It’s that time of year when folks predict what they envision in the world of food over the year ahead.
The Sterling-Rice Group does an unusually good job at this sort of prognosticating. Their trends, to be found on their website, are evidence based, it seems, and highly specific: http://www.srg.com.
Baum + Whiteman is pretty good, too, though their list of 17 trends veers towards the dramatic and is more opinionated that SRG (noted above). Still, worth a look: http://www.baumwhiteman.com.
A terrific website, Nutrition Unplugged, lists many of the sites that are predicting trends. That’s at http://www.nutritionunplugged.com.
All that said, here are my top predications in the Food World for 2013:
1. With the exception of Andrew Carmellini’s new French restaurant opening in 2013, you can expect to see more Italian and Italian-American places opening. For obvious reasons, including: It’s what most cooks are capable of doing, no one ever went broke opening an Italian restaurant, it’s just about the most delicious food on earth.
2. More restaurant workers will demand living wages and better work conditions. The end of the 12 hour cooking shift, five days a week is near.
3. More Chinese people will open “Japanese” restaurants, more Americans will open “French” restaurants. Go and look now at the menus of places that call themselves French. People will always spend more for Japanese and French food.
4. More food writers and people who are passionate about food will predict that more chefs will serve more Asian influenced dishes: Ingredients and dishes from Thailand, Vietnam, India, China, and Japan. Don’t count on it, unfortunately.
5. More food writers and people who are passionate about food will predict that more chefs will serve more vegetables. Well, yeah, ten bucks for Brussels sprouts fried in duck fat?
6. More people will buy more cookbooks that they never use.
7. More people will buy more kitchen appliances. Juicers, dehydrators, beer making kits, and meat grinders. People will limit their reading to instruction manuals.
8. A chef will run for the U.S. Senate and be elected.
9. Another food scandal will occur in China.
10. My book, “Back of the House,” will be on your night stand.