Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Riding out ahead of the culinary trend line

El Camino. LEO photo by Frankie Steele.
For this week's dining column in  LouisvilleHotBytes.com and LEO Weekly, I take a look at a national survey of chefs and find that our town is riding out ahead of the trend line in a number of eats-industry measures.
What's up, Chef?
Next year's food trends are old stuff here
Is this town trendy or what? For foodies, I mean. I understand Louisville has the reputation as a place where the latest fashion trends arrive five years after they're oh-so dead in New York. But when it comes to food, if the National Restaurant Association's 2014 Culinary Forecast is any guide, we're not only on top of most national eats trends but we also have already seen a few of them crest, surf over the top and fall back.
The Top 20 list, based on a poll this past autumn of nearly 1,300 members of the American Culinary Federation, mostly chefs, invited them to rate 258 items as likely "hot trends," "yesterday's news" or "perennial favorites" in the coming year. "Once again," reports the ACF, "locally sourced meat, seafood and produce remain at the top of the trends ..." 
Really. This is such old news in the Derby City that I feel a little embarrassed about writing it down. "Environmental sustainability" scored high with the chefs, too, no surprise to Louisville foodies, as did "children's nutrition," and there, perhaps, we've got some room to grow, although the estimable Food Literacy Project is effectively leading that charge here. 
Let's take a closer look at some of ACF's top predicted menu trends for 2014. How do we fit in?
Read the full review on LouisvilleHotBytes, or you can click to it in this week's LEO Weekly.