What Food Trends Do You See for the Valley in 2012?
Welcome to Chow Bella's Bites & Dishes, where Valley chefs and restaurateurs respond to a question New Times food critic Laura Hahnefeld has on her mind. Have a question you'd like to ask? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Miss a question? Go here.
From predicted national trends in cuisine like Scandinavian flavors, caneles, and sous-vide at home to my fortune-telling stab at Valley crazes like more breakfasts, Nutella, and the peak/screwing over of food trucks, it's anyone's guess as to what this year holds for food in greater Phoenix.
Perhaps the best folks to ask are the ones right in the thick of it: Valley chefs and restaurateurs. So I did. And here are some of their answers:
We're going to see people wanting healthier food fast, smaller footprints for restaurants and bars, and even more food trucks. The city is getting behind local business owners and trying to cut a lot of the red tape that discourages potential projects from getting off the ground. The adaptive reuse program is getting stronger and allowing people to put businesses in really cool buildings while preserving them at the same time.
More expansion and better craft cocktails already have taken a strong hold, as well as smaller portions of food to offset global inflation and health concerns.
I hope to see the food truck trend take off in the Valley. I know that there are those who see food trucks as a menace, but it creates a whole different culture of street food, which would add to the evolution of our food scene, in general.
More people eating smarter, healthier, and supporting our local independent chefs. Not a fan of chain restaurants.
Quick, casual, and more counter service. This a trend that dominated 2011 and will continue.
Have you heard that lame joke about how the hipster burned his mouth? He ate his dinner before it was cool. Poor guy. I love it that it's so important to people to find those new, exciting places before their friends do. Just as people crazily race to post the obligatory "FIRST!" comment on YouTube videos, restaurant guests are eager to be the first to find lesser-known gems and surprising twists on cuisine in their communities.
Another trend we're seeing is that guests are looking for fresh, interesting food with unexpected twists and surprises.