January 1, 2012

10 Hot Food Trends for 2012



Front Burner Predictions

1. The Return of Hotel Dining
The big boys are back in the hotel kitchen, again. After years of chefs leaving large and often mediocre hotel dining rooms to open up small, casual standalone spaces, high-quality hotel dining has returned with a vengeance

2. Fin-to-Tail Eating
If you really want to take snout-to-tail to the next level, look to the lakes and seas. More and more restaurants are adding whole fish entrees to their menu …

Whole Red Snapper

3. Eating in Singapore
One of the tastiest cities on Earth (thanks in large part to its food courts whose multiethnic offerings border on flavorful insanity), Singapore is the place to eat in 2012. The nation has more fine-dining restaurants per resident than any other country on earth …

4. "Moonshine"
Drinking un-aged whiskey out of a label-less bottle …

5. Happy Diet
Eating healthy shouldn't make you sad. That's why we're excited about Dr. Drew Ramsey and Tyler Graham's Happiness Diet, which focuses on foods designed to boost your mood—and shrink your belly.

6. High-End Indian

With Chef Hemant Mathur's Tulsi getting a Michelin star this year, haute Indian dining in America is finally getting some recognition.

Tikka Masala Curry

7. Fennel Pollen
The latest in rare, must-have ingredients for chefs? An Italian favorite: fennel pollen. While Mario Batali extols its virtues, chefs far and wide are finding inventive uses for it, including Canlis in Seattle, where the powder dusts snapper sashimi.

8. Homemade Dairy
You can gauge the next big homestead cooking project on the horizon by the how-to cookbooks that precede it. This year, a slew of homemade dairy books made their debut, meaning it's only a few more months till all your friends are trading homemade yogurts, fresh cheeses, and butters.

Flavored Butters

9. Fried Sweet Dough
When you take something sweet and fry it, you'll always have a winner. We're not advocating for State Fair fare, mind you, but churros (preferably with cajeta on the side), beignets, and koeksisters are a killer ending for a meal. (See top photos.)

10. Cheesemaker
Cheesemongers like Anne Saxelby have helped Americans understand why artisan cheese is a delicious, good-for-the-earth slow food.

Artisan Cheeses

Excerpts quoted via Epicurious.

Photos: ourbestbites.com; Simply Delicious; Amelia PS (Flickr); Crashworks (Flickr); ReadyMade.com; Ulteriorepicure (Flickr)

Find Recipes

1. Top 10 Tuesday at Oh Amanda
2. Works-for-Me-Wednesday at We are THAT Family
3. I'm Lovin' It Blog Party (Friday) at TidyMom
4. Weekend Wrap-Up Party (Friday) at Tatertots & Jello
5. Free for All Fri. at Sassy Sites
6. Strut Your Stuff (Sat) at Six Sisters Stuff

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