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TRENDS: Chefs Predict 2011 Restaurant Trends

The National Restaurant Association surveyed more than 1,500 chef members of the American Culinary Federation for the bead on what we can expect at restaurants in 2011.

Things haven’t changed much since last year. Locally sourced ingredients and sustainability top the restaurant trends projections for 2011, and the rest of the Top 20 trends have been around as well. Now, let’s hope they go from “around” to mainstream.

The Top 20 Restaurant Trends for 2011

1. Locally sourced meats and seafood
2. Locally grown produce
3. Sustainability
4. Nutritionally balanced children’s dishes

Trend: Avoid out-of-season foods that burn a
lot of fuel to get to you (and don’t taste
as good as in-season foods). Photo by Alaina Cherup | SXC.

5. “Hyper local,” such as restaurants with their own gardens and chefs who do their own butchering
6. Children’s nutrition
7. Sustainable seafood
8. Gluten-free food and being food allergy conscious
9. Simplicity/back to basics
10. Farm/estate-branded ingredients
11. Micro-distilled/artisan liquor
12. Locally produced wine and beer
13. Smaller portions for smaller prices
14. Organic produce
15. Nutrition/health
16. “Culinary” cocktails, for example ones that have savory or fresh ingredients
17. Newly fabricated cuts of meat such as the pork flat iron and the beef petit tender
18. Fruit and vegetables as children’s side items
19. Ethnic-inspired breakfast items, such as Asian-flavored syrups, chorizo scrambled eggs and coconut milk pancakes
20. Artisan cheeses

Thirty percent of chefs said mobile food trucks and pop-up restaurants would be the hottest operational trend in 2011.

Bon appétit!

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