The Daily Meal
Chefs know better than anyone what to look out for
Chefs polled include (clockwise from top) Dan Barber, Jacques Pepin, Michael Solomonov, and Cesare Casella.
With 2016 finally at an end, we can start to look forward to 2017 and the countless dining opportunities it will present (hey, we’ve got our priorities in order). But how will the restaurant world change in the year ahead? We asked 65 chefs from across the country to make their best educated guesses and predict what the year ahead will hold for their industry — and we got some surprising answers.
Around this time of year, just about everyone tries to predict what will transpire in the year to come, be it political intrigue or celebrity breakups. And the food world is no different: Today’s Dietitian polled 1,700 dietitians to discover that top superfoods of 2017 will include seeds, nuts, kale, and avocado (groundbreaking!); Pinterest predicts that we’ll see more jackfruit, sous-vide cooking, “clean eating chips,” and something called Buddha bowls; and McCormick’s 2017 Flavor Forecast foresees us eating a lot more congee, Middle Eastern spices, cured egg yolks, and barberries. But when it comes to overall restaurant, dining, and culinary trends, nobody’s asked as many chefs as we did for their predictions.
Our chefs run the gamut from near-household names like Jacques Pepin, Alex Guarnaschelli, and Blue Hill’s Dan Barber to lesser-known local chefs; from barbecue expert Ray Lampe to Indian superstar Manish Mehotra (Indian Accent); from Israeli cuisine master Michael Solomonov (Zahav) to Tal Ronnen, quite possibly America’s best vegan chef (Crossroads). They’re based in cities as wide-ranging as Dallas; San Antonio, Chicago, Houston, St. Louis, Boston, and Nashville, and they have hundreds of collective years of cooking experience. These chefs are on the front lines of the culinary world, and here’s what they think we can expect to see in the year ahead.