinksfrom a lemongrass-ginger soda to iced tea and fruit juice.
See The comedy 30 Minutes or Less stars The Social Network's Jesse Eisenberg as a pizza delivery guy.
Drink Outside Lands festival in San Francisco features art, music and many Bay Area wines.
Drink Southern California's largest craft-beer event is the Stone Brewing Co. Invitational Beer Festival.
September 2011 Food Trends: Ice Cream Innovation, Back to School
Ice Cream Innovation
Ice cream parlors like London's The Chin Chin Laboratorists, which uses liquid nitrogen, have become brilliant innovators. In Santa Barbara, California, Rori Trovato of Rori's Artisanal Creamery channeled some of her creativity into coming up with a stellar chocolate-coconut flavor for her lactose-intolerant son.
Back To School
Wherever you goa hotel, a Michelin-starred restaurant, a farmyou're more and more likely to find a cooking school. Just north of San Francisco, the Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company has opened The Fork, where co-owner Jill Giacomini Basch teaches how to make dishes such as a focaccia topped with pears, caramelized onions and Point Reyes' splendid blue cheese.
Read San Francisco's local-minded Bi-Rite Market releases The Bi-Rite Market Manual.
See Jennifer Garner stars in Butter, a film about a Midwesterner with a talent for butter carving.
Go Le Grand Fooding, the hip French culinary extravaganza, takes place in New York City.
October 2011 Food Trends: Beer Collaborations, Cocktail Glam, Lowbrow Cocktails
While commercial brewers keep recipes top-secret, craft brewers have started inviting peers into their think tanks. The results are often beers that are as complex as wine, and just as food-friendly (see salmon and pork chop). Danish brewer Mikkel Borg Bjergsø helped Indiana's Three Floyds Brewery produce a spicy rye beer called Ruggoop. Sierra Nevada Brewing's Ken Grossman collaborated with three pioneering brewers, including Fritz Maytag of Anchor Brewing, for his company's 30th Anniversary Series. To revive classic pilsner brewing methods, Jean-Marie Rock of Orval worked with Boulevard Brewing's Steven Pauwels to create Collaboration No. 1 Imperial Pilsner.
Some mixologists have decided they need a break from esoteric spirits and science-lab techniques; instead, they're finding inspiration in the kinds of lowbrow ingredients sold at the local 7-Eleven. At Boston's Coppa, co-owner Courtney Bissonnette combines green and yellow chartreuse with Miller High Life to make her supersize Coney Island Strongman. "We serve it in a large beer stein with a big, muscular arm as the handle. It's ridiculous, but people love it," she says.
Hotels once aspired to be glamorous, not hipand those days may be back. Shanghai's Fairmont Peace Hotel recently renovated its Art Deco interior. In London, the refurbished Savoy serves cocktails like its riff on the Daisy. It's easy to imagine guests like Lauren Bacall drinking one.
Read Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook is by New York City pastry chef Christina Tosi, of Crack Pie fame.
Read Excellent San Francisco chef Mourad Lahlou publishes his first cookbook, Restless Moroccan.
Read Look for Michael Ruhlman's Twenty: The Basic Techniques You Need to Cook Everything.
November 2011 Food Trends: Cellar Notes, Red Wine from Cowboy Country
In their quest to stick to local ingredients year-round, chefs are turning to root cellars. Tyler Brown of Nashville's Capitol Grille at the Hermitage Hotel heads for the hotel's nearby Civil Warera cellar when he wants to make his roasted beets and celery root with goat butter .
Red Wine From Cowboy Country
California's Amador County is known for cowboys, cattle and Zinfandel. But now winemakers have started working with Rhône grape varieties, like Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre, that may be even better suited than Zin to Amador's oddly Mediterranean climate. Look for Easton's dense, peppery 2007 Terre Rouge Les Cotes de l'Ouest Syraha terrific partner for the stuffed flatiron steak from Marcia Kiesel in F&W's Test Kitchen.
Read From Montreal's Joe Beef restaurant comes The Art of Living According to Joe Beef.
Go Celebrity Cruises' new ship, the Celebrity Silhouette, starts sailing to the Caribbean.
Drink The owners of Washington's Leonetti release their new Figgins Family Wine Estates red blend.
December 2011 Food Trends: Savory Cupcakes, Oyster Bars, Cheese Champions
Do lasagna cupcakes sound like a great idea or just plain wrong? Either way, they're part of a savory-cupcake trend that we're seeing in everything from meat-loaf cupcakes to chicken-and-waffle cupcakes. Inspired by the lasagna cupcakes made by Heirloom-L.A. caterers, F&W's Grace Parisi came up with her own flavored with Fontina and prosciutto. Can't bring yourself to think of them as cupcakes? Call them mini lasagnas instead.
Anyone who cares about sustainable seafood should be eating more oysters, because they're farmed so responsibly. Luckily, there are a growing number of fantastic oyster farms and oyster bars. Chef April Bloomfield and restaurateur Ken Friedman operate the John Dory Oyster Bar in NYC's Ace Hotel. Seattle's The Walrus and the Carpenter, named for the oyster poachers in Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass, focuses on West Coast bivalves. And Massachusetts co-op Island Creek Oysters, a favorite of chef Thomas Keller, opened its own bar in Boston's Hotel Commonwealth.
In this year of the artisan, it's exciting to see how trends evolve. Now some artisans are assisting bigger, more established companies that want to create something handcrafted. Vermont's tiny Jasper Hill Farm, for instance, is helping big Cabot age its incredible Cabot Clothbound Cheddar, a cheese that's perfect for making the cheesy puffs called gougères.
Eat Washington, DC, eco-restaurant Founding Farmers opens a location in Potomac, Maryland.
Drink For New Year's Eve, try the Italian equivalent of Champagne, Franciacorta: Bellavista Cuvée.
Read Serious Eats, Ed Levine's popular blog, launches its first book, recipes included.