As we approach the 2015 winter edition of dineL.A.’s Restaurant Week, we found ourselves contemplating the year ahead. Will uni prevail? And better yet, will bacon ever die?
We asked 8 chefs participating in dineL.A. to weigh in on their predictions for 2015. Plus, we are giving away four $50 gift certificates to Cafe Gratitude, Badmaash, Sugarfish and Blue Plate Taco. Leave a comment below with your food trend forecasts for the year ahead and Evan will select her four favorites on Monday at 3 o’clock. We can’t wait to hear from you.
WHAT FOOD TRENDS DO YOU FORECAST FOR 2015?
Zach Pollack, Alimento: My prediction will be the demise of Uni in all applications but Sushi, and the rise of Mackerel.
Dreux Ellis, Café Gratitude: As we see the drought here in California continue to deepen, this is going to have a profound effect on all food production for the United States. No water for industrialized farms in the Central Valley will shift the emphasis to smaller diversified farms that are using alternative practices such as biodynamics and permaculture to build soil and make growing food possible. Their use of multiple grains in crop rotation will see a greater presence of previously under-appreciated seeds like millet, amaranth and barley in a variety of new dishes. Millet may become the new quinoa.
Mette Williams, Culina: I think that other cured pork products (beyond bacon) are going to be seen a lot more. I have been using a lot of guanciale, ndjua and lardo recently. Those cured meats have such a powerful, but delicate flavor when added to dishes. Squid Ink is popping up on a lot menus in different ways than just in pastas, and oysters are back on top with different and interesting mignonettes and sauces. I also predict a gravitation toward unusual root vegetables like celery root, a favorite of mine, as well as rutabaga. And to drink? Well, whisky is just delicious.
Chef Philip Pretty, Fundamental: I think the influence of Mexican flavors is going to grow in in what we call Californian/New American/Seasonal cooking. Mexican street food has always been popular, but I think it’s going to affect broader seasonal menus in a really cool way–think octopus and/or clam pozole, mole in different contexts, etc.
Chandra Gilbert, Gracias Madre: I believe that we will continue to see an increase in organic, grass-fed, field-to-table and sustainable dining. People continue to educate themselves and therefore make wiser choices for their families and self.
Chris Kufek, Saddle Peak: In 2015 I think we’re going to see more smaller tasting menu focused restaurants like Maude. The model is very sustainable due to the predictability. I think smaller kitchens, smaller restaurants will be the norm and will become more and more popular.
Steve Samson, Sotto: Trend: Chefs taking on fast food concepts where chains usually reign, i.e, pizza, sandwiches, burgers. Consumers are becoming more quality and health conscious, so they’ll demand a higher standard than is currently available at chain restaurants.
Michael Falso, The Springs: I believe that celery is going to start taking a much more prominent role in food, and not just something that is used to make mirepoix.