Serving cuisine and beverages in a fresh new way is a sure-fire strategy for spicing up just about any event. Here are some of the hottest food and beverage trends expected to take hold this year.
At the recent Gourmet Food & Wine Expo in Toronto, bison stew and ethnic foods from Indian chicken tikka masala and butter chicken to Jamaican jerk chicken were introduced to new audiences. The top 10 trends showcased included:
- Cooking with beer
- Gluten Free
- Herb infused cocktails (e.g. mint, gooseberry, lavender)
Hot food and beverage trends identified by Trend Hunter include blackened burger buns, meatless mince pies, compartmentalized containers, truffle hot chocolates, edible snow globes, rice flavored ice cream, and beef or poultry prepared sous-vide (pictured above).
Annually, the National Restaurant Association surveys the 1,300 professional chefs who are members of the American Culinary Federation.
The key food and beverage trends uncovered for 2015 included:
- Locally sourced meat and seafood.
- Locally grown produce.
- Minimally processed food with natural ingredients
- New cuts of meat (e.g. culotte/sirloin cap, teres major, tri-tip)
- Small portions/half portions for smaller prices
The hottest menu selections included:
- Appetizers: vegetarian appetizers, house-cured meats/charcuterie, ethnic/street food inspired appetizers, seafood charcuterie
- Mains: Non-traditional fish (e.g. bronzino, Arctic char, barramundi), Grass-fed beef, street food-inspired main courses
- Sides: Non-wheat noodles/pasta (e.g. quinoa, rice, buckwheat, ancient grains (e.g. kamut, spelt, amaranth, lupin)
- Desserts: house-made/artisan ice cream, bite-sized/mini-desserts, savory desserts, deconstructed classic desserts
Trend Hunter has issued its picks for top 100 drinking trends:
- Caviar Pearl Cocktails
- Spherical Ice Shapers
- Booze-Infused Fruit Shooters
- Light up Ice Cubes
- Edible Shot Glasses
There are many intriguing ideas in the Trend Hunter top 100 food trends, The following jumped out:
- Ramen sushi rolls
- Gradient icing confections like layered ombre cakes
- Single serving chocolate chip cakes
- Cakes pie hybrids (cakes containing pies like the cherpumple, a 3 layer cake that includes a cherry pie).
Referred to as the turducken of desserts, pumpecapple piecakes by 3 Brothers Bakery of Houston have been getting a lot of media buzz lately.
Speaking of turduckens, the turducken is my personal pick for 2015, a great choice when catering for groups that have seen it all. It's duck stuffed inside a chicken that is then stuffed inside a turkey. Each layer is separated by....stuffing, of course. The folks at The Guardian's Australia Food Blog agree.
(Pre-assembled, ready to cook turduckens can be purchased. All the caterer has to do is pop them in the oven. Order early. They sell out fast.)
Hot Dining Venues
Trend Hunter also identified the following hot dining venues:
- Pop-up Pasta Restaurants
- Secret Venues
- Pop-up Lunch Box Restaurants (Sydney, Australia)
For 2015, the 10 restaurant trends that Technomic has identified include:
- Smaller venues with shorter, smaller meals like tapas and dim sum.
- Asian influences with Japanese ramen, Vietnamese and Korean restaurants expected to become more popular.
For more hot dining trends also read #IMEX14 Event Ideas II: Food and Beverage, Corporate Event Venues with Specialty Dining Concepts, What's Hot: From Ocean to Seafood Dining, What's Hot: Molecular Gastronomy, and Molecular Gastronomy Venues on the Cvent Event Blog.