Food and Drink Trends for 2014 as Predicted by Valley Chefs
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.
As Sriracha, foam, and molecular gastronomy slowly fade into our culinary memories, a new group of food and drink trends are jockeying for position in the New Year.
What can we look forward to (or not) in 2014? I asked 15 Valley chefs what they see coming to restaurant menus next year, and this is what they had to say.
Nutriceuticals: incorporating highly nutritious "superfoods" (such as acai, sweet potato, chia) into restaurant menus.
We will take a step back in time and start to see a lot of primitive cooking styles. More use of open flame, wood-fired cuisine, and naturally smoked proteins and vegetables.
The trend of healthier lifestyles and growing awareness of the quality of foods we are putting in their bodies will continue in 2014. It's already started with the FDA 's recent announcement concerning the negative impact of trans fats in our diets. We will see the drink trend in the casual-fine dining segment move toward more boutique labels that reflect regional support.
We'll see another modified version of the mojito. It turned into the Moscow Mule -- now it will take shape as another vodka, lime, and soda cocktail. Microbrew beers will continue to grow exponentially. Arizona wine also will start to get its day in the sun. The newest releases are the best they've ever been, and Arizonans will sit up and take notice en masse. For food, pork in everything will start to die a little bit.