Here at Chefs Closet, we’re always excited to find out about the next, hottest trends. January is the perfect time to take a look at what the rest of the year has in store for passionate and professional chefs.
The National Restaurant Association surveyed professional chefs who were members of the American Culinary Federation. They were asked which foods and culinary themes will be hot trends on the restaurant menus of 2015.
Here are their top 5 choices for hot culinary trends in 2015.
- Locally Sources Meats and Seafood
“Local” really is the key word when it comes to what will be hot in 2015. Meats and seafood are the most important ingredients to be locally sourced, according to the survey. Foodies are becoming more and more aware of meat and seafood quality, as well as the long-term sustainability of farming. As awareness and consciousness around the topic continue, locally sourced meat and seafood become increasingly trendier. So, American diners are increasingly interested in knowing where their meat and fish come from. Then, diners are happy to pay a premium for quality meat and fish that is locally sourced.
Of course, taste has a lot to do with it as well. We’re better able to maintain great relationships with local sources of quality meat and fish, and so the quality of our cuisine is only enhanced as a result. Great news all round.
- Locally Grown Produce
As with meat and fish, American diners are looking to know where their fruit and veg is coming from. Cooking and serving locally sourced produce is, of course, a joy. It helps us to cook with fruit and veg which is in season, and so, at its best. There’s also a wonderful sense of feeling closer to nature when we focus our cooking on what can be locally produced.
- Environmental Sustainability
The eco-friendly buzz has been growing for a while now, and there’s no sign of the trend stopping anytime soon. With growing awareness of the impact our diet and food sourcing has on the planet, environmental sustainability is becoming more and more desirable. The “sustainably sourced” mark has rather become a mark of honor for restaurateurs, and for good reason. This is a hot trend of our generation, but likely to see for many years to come. It’s definitely worth investing in sourcing food that has been produced for environmental sustainability. Fish is a particularly hot ingredient in this arena.
- Healthful Kids’ Meals
With childhood obesity as prominent as ever in the States, parents and carers are starting to pay attention to the nutritional content of the food they are giving their children. This is true, now more than ever, particular thanks to high profile campaigns such as British TV chef, Jamie Oliver’s battle on Turkey Twizzlers in schools. Now really is the time to reflect on and experiment with innovative dishes. Healthy kids’ meals bring a challenge: we need to create dishes that both please kids’ taste buds and nourish them in a healthy way. There’s lots of room for creativity there.
- Natural Ingredients, Minimally Processed Foods
The final hot culinary trend for 2015 rounds off our top 5 as a truly “do-gooder”, “healthy” line up. We are now in the era of the “slow food”, with rising awareness of the impact of America’s unhealthy obsession with fast and convenient food. The use of natural ingredients and minimally processed foods on restaurant menus are becoming more and more desirable.
With more and more diners looking for healthier alternatives, this really gives us, as chefs, lots of leeway to create truly honest and delicious dishes. A particularly hot idea in 2015 could be cheap, healthy food options that replace the low priced, processed ready meals as the seemingly only option on the high street.
2015 is an exciting year for chefs. We can’t wait to discover how these top 5 culinary trends will transpire in new recipes, dishes, ingredients, and restaurants. The name of the game is definitely “good food for a good cause”, which leaves us with a real “feel good” feeling.