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Items filtered by date: October 2011

Kale, Goat Meat and a Pinch of Za’tar

food5_nov11One of the industry’s earliest trends forecasts for next year predicts we’ll say hello to sheep’s-milk cheese and local beers and goodbye to “molecular gastronomy” and “foodie.”

Through a recent survey of America’s food-and-beverage media and influencers, Portland, Ore.-based LANE PR has identified a number of emerging trends in the industry. Nearly 70 participants, including influential journalists, restaurateurs and epicureans from coast to coast, weighed in on questions asking “what’s next?” in food, beverages and pantry must-haves, as well as buzzwords we’ve grown to know and those we’ve grown to hate.

While responses in all categories in LANE PR’s U.S. Food & Beverage Trends Report for 2012 illustrate a wide range of opinions, some areas of agreement indicate potential new directions in food and beverage. In some instances, it appears that America will take a closer look at what the rest of the world is eating and will make an effort to incorporate efficient, nutrient-packed foods for better overall health, as well as sustainable foods for a healthier environment.

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An Ever-Bigger Taste of Latin America

food4a_nov11This year’s Latin Flavors, American Kitchens Conference emphasized cuisines from Argentina to Guatemala and identified hot trends: handheld foods, smoke, bar foods and Cocktails.

The kitchens of The Culinary Institute of America (CIA), San Antonio recently hosted the most prominent collection of Latin-cuisine experts from throughout the Americas. The chefs assembled in Texas for the college’s fourth-annual Latin Flavors, American Kitchens conference, October 5-7. Presenting chefs included Rick Bayless of Frontera Grill, Topolobampo and Xoco in Chicago; Roberto Santibanez of Fonda in Brooklyn; Humberto Dominguez of Restaurant Kakao in Guatemala; and the CIA’s Latin-cuisines faculty: Alain Dubernard (Mexico), Almir Da Fonseca (Brazil), Iliana de la Vega (Mexico), Elizabeth Johnson-Kossick (USA) and Sergio Remolina (Mexico).

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The Rise of Bakery Cafés

food3_nov11In a zero-growth environment, this fast-casual sub-segment continues gaining market share.

The bakery-café segment, which accounts for $5 billion in annual sales and more than 3,600 units nationwide, has successfully navigated the middle ground between quick- and full-service restaurants to outpace industry sales and unit growth for each of the past three years, during which total bakery-café units increased 4.2% and F&B sales increased 12%.

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Cooking with Chile Peppers

food2a_nov11The chef de cuisine of Corn Maiden restaurant near Santa Fe dispels some myths and misconceptions of working with chiles—while talking up their strategic use as a flavor enhancer—in menu development.

By Samuel Reed

Chefs are always looking for ways to make their specialty dishes different from those of others, with unique tastes, textures and ingredients that will enhance the dining experience and leave a lasting impression on their guests. As chile peppers are in peak season, the traditional staple of red and green chiles can provide a unique twist and satisfying flavor to a variety of different meals. Although the chile pepper is very versatile and can be used for several purposes, there are many misconceptions in the culinary industry about how chiles should be used.

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Every Day Is “Food Day”

food1_nov11The NRA says the CSPI-sponsored Food Day need not be limited to one day a year. Indeed, there’s much to celebrate in light of 10% of Americans working in the restaurant industry and restaurants’ dedication to providing healthier menu options.

October 24, 2011, was Food Day, a day sponsored by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), the nonprofit watchdog group based in Washington, D.C., that has led successful fights for food labeling, better nutrition and safer food since 1971. According to the CSPI, Food Day seeks to bring together Americans from all walks of life—parents, teachers and students; health professionals, community organizers and local officials; and chefs, school-lunch providers and eaters of all stripes—to push for healthy, affordable food produced in a sustainable, humane way.

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