I recently attended the 34th International Association of Culinary Professionals’s (IACP)
annual meeting, where culinary icons including Jaques Pepin and Amanda
Hesser and working professionals came together to share, learn, and be
inspired. This year’s meeting took place in New York City, and as such,
the organizers chose The Fashion of Food as the theme. Shoes and food? I was so there.
were over 75 sessions ranging from the philosophical (When do fashion
and food trends become fad?) to the practical (how to pitch editors). I
was also a speaker on a panel entitled, “Marketers and Bloggers: How to
Create Rewarding Alliances.” (I'm the blogger for the National Pork Board's site, Pork, Knife & Spoon, and I'm their social media specialist at @PorkandKnife, and I also blog at Food Blogga.)
There was a lot of talk about what's fashionable in food and what's trendy, but here are a few of the tastiest morsels for you to chew on:
- You think color-block and flower-power prints are
hot? Not as hot as kale. It's the must-have item of vegetables right
now. You'll find kale chips, salads, soups, and more at hip restaurants
across the country. I believe I heard it mentioned in six
different IACP panels. One speaker even quipped, “I wonder when Kale,
the Book is coming out?”
- Unlike the waistlines of runway models,
dietary restrictions continue to expand — gluten-free, soy-free,
dairy-free, corn free. Food distributors and chefs who can provide
delicious alternatives to people with allergies will not only benefit
financially but will also gain the loyalty of shoppers and diners.
- Cupcakes haven’t died yet. But there’s hope.
and farro are part of our culinary lexicon now. (If you know someone
who still pronounces it 'kwi-NO-ah,' it's OK to correct him.)
- Like Adele's eyeliner,
dramatic, creative vegetarian dishes are in demand. Forget grilled
portobello sandwiches and spinach salad; we want red quinoa, purple
kale, gold beets, fiddleheads and other vibrant foods.
dishes (antelope, wild boar, bison) and vegan dishes are both on the
rise, but like Republicans and Democrats, they shouldn't be placed at
the same table.
- Freelance food writing unfortunately remains an over-saturated, under-paid field. (Ruth Reichl confirmed this.)###liChef Marcus Samuelsson, America is still "the trendiest place in the world." Hot diggity dog!
noodles are on fire! I'm so over ramen noodles! Choose your exclamatory
statement based upon your geographic location. Hint: New Yorkers have
already moved on. (They're so painfully hip.)
- New York Times food writer, Kim Severson, is the Ellen Degeneres of the culinary world and should have her own TV show.
foods, including petite macarons are no longer the super models of
desserts. Pie tried valiantly to take macaron’s spot, but the humble
confection couldn’t pull it off. French cannelles are getting a lot of
press among the fashionistas of food but still haven’t caught the
- Smoky, studly mezcal is encroaching upon tequila's hallowed territory.
- Everyone still loves bacon.
Photo credit: AK Photography, FFC.