Fried Chicken Takes Off
Fried chicken continues to grow in popularity. It can be authentic and Southern-inspired—for example, the buttermilk fried chicken with two sides and cornbread at Addendum, Thomas Keller’s seasonal Napa lunch
spot. Or it can come with ethnic-influenced twists, such as the spicy fried-chicken sandwich with Korean inspired
spice that is the centerpiece dish at David Chang’s newest concept, Fuku in New York City.
Diners seem to be moving from three meals a day to none, as snacks are obliterating traditional dayparts, note trend trackers Baum+Whiteman. Snacking is not just for Millennials or dashboard diners. Growing numbers of Americans snack four or five times daily, and snacking increased 47 percent from 2010 to 2014. Meanwhile,
snack flavor profiles are changing from sweet to savory and from high-carb to nutrient-dense, high-protein and indulgent. When sweeteners are involved, they are often combined with heat or spice, such as chile-spiked honey. Flavors to watch: Spicy-salty-savory ethnic snacks, hummus variations, flavored popcorns (such as seaweed-sesame), chile-citrus potato chips, and mango-chile-lime chips.
Once Discarded, Now Delicious
Look for an increasing push to reduce waste in foodservice kitchens. “With higher food and labor costs, there’s a growing need to gure out how to save money,” notes hospitality consulting rm Andrew Freeman & Co. in its 2016 predictions. Cutting-edge chefs are getting creative with scraps. For instance, Dan Barber, chef at Blue Hill in New York City, created the wastED saladforthe Sweetgreen salad chain, including vegetable scraps that many restaurant staffs would simply discard (such as kale stems and broccoli stalks). Barber also developed a burger made entirely from food scraps for a pop-up Shake Shack in New York City.