Culinary forecast for 2018

Menu trends that will be heating up in 2018 include street-food inspired dishes, healthful kids’ meals, heritage-breed meats and authentic ethnic cuisine.

The list—based on a National Restaurant Association survey of 700 professional chefs — is a peek into which food, beverages and culinary concepts will be the new items on restaurant menus.

TOP 10 FOOD TRENDS

NEW CUTS OF MEAT
Flavorful and grill friendly, including a Vegas strip or Merlot cut.

HOUSE-MADE CONDIMENTS
Simple to make but exotic, such as sriracha ketchup or malt vinegar aioli.

STREET FOOD-INSPIRED DISHES
Popular items include tempura, kabobs, dumplings and pupusas.

ETHNIC-INSPIRED BREAKFAST ITEMS
More people want ethnic offerings on their breakfast menus, including chorizo scrambled eggs, coconut pancakes or breakfast burritos.

SUSTAINABLE SEAFOOD
People are making smarter seafood choices that taste great and protect the environment.

HEALTHY KIDS’ MEALS
Restaurants are offering nutritious items such as whole grains, veggies and fruit, not just pizza and chicken tenders.

VEGETABLE CARB SUBSTITUTES
Cauliflower rice and zucchini spaghetti are substitutes for bread and pasta.

UNCOMMON HERBS
Adding herbs such as chervil, lovage, lemon balm and papalo into the mix create interesting and dis- tinctive flavors.

AUTHENTIC ETHNIC CUISINE
Chefs are exploring more global flavors, thanks to increased access to ethnic foods.

ETHNIC SPICES
People are excited to try new spices and herbs that create different tastes, such as curry, harissa and shichimi.

TOP 10 CONCEPT TRENDS

HYPER-LOCAL FOOD
More restaurants are offering foods that are “grown, picked or processed on the premises,” because local equals freshness.

CHEF-DRIVEN FAST CASUAL CONCEPTS
Chefs are making “magic for the masses,” serving meals that are fast, convenient and affordable.

NATURAL INGREDIENTS/CLEAN MENUS
Customers are eating more simple and healthy foods when dining out. They want menu items with greens, grains and proteins.

FOOD WASTE REDUCTION
Chefs agree that reducing food waste helps control food costs and protects the environment. More restaurants are serving smaller portions and donating to food banks.

VEGETABLE-CENTRIC CUISINE
As more consumers follow vegetarian and vegan diets, restaurants are expanding the imaginative veggie-centric items on their menus. Think plant-based burgers and sushi.

ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY
Diners want to go to restaurants that protect the environment and conserve water and energy.

LOCALLY SOURCED MEAT AND SEAFOOD
Diners want food that is raised or produced in their own region rather than elsewhere. Millennials, among others, want to know more about the food they eat.

LOCALLY SOURCED PRODUCE
Consumers want to know where their food is grown and harvested. It’s about getting the freshest produce possible.

SIMPLICITY AND BACK TO BASICS
Back-to-basics cooking and classic dishes are popular. Recipes with fewer ingredients are whetting peoples’ appetites.

FARM AND ESTATE-BRANDED ITEMS
Consumers care about a connection to how food is grown and processed.

WINE, BEER & COCKTAILS

CULINARY COCKTAILS
Savory, fresh ingredients, herb-infused

LOCALLY PRODUCED SPIRITS, WINE & BEER CRAFT SPIRITS

BARREL-AGED DRINKS

REGIONAL SIGNATURE COCKTAILS

FOOD & BEER PAIRINGS

HOUSE-BREWED BEER

FOOD & COCKTAIL PAIRINGS

ORGANIC WINE, BEER & SPIRITS WINE ON TAP

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