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Items filtered by date: November 2011

A New Generation, Stirring It up

Says Mintel, Millennials lack skill, but believe learning to cook is one way to earn credibility with peers.

While Baby Boomers have been given credit for launching America’s cooking craze and nurturing it over the past few decades, Baby Boomers’ children, the Millennial generation (aged 17-34 in 2011), are now poised to take over and start stirring the pot.

According to a new Mintel report, younger cooks may lack skill in the kitchen, but make up for it with their enthusiasm. Only 6% of Millennials say they have advanced skill in the kitchen, compared to 15% of those aged 55+. A quarter (25%) of Millennials, however, claim to “love cooking” versus 17% of their senior counterparts.

“It appears that years of frequent cooking helps to hone skills, but the downside is they sometimes fall into a rut from fixing the same dishes over and over,” says Fiona O’Donnell, senior analyst at Mintel. “This creates an opportunity for marketers to provide seniors with options that adhere to specific health requirements, as well as add an element of fun and adventure to meal prep.”

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In Bulgaria, Goodwill Seas-onings

food1_dec11USS Philippine Sea shares culinary techniques with high-school students in Eastern Europe.

By Petty Officer 2nd Class Gary Prill

Culinary specialists from the guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea met with culinary arts students of the Burgas High School in Burgas, Bulgaria, to provide techniques and training as part of a community service project, October 26.

During the event, the crew worked alongside the students making cultural dishes, desserts and appetizers that they later enjoyed at lunch. The event also gave the sailors a chance to meet with local residents and experience the rich history and culture of Bulgaria.

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World Casual: the Future of American Menus

food2_dec11The CIA’s recent Worlds of Flavor® International Conference & Festival examined the casualization of fine dining.

Dozens of leading chefs from all over the world shared their expertise about the growing role of casual food in different world cuisines at The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) at Greystone in St. Helena, Calif., November 3-5. “World Casual: The Future of American Menus” was the topic of the 14th-annual Worlds of Flavor® International Conference & Festival held at the college’s Napa Valley campus.

Jose Garces, the James Beard Award-winning Ecuadorian-American chef who owns eight restaurants in Philadelphia and Chicago, provided examples of how to successfully translate world-casual concepts onto American menus. The Food Network Iron Chef led a workshop on the signature casual flavors of Mexico, Ecuador and Peru and gave a presentation about the next generation of Latin casual at a session moderated by Chef Rick Bayless, with CIA chef-instructor Iliana de la Vega as a fellow presenter.

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Seven Leading Restaurant Trends for 2012

food3_dec11From social networking’s impact on success to a greater emphasis on in-house rustic fare to save cost, Technomic predicts the biggest influences on U.S. restaurants next year.

Just as the nation's economic forecast includes mixed signals, restaurants across the United States face a varied landscape of expected trends in 2012. Technomic, the leading foodservice research and consulting firm, sees these seven developments making news in the coming year:

1. Consumers Seek a Twist on the Familiar. Shell-shocked consumers are in no mood to take risks, but novel flavors still tingle their taste buds. Look for comfort foods with a twist (gourmet, ethnic, artisan, wood-fired) as well as innovation in familiar formats (sandwiches, wraps, pizza, pasta) rather than breakout items taken from less-familiar global cuisines.

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