Food Trends: Taking the Pulse

I’m not naming names, you know who you are, and for those in the dark just look at a menu before taking a seat.

The big trends in the big city are:

• More focus on restaurants that serve one thing, whether it’s pasta, ramen soups, raw fish, or chicken.  There are fewer ingredients, all around, and the result, when it’s successful, is intense flavor and a kitchen that uses its limitations to create delicious, memorable food.

• Japanese restaurants–using, again, focus and few ingredients to create plates of food that please the eye and have depth.

• Italian restaurants—simple and attentive care paid to a few elements.

In contrast to this effort to extract flavor from a few things, we have chefs still lumbering around like T-Rex’s by trying to demonstrate their prowess by using as many ingredients as possible on a plate.  High fat, lots of salt, combining “surprising” ingredients to dazzle rather than delight, and taking cheap cuts of meat (tails, noses, hooves, offal) to market stuff that has far less flavor than a small plate of fish, vegetables, or pasta.  Wait and see: by no later than 2019, these chefs will be thought of as the lava lamps of the kitchen.

Meanwhile have a look at places that are ahead of the curve.

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