Restaurant will continue the locally grown trend in 2013
BY SCOTT CHERRY World Scene Writer
Sunday, December 30, 2012
12/30/12 at 5:48 AM
Restaurant food trends for 2013, according to a National Restaurant Association survey, aren't much different than they have been in recent years - locally sourced meats and produce, more healthful children's meals, gluten-free cuisine, etc.
Tuck Curren, chef-proprietor of Biga and Local Table, is predicting one big difference for Tulsa-area restaurants.
"Those trends are well and good in parts of the country where the products are easily acquired," Curren said. "When we started Local Table six years ago, the farm-to-table concept was a good idea, but it was really hard to do here.
"The big difference now and going into next year is that it is getting easier ... to get the stuff that fit the trends. We have more farmers and ranchers raising stuff and growing stuff, and more of them are working with restaurants to make it affordable."
Curren said some items always will be seasonal because of our weather, but more items are becoming available all of the time.
"We might not be able to do our whole menu with local items, especially in the winter, but there is enough out there we can have daily specials and dinners," Curren said.
To compile its list of the Top 10 food menu trends and Top 10 drink menu trends, the National Restaurant Association surveyed more than 1,800 professional chefs who are members of the American Culinary Federation and almost 200 bartenders who are members of the United States Bartenders Guild.
Also included in the surveys were questions about other restaurant trends. More than half (55 percent) of the chefs surveyed said they always make efforts to adjust dishes and recipes to be more healthful, and 37 percent said they cook with nutrition in mind.
When asked how to best handle the increasing cost of ingredients, 32 percent said changing menus, 25 percent said adjusting plate composition and 24 percent said exploring new sources. Only 4 percent said that raising menu prices is the best strategy.
The survey also showed that an increasing awareness of mixology has elevated the creativity and standards for those working behind the bar, as well.
Food and drink trends
Top trends in food and drink, according to National Restaurant Association surveys:
TOP 10 MENU TRENDS
1. Locally sourced meats and seafood
2. Locally grown produce
3. Healthful kids' meals
4. Environmental sustainability as a culinary theme
5. Children's nutrition as a culinary theme
6. New cuts of meat (e.g. Denver steak, pork flat iron, teres major)
7. Hyper-local sourcing (e.g. restaurant gardens)
8. Gluten-free cuisine
9. Sustainable seafood
10. Whole grain items in kids' meals
TOP 10 DRINK TRENDS
1. Onsite barrel-aged drinks
2. Food-liquor/cocktail pairings
3. Culinary cocktails (e.g. savory, fresh ingredients)
4. Micro-distilled/artisan liquor
5. Locally produced spirits
6. Locally sourced fruit/berries/produce
7. Beer sommeliers/Cicerones
8. Regional signature cocktails
9. Beer-based cocktails
10. Locally produced beer
Original Print Headline: Restaurants to use more local items in 2013
Scott Cherry 918-581-8463
The white cosmopolitan cocktail at Lucky's features an ice cube with a clover frozen inside. MATT BARNARD/Tulsa World