Sustainable seafood pioneer Rick Moonen celebrates the 10th anniversary of his Las Vegas flagship RM Seafood in 2015, kicking off the year with a rotating special menu celebrating his greatest hits of the last decade. He’s reviving perennial favorites such as brandade of scallops and shrimp with black truffle vinaigrette (“I made it on my first appearance on Top Chef Masters; the competition was fierce, but it was an overwhelming success”), “everything”-crusted tuna (“a tribute to my favorite bagel in my hometown of New York City”) and linguine with white clam sauce (“the ultimate comfort food, inspired by the Italian restaurant that I grew up near in Flushing, Queens”). Amid the joy of reflecting on an amazing decade, the ever-forward thinker is contemplating the years ahead. Here, his predictions for the next decade in food.
Communal dining. There will be a rise in guests taking a more active role in the shared eating and drinking experience, not unlike the Korean BBQ concept, where everyone shares from a common pan. Fondue, the pu pu platter and paella-style pans will be making it to the center of the table, and drinks in pitchers, punch bowls and other creative vessels will adorn more tables.
Bigger, bolder spices. America is hungry for more complex spice combinations. Indian blends will be the next hot ticket, reinforced by movies like The Hundred-Foot Journey. (I got very excited when the box filled with mom’s spices make its debut in that film.) We’ll see more garam masala and ras el hanout—warm, deep and delicious flavors. Turmeric, the super anti-inflammatory spice, will be as commonplace as salt and pepper.
Fermentation frenzy. Fermented foods have been on the horizon for a while now, but I see it catching fire in this decade of food evolution. Kombucha, shrubs and kimchi…all amazing for your lower GI, and the flavor profile goes on and on.
Trash fish will have its day. We are on the brink of finally celebrating the many amazing fish species hiding on the lower tiers of our food chain. We will learn that we have been missing incredible flavors and textures; more and more chefs will get their hands on the astonishing diversity of seafood species out there. I have been screaming about this for two decades and am so happy to see it coming to fruition.