Culinary Impact

Take a look at a few trends everyone seems to be talking about lately. Some should probably stick around, some have reached their expiration date. Whatever your opinion on the following, read on with an open mind, and preferably a big appetite.
Text by David C. Cleland | June 6, 2018 | Lifestyle

Food & beverage trends come and go quicker than most of us can keep track. Sometimes they disappear so quickly, we can barely distinguish their arrival from their demise; but sometimes a trend comes around that’s so profound, it sticks around forever. The one thing we can all agree on is that the following trends are in our midst and we either need to learn to love them or find something a little more appetizing to replace them.

The Good
Charcuterie Offerings
There’s little else that takes as much skill and patience as creating a perfect charcuterie. With all of the different styles, terrines, galantines, sausages, cured meats, pâtés, etc., most varieties offer at least one ingredient to make just about anyone’s mouth water. The best in town right now is far and away at DB Bistro, but more and more places are putting these delights on their menus, and we want more!

Underused Fish & Meat
One of the best dishes I had this last year was the Gnocchi w/ Wild Florida Boar at Lorenzo on Miami Beach. It was an eye-opening experience to have something so good that I didn’t even know existed. I’ve had similar experiences with seafood, from skate to artic char. So I’m left wondering why salmon, sea bass, pork and beef dominate menus in town when there are so many other, tastier options to discover.

Letting The Chef Decide
Believe it or not, a lot of chefs know what they’re doing. They’ve spent years in the industry, gone to school and cook more in a week than most people have in their entire life. Try not to substitute, change or otherwise mess with a dish on the menu. And if you want to feel special, tell your waiter you want whatever the chef thinks is best, you’re plate will get more attention than the others coming out of the kitchen.

The Bad
Farm To Table
This is the over-used term of the year in my book, and it’s getting annoying. If you go out to a farm and plant seeds, tend the plants, harvest the crop and bring the bounty to your restaurant, or if you raise and slaughter your own meat, then by all means use the term as much as you want, otherwise stop…because guess what, all vegetables and meat come from a farm.

Faux Allergies
If you’re actually gluten intolerant or allergic to a certain food, as in diagnosed by a doctor, not your yoga instructor, then most chefs are more than happy to do what they can to accommodate you. Otherwise, stop making a chef go out of his way to change his painstakingly thought-out dishes for you. It doesn’t make you important, it makes you a nuisance.

Hold The Kale, Please
I get it that certain vegetables, proteins, grains and all kinds of food are “in”, but some places need to stop jumping on the bandwagon, and instead focus on what’s in-season, fresh, and, when possible, local and sustainable. Believe it or not, there are over 300 varieties of carrots and thousands of different tomatoes, so expand your horizon and please stop with the kale already!