The Incredible Shrinking Plate: Small Plate Boom & Bust

By Michael Endelman Posted March 04, 2013

Photo © Akiko Ida & Pierre Javelle

F&W has been spotting food trends for 35 years now. Here, a time line of our greatest hits—and misses during the small plate boom and bust.

In a land of buffets and big portions, a new trend arrives. F&W writes: “The latest word in eating is less. There are many names for the phenomenon—grazing, noshing, snacking—but we’re giving it another: Littlemeals.”

F&W traces the small-plates trend back to its roots, with a story called “What’s All This We Hear About Tapas?”

Ferran Adrià’s El Bulli earns its third Michelin star. Meals at the modernist Spanish restaurant involve three dozen small bites and snacks.

Japanese snacking pubs, aka izakayas, take off in the US. “American gastro izakayas offer Japanese small plates with multiculti twists,” reports F&W.

In a newspaper article titled, “Is the Entrée Heading for Extinction?” chef Tom Colicchio says, “I think the entrée has been in trouble for a long time.”

The trend goes middlebrow, as The Cheesecake Factory debuts a “Small Plates and Snacks” menu with Vietnamese tacos.

The New York Times publishes “The Problem With Small Plates.”

Download the Full Story: 35 Years of Food Trends »

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