ICE Advice on 2019 Food Trends
ICE’s culinary, pastry and management experts weigh in on the latest trends.
Deans, directors and chef-instructors offer commentary on cooking, dining and hospitality trend predictions, from popular ingredients to menu themes and business models.
Here’s what food and lifestyle sources say to expect in the restaurant and hospitality industries this year ⎯ and how to cook, bake and host accordingly.
- Kitchn says Pinterest “searches for recipes containing mushrooms jumped 64% in 2018,” and that we’ll be seeing infusions in unexpected foods this year.
“My mind immediately goes to the mushroom cooking dish that sits on top of my stove,” says Dean of Education Andrea Tutunjian. “This simple ceramic bowl belonged to my grandmother and then my mother and is now mine. For as long as I can remember, we cooked mushrooms in it every holiday (and on other days as well).
“Even though mushrooms were part of a long family tradition, they have become so much more over time. There are thousands of mushroom varieties, but people generally eat about 20 kinds. Technically mushrooms are a fungus, but they are often lumped into the vegetable category. They have a rich meaty taste and texture, which makes them a perfect fit and satisfying meal addition for the rising vegetarian, vegan and plant-based lifestyles across the world. I live with vegetarians, and mushrooms have become one of our staple replacements for meat (along with walnuts). They are now part of my family recipes for meatballs, chili, pasta, empanadas, sandwiches and so much more.
"A bonus is that mushrooms are considered a superfood, full of micronutrients and high in antioxidants. Don’t forget that truffles are also part of the mushroom family, and I have to confess that one of my favorite indulgences are truffle-infused potato chips!"
- Pinterest also forecasts that grazing tables will be one of the year’s biggest food trends.
“Grazing tables are a cool new way to enjoy parties in the new year,” says Philipp Hering, lead chef-instructor of ICE’s Special Events. “I’m a huge fan of charcuterie and cheese plates, and grazing tables just ups the ante on them. One way to make a great table is to keep to a theme; Italian meats and cheese? Add some mini calzones and bite-sized meatballs. Tailgate themed? Add some buffalo chicken tacos and meatball sandwiches. This is why I’m so excited for this: the possibilities are literally endless.
- Delish predicts tahini “uses to go beyond savory foods” this year.
“As someone who was originally trained on classical French desserts, I’m sometimes a little behind the curve when new flavors or mediums get incorporated into pastry items. That’s not the case with tahini though as it can be made and used quite easily and also used as an alternative for some nut and seed butters,” says Jeff Yoskowitz, program director for the school of Pastry & Baking Arts. “It does have its own flavors but works really well in carrying other flavors and pairing with many different flavor profiles. It’s also nutritious and that may take away some of the guilt of pairing it with sweet or rich components. I like it as a filling in a bonbon or layered in a chocolate dessert, especially paired with caramel and other nuts.”
- Nation’s Restaurant News says, “some progressive operators are doing away with the brick-and-mortar restaurants altogether, opting instead to operate virtual, delivery-only restaurants.”
“Conceptually, delivery-only eateries make all the sense in the world, especially in big cities with high rents and lots of potential customers,” says Rick Camac, dean of Restaurant & Hospitality Management. “I think the plan is flawed, but time will tell. Many restaurants are adding this feature for incremental revenue, but don’t have the proper space, need to retrain staff on a new menu and/or don’t have the expertise in the cuisine they are selling. I think more work and research needs to be done before embarking on this path. My fear is that there will be more poor choices of places to get delivery from and overall quality will suffer.”
- Travel Market Report says, “celebrity chefs are out as hotels stop competing with fine dining restaurants and turn instead to good, relatively simple, wholesome and local food service.”
“Hoteliers and managers thought notable chefs would bring in a new (incremental) demographic,” says Camac. “This fails for several reasons. 1. As much as hoteliers would like, most people want all the amenities that a hotel may bring, but if they’re really interested in dining, usually want to venture out when visiting a new city. 2. Most hotels cannot afford the cost of a celebrity chef nor are they typically good at managing the costs (hence many are outsourcing F&B). 3. Celeb chefs don’t want to deal with room service, as it’s a nuisance (or looked at as such) and a loss leader. 4. Hotels don’t always know what they really want (or more correctly, don’t know what their demographic wants), so they go celebrity or “edgy” only to find that the direction does not work for their clientele (as a consultant to one of the biggest chains, I witnessed this firsthand).”
- Fast Company shares Kind’s 10 trend predictions, listing seed butters as No. 1.
"Over the last decade or so, Americans’ palates have been primed to gravitate towards peanut butter alternatives such as soy and almond,” says Culinary Relations Manager Kiri Tannenbaum. “With the growing infiltration of tahini in everything from dressings to desserts, it makes sense that diners are ready to embrace sesame and other seed spreads. These unique spreads are also arriving at a time when open-faced toasts have become mainstream. Already popular at chef/owner Nicole Rucker's new Fiona Bakery is the very Instagrammable luxurious sesame butter toast, a sesame brioche toast lathered with Japanese black and golden sesame paste, sprinkled with sea salt and drizzled with honey."