The Food Channel has released its 2013 Trends Forecast – Epicrious weighed in and many other foodies have 2013 locked down in terms of what we can expect. Here's a look at what we see happening in the world of food for 2013.
Smokin’ Hot. Some people call it the new bacon, although, for the record, bacon is smoked meat, too. Smoking—as in smoked foods and beverages—is big and getting bigger. Think of the strangest food you can… smoked cocktails, smoked olive oil, and even smoked water. Nordic/Scandinavian cuisine is one to watch in the coming year, too, and you’ll find a variety of smoked food choices driving that trend.
2013 will be the year of vegetables. They're even in dessert. Battersby in Brooklyn offers a Fennel Panna Cotta, Michel Richard makes a Maple Parsnip Cake, and Avocado Mousse at Tilth in Seattle. Talk about sneaking in the veggies!
With the World Cup in Brazil only about 18 months away, Brazilian fare is about to take the world by storm.Panpepato is the old name meaning “peppered bread”.. Panforte or Panforte de Sienna is the most usual name meaning “Strong Bread” and they are turning up everywhere.
Want to learn more? Read more at Gourmet Live.
Handcrafted from wild agave plants, mezcal has always been an artisanal product historically seen as tequila's poorer cousin. But with a massive PR push by the Mexican government and more producers making more of this smoky spirit available Stateside, it's only a matter of time before mezcal finds its way into a cocktail near you.
Brunch Becomes the New Fourth Meal. The late-morning meal that usurps breakfast and dinner is becoming the hot new meal occasion. You can find eateries that feature karaoke during brunch, or offer a free-flowing Bloody Mary Bar. Suggest your client host a brunch, serving such choices as fried chicken, buttermilk pancakes and cinnamon toast pizza.
Seasonals for All Seasons – Traditional seasons are getting stretched out, with treats like pumpkin muffins in the summer. The health benefits and the flavor are turning the fall favorite into a year-round flavor in all kinds of dishes. Restaurant chefs have increased their use of pumpkin on menus by nearly 40 percent in the last two years.
Cooking to a Tea. Earl Grey and other tea flavors are starting to be used in cooking. The consumption of tea in general is still growing, and now it’s moving beyond beverage onto the ingredient list for some menu items. For one thing, teas have great names and can help spice up a menu in many ways. Look for tea rubs, the way there are coffee and cocoa rubs. Tea…it’s not just for drinking anymore.
Comfort Food with an Ethnic Accent. Yes, we still love our meatloaf, roast chicken and mac & cheese. But younger generations have expanded what fits into this nostalgic category, with an emphasis on ethnic cuisines. Comfort food for the twenty- and thirty-something crowd includes choices like Japanese ramen, Korean kimchi, Chinese pot stickers, sun cakes and Vietnamese pho. Look for new twists in the coming year like jumbo-sized “man sushi.”
Homemade deserts and cakes are in. Cupcakes were huge in 2012 since they were cost-effective and they came in a variety of styles and flavors and not to mention easy to make. However, all popular ventures must come to an end and there is a new hot thing in town. Pies, cobblers and classic crumbles are now in over the elegant wedding cakes and dainty cupcakes, and these are usually paired with a modern touch such as experimental flavors – think avocado sorbet to accompany key lime pie or even smoked caramel ice cream with pecan pie. You can really add a unique touch to these classics with a little imagination. Grown up versions of childhood treats are also rather fun, like bourbon and maple popsicles or raspberry champagne freeze ices in wrappers. They’re oh so elegant and chic and your guests will go nuts.
Illegal Dining. Years ago it was called Clandestine Dining, where people were setting up Pop-Up restaurants that you had to be invited to in order to even know they existed. Then came along food trucks and people started to realize that restaurant food could show up in unexpected places. Now, it’s “hush dining,” fueled by Twitter and the spirit of entrepreneurship—but not legally licensed as a business. There are a lot of people out there with great ideas on how to change a meal, make it their own, and make it the way nobody else has—but they don't have the capital or the time to start a restaurant. So they're printing business cards and setting up a Twitter account, going to farmers markets and utilizing word of mouth to create an on-order kitchen out of their home. It's half thrill of the hunt and half genuinely homemade (with a little black market appeal thrown in the mix) that eggs on diners looking for the next food truck and the next dive—beyond social media. It’s an evolution of both Pop-Up dining and of food trucks, and we think, while business licenses are there for a reason, it will be interesting to see how this evolves new ideas and new approaches to the difficult business of running a restaurant.
Squeezable pouches have made their way from baby foods to booze.
As reported by the trade magazine Advertising Age, plastic pouches have been a popular choice for infant brands such as Gerber for quite a while, but now they’re popping up all over the liquor aisle for products such as wine, premixed cocktails and flavored malt beverages.
The packaging trend really gained traction this summer, thanks to new pouch versions rolled out by big brands like Smirnoff and Arbor Mist.
Sales of alcoholic beverages in pouches grew by 153% over the same period last year, according to Nielsen. Major retailers such are now stocking pouch brands in coolers in some store locations.
“All the companies are jumping on board,” said Megan Metcalf, editor of Wine & Spirits Daily.
Among the most prominent brands to enter the pouch category are Parrot Bay and Smirnoff, using the packaging to house fruity malt-beverage drinks meant to be frozen and squeezed into a glass. The single-serve 10-ounce pouches are marketed as a convenient, no-mess way to serve swanky mixology-style cocktails at home.
Pouches can simplify drink prep. "If you think about making mixed drinks, in a lot of markets you need to go to the liquor store for one ingredient, you need to go to the grocery store for another, you need to pull out the blender," said Patrick Hughes, Diageo's brand director overseeing frozen-pouch marketing, quoted in the Ad Age story.
This whole pouch trend makes me wonder if the familiar old road trip song needs updating. “Ninety-nine pouches of booze on the wall, ninety-nine pouches of booze, take one down, pass it around…”
Cari Martens, Insight Developer, source: Food Channel
C2 Catering Couture is one of the hottest new caterers in Toronto. The company was founded by Domenic Chiaromonte, executive chef and co-owner of T2 Restaurant, his business partner, Enzo Commisso, and Jeff Berg and Alison Kadlovski of Double Chocolate Fountain & Fun Foods, a leading Toronto dessert company. The foursome saw an opportunity to for a truly unique catering company in the Toronto event marketplace and since opening their doors have proven they are were right. They are creating some of the most remarkable, sensational and delicious food in the city
C2 Catering Couture will be exhibiting at CSE EXPO12. Find them at booth 125 to sample the delicious creations of Chef Domenic Chiaromonte! Discover the difference these trendsetting Toronto caterers can bring to your party.
Chef Domenic Chiaromonte Bio
Domenic Chiaromonte is a Toronto caterer and the executive chef and co-owner of C2 Catering Couture and T2 Restaurant, located just north of Toronto. He is also a cookbook author, popular television chef, and catering industry consultant.
Domenic began his chef apprenticeship in his early twenties. One of his earliest and most significant experiences was in Tokyo, where he developed an appreciation for Eastern cuisine and styles of presentation. Those early influences continue to inform his work. On return from the East, Domenic’s insatiable appetite for learning and his respect for food and culture took him to the Hilton Hotel Toronto to work under his greatest mentor, Albert Schnell. Chef Domenic has also worked side by side with many culinary superstars such as Oprah’s own Chef Art Smith. He later apprenticed at Charlie Trotter’s in Chicago. On-the-job training combined with formal college allowed Domenic to quickly become an award-winning chef and plating champion. At the 2005 International Caterers Association Catered Arts through Innovative Excellence awards, Domenic received the prestigious first place awards for Best Plate Presentation and Best New Food Trend.
By traveling the globe and introducing himself to the cuisines of India, Morocco, Spain, Greece, Italy, Thailand, Japan and China, Domenic has created his own distinct style, which he calls “Modern Canadian”. Canada’s melting pot of cultures has served as a personal canvas for his dishes and plating style. He has not only mastered the skills of creating edible works of art, but also transforms a gourmet dish into an extraordinary event. Domenic is the star of TV’s My Favorite Dish and has been featured on Food Network’s Superstar Chef Challenge, Slice Network, Life Network, HGTV, Breakfast Television, CBS and Fox and recently on CBS’s The Early Show and Martha Stewart Living Radio. He is the author of Creating the Unexpected.
This it it! the hottest list in the world when it comes to global catering trends. This is the little black book of food forecasting used by the country's leading chefs and culinary designers to prepare their masterpiece menus for events from the Oscars to the Indy! The annual National Restaurant Association survey of American Culinary Federation compiles input from nearly 1,800 professional chefs rating their take on whether 223 culinary items will be a "hot trend," "yesterday’s news," or "perennial favorite" on restaurant menus in 2012.
According to Joy Dubost, Ph.D, R.D., director of Nutrition & Healthy Living for the National Restaurant Association
“The top menu trends we’re seeing in our What’s Hot in 2012 survey reflect the macro-trends we have seen grow over the last several years. Nutrition – especially when it comes to children – is becoming a major focus for the nation’s nearly one million restaurants, in tune with consumers’ increasing interest in healthful eating.”Dubost says “Local sourcing of everything – from meat and fish, to produce, to alcoholic beverages – is another big trend for 2012. Local farms and food producers have become an important source of ingredients for chefs and restaurateurs wishing to support the members of their business community and highlight seasonal ingredients on menus.
The Top 20 Trends of 2012
Locally sourced meats and seafood
Locally grown produce
Healthful kids’ meals
Hyper-local sourcing (e.g. restaurant gardens)
Gluten-free/food allergy conscious
Locally-produced wine and beer
Whole grain items in kids’ meals
Newly fabricated cuts of meat (e.g. Denver steak, pork flat iron, Petite Tender)
Food trucks/street food
Artisan/house-made ice cream
Non-traditional fish (e.g. branzino, Arctic char, barramundi)
Fruit/vegetable children’s side items
“Mini meals” (e.g. smaller versions of adult menu items)
We've pulled together a snapshot of the hottest items on the menu for the upcoming social and corporate event calendar. We hope you agree with our delicious selection from the Chef's Top 10 Lists. For the full lists click here.
When we asked our readers to weigh in their most requested items of the past year. Its not necessarily a Hot List because these are the "most popular" treats so read on but take note – if you are looking for unique…. avoid the following as they have had their moment in the spotlight… or should we say the warming lamp!
Mini Grill Cheese
Cotton Candy Cocktails
Massive meals…. preference is for small tasting plates
Mashed Potato Martinis and other heavy starches (try sweet potato fries)
We've never seen anything like it! We don't know if they can be hired for events but we have put a call into them to find out. This is just incredible stuff. Check out their site and then visit planetgreentv.com (search MOTO) and watch all the videos. Just a FABULOUS Idea!
Inventive. Innovative. Artistic. Imaginative. Thought provoking. Futuristic. Inspired. All words used to describe Homaro Cantu’s moto, an internationally recognized leader in the world of molecular gastronomy. A term with many interpretations, at moto molecular gastronomy is the application of both scientific and artistic principles in cuisine. Equal parts chef and inventor, Cantu challenges culinary convention and diners, stretching the boundaries of the former and taking the latter on a post-modern, interactive and fantastical gastronomical ride.
A “molecular tasting room,” dining at moto is like taking part in an ongoing multi-sensory science experiment. Cantu’s post-modern cuisine applies science to cuisine artistically, utilizing high-tech equipment such as Class IV lasers and liquid nitrogen with eclectic ingredients from around the world. The moto kitchen serves as a laboratory and a canvas for Cantu and his team, an incubation center for ideas that are revolutionizing the culinary landscape – ideas that focus on all things food-related, including menu items, packaging, tools, delivery and more. As Cantu says “to create is not to copy” and this philosophy of “food engineering” drives the moto team.
Incredibly well-rounded, the team focuses on the totality of each guest’s dining experience. Parallel to the intricately woven layers of taste, texture, and imagination in every bite of food is the detailed choreographed process of food preparation and presentation at moto. Each staff member pays attention to all elements of the total guest experience because each staff member has experience with every aspect of food preparation and presentation: at moto, every chef is a waiter and every waiter is a chef, as each employee rotates periodically from kitchen prep to tableside service, providing for a highly-knowledgeable staff.
Offering dinner service only, moto offers tasting menus – edible, by the way – and has been lauded by critics around the globe. Having been showcased in over 1000 articles appearing in nearly 40 countries, moto has struck a nerve with the thrill-seeking diner. While the foods are futuristic, they are not completely alien and though they may appear as if they are right out of a science-fiction movie, the fabulous flavor of this cuisine is very real. The dishes tend to be reinventions or outright transformations, including several American staples such as BBQ Pork with Cornbread and Baked Bean Spaghetti; Ben’s S’more, an inside-out version of the childhood favorite from Pastry Chef Ben Roche; and Chili-Cheese Nachos, a dish which looks like the savory appetizer but is actually a sweet dessert with crumbled chocolate serving as “chili” and flash-frozen strips of mango playing the part of grated cheese. Sommelier and Wine Director Matt Gundlach is on hand to offer wine pairings to complement the exquisite and extraordinary flavors. Simply put, moto is fine dining at its most adventuresome.
Tucked among the loading docks and 19th-century warehouses of Fulton Market – Chicago’s lively meatpacking district – are an enterprising new breed of chic boutiques, avant-garde art galleries, and trendy restaurants. In the midst of this energetic cultural emergence are the innovative sibling restaurants moto and otom, the latest ventures of leading Chicago restaurateur Joseph De Vito and his business partner Homaro Cantu. Featuring menus showcasing interactive postmodern cuisine at moto and the culinary mirror image of comfort food at otom, these sister restaurants each provide unforgettable dining experiences and are at the forefront of transforming Fulton Market into this city’s nouveau premier dining destination.
Since opening moto, Cantu has captivated adventurous diners and media alike with his imaginative interpretation of postmodern cuisine. Using science, technology and art in nouveau ways, the moto team continues to astound and astonish with novel, interactive dining experiences, redefining the boundaries of established culinary traditions of taste, texture and technique.
June 22, 2011, Toronto Zoo, Toronto
Tina Kessler, Canadianspecialevents.com OnSite Reporter
Photos: Tina Kessler and Janis Rees, Kaleidoscope Photography
You might not think of the Toronto Zoo as an event venue, especially for culinary events, but in fact, it was the perfect venue for the 2nd Annual Toronto Zoo Seafood for Thought Fundraising Event. This unique culinary conservation event helps to educate and inform consumers, and businesses, on the importance of making choices for healthy oceans. Proceeds from the event support Toronto Zoo’s Conservation Fund for projects that will protect wildlife and wild spaces.
Attendees were greeted by Explorer Bear, the Zoo’s mascot as well as zoo staff and various zoo animals including a 23 year-old endangered bald eagle. The Zellers Discovery Zone Splash Island splash pad was transformed to accommodate a series of tents featuring the best of sustainable seafood tastings prepared by Toronto’s top chefs. A live 4 piece jazz band provided a pleasant ambiance as attendees moved from tent to tent sampling the delicious offerings. Local wineries and breweries were also in attendance, as well as the Cheese Boutique, providing samples of their local cheeses.
The uneven landscape and permanent fixtures of the splash pad could have been a nuisance, but were instead incorporated into the event theme. The large sprinklers shaped like different sea creatures became extra attendees and were a welcome addition for all children in attendance. Blue and black dressed tables and blue and silver chiavari chairs were well placed among the icebergs and logs of the splash pad, providing additional seating. The sea theme was also incorporated into the floral arrangements with blue flowers and seashells.
As attendees savoured the sustainable seafood delights, they were also encouraged to take part in the silent auction. With items including dinners & shows, paintings, admissions and hotels, spas & getaways everyone was sure to find something of interest to help support the Zoo’s Conservation Fund. Presenting sponsor Loblaw Companies Limited set up an educational tent for attendees to learn about the limited number of fish in the sea.
The 2nd Annual Toronto Zoo Seafood for Thought Fundraising Event did an excellent job of raising awareness and funds to protect wildlife but also showed the versatility and uniqueness of the Toronto Zoo as an event venue.
If the Food Channel says its true, it must be. Everyone is looking for the newest food idea to keep their guests talking long after the plates have been cleared. Here is the word from the gurus of good eats!
1. Small Pies. Pie, of course, has been around forever, but 2011 could be the Year of the Pie. Some are already calling it the “next cupcake.” We say, yes, pies will be hot in the coming year, but look for smaller pies to make it big—in both sweet and savory varieties.
2. Sausage. Look for a leaner, better quality sausage, sourced locally at farmers markets, to take on the role as the “new bacon.” Home butchery and the charcuterie trend that has led to renewed interest in cured meats are additional factors here as well.
3. Nutmeg. Researchers have discovered that nutmeg’s reputation as an aphrodisiac—especially for women—has some merit. Need we say more?
4. Moonshine. Moonshine has gone legit. Tennessee’s first legal moonshine distillery opened this summer,and the clear corn whiskey hootch can now be found in many liquor stores and even purchased online. It still packs a wallop.
5. Gourmet Ice Pops. Ice pops in exotic flavors like bacon, mango chile, and peanut butter are the latest to get the artisanal treatment. They’re known as paletas in Mexico. Watch for them to go mainstream north of the border in 2011.
6. Grits. Could this old southern favorite become the “new grain”? We see it moving beyond the breakfast menu and above the Mason-Dixon Line.
7. Sweet Potatoes. These super-nutritious tubers will be orange-hot in 2011. They’ll be especially molten as the alternative, better-for-you french fry.
8. Fin fish. We are still discovering so much about the benefits of fish. After all, it wasn't that long ago that we found out about Omega 3's, and we know that obtaining these nutrients directly from food is the best way to get them into our system. We're banking on more acceptance of farmed fish as it becomes more important to have a good supply of this lean protein.
9. Cupuaçu fruit. This is quite possibly the next superfruit, following in the footsteps of the acai fruit. Both are from the Brazilian rainforest. Cupuaçu has a number of antioxidants and minerals, and is considered a natural source of energy. We tasted it in a Brazilian candy that had us craving more. Speaking of candy, you might also watch for Brigadeiro. This sweet Brazilian candy is made by mixing sweetened condensed milk, butter and cocoa powder. It's usually rolled into a ball and coated in granulated sugar, but it can also take on other flavors. It's the national truffle of Brazil. Look for it to come to our shores in 2011.
10. Beans. The lowly legume will step up to the spotlight in 2011, as a great source of protein and a versatile ingredient in appetizers like white bean & rosemary bruschetta. And, yes, it’s still awesome in chili
Trending right now in the world of catering and cocktails are Theme Liquors and Spirits. Think you saw it all when P Diddy entered the Vodka game? Hold on to your hats because local canuck turned mega celeb Dan Ackroyd has just stepped into the ring with his ghostly version of cutting edge beverage du jour.
Ackroyd and his partner in Vodka Partner and veteran fine artist John Alexander who are long time researchers of the legend of the 13 crystal heads have taken their passion and turned it into the hottest drink on the market, not to mention a perfect event planners theme accoutrement
A controversial archaeological mystery, 13 crystal heads have been found in regions around the world, from the American southwest to Tibet. They’re dated between 5,000 and 35,000 years old, and were supposedly polished into shape from solid quartz chunks over a period of several hundred years. Although according to Hewlett Packard engineers, they bear no tool marks to tell us exactly how they were made. The heads are thought to offer spiritual power and enlightenment to those who possess them, and as such stand not as symbols of death, but of life.
Aykroyd and Alexander wanted the opportunity to get closer to the myth of the 13 crystal heads. After more than two years in development, their moment finally arrived. When their glass depiction of a head was complete, Milan-based manufacturer Bruni Glass declared it to be a bottle of unsurpassed complexity and quality. Now, what to put in it? Vodka became the drink of choice. But with it, a commitment to do something enlightened and differentCrystal Head is vodka like no other, for a life like no other.
Naturally pure vodka had to be born of an equally pristine primary ingredient. The deep glacial aquifer water of Newfoundland, Canada became the perfect choice. As the easternmost landmass in North America, this vast and largely untouched island shares a mystery and fascination not unlike the crystal head legend itself. Fitting that the Crystal Head distillery chose ‘The Rock’ as its new home.
A quadruple-distillation process made Crystal Head as pure as vodka can be, but the quest for an almost mystical purity continued. As a final stage, the liquid was filtered through 500-million year-old crystals known as Herkimer diamonds. These quartz crystals are found in very few places in the world, including Herkimer, New York and regions in Tibet and Afghanistan. Perhaps because they share the raw material from which the original crystal heads were carved, they are thought to have similar spiritual qualities
The result was perfect vodka, with absolutely no additives. No glycol (an ingredient for engine anti-freeze); no citrus oil (used in its raw form as an insect exterminant); and no raw sugar. Nothing was needed, because it was abundantly clear that finely produced vodka came by its smoothness and flavor naturally. So in the end, the only things required were a glass and a pure spirit of one’s own
In an article posted on the Vancouver Sun's website BC caterers now face a $100,000 fine if they buy beer, wine or spirits for their customers even if they make no profit on the sale. Nor can they help out clients by applying for a BC Liquor special occasion licence on their behalf.
The BC Liquor Control and Licensing Branch policy requires event organizers and catered party hosts to independently buy and transport any alchohol they intend to pour at their event. They must also get the LCLB special occasion licence on their own.
Meanwhile, florists and gift basket businesses are allowed to buy and transport booze.
The seemingly arbitrary BCLC policy is hurting caterers, according to a Business in Vancouver story by Glen Korstom.
The 2010 Vancouver Open once again saw some of the world’s top tennis players as they descended upon West Vancouver’s Hollyburn Country Club to compete in the largest tennis tournament in Western Canada. The Odlum Brown Vancouver Open, a $175,000 USTA Pro Circuit event part of the ATP Challenge Tour, has seen the rise of tennis superstars such as Maria Sharapova in 2002 and 2009 champion, Marcos Baghdatis. This year proved to be another entertaining tournament for tennis enthusiasts as they enjoyed Hollyburn Country Club’s VIP Event.
Situated mountainside, overlooking downtown Vancouver, on 49 acres of West Vancouver’s renowned British Properties, Hollyburn Country Club’s West Patio provided the ideal venue to host the tournament’s elite. Transformed into a stylish and spacious lounge, the VIP event was one of this year’s highlights that kept guests captivated.
The West Patio offered a private sitting area for members of the media, event sponsors and VIP Skybox holders and provided them with a comfortable and lively space to mingle and enjoy the tournament. Like all sporting events, the VIP lounge had the best view in the house. A statement certainly held true for this event as the patio offered an unparalleled viewing experience with a bird’s eye view of the entire tournament as well as an unobstructed vista of Burrard Inlet and Vancouver’s city skyline in the distance.
The private 1,600 square feet patio was made-over from a simple viewing deck to a luxurious and spacious lounge. Guests had full access to all modern conveniences and amenities the club has to offer, including large screen televisions featuring a live-feed of tennis matches, providing members with the best possible tennis experience.
“It was important for us to offer our special guests an oasis away from the crowds of the tournament while still allowing them to enjoy the experience of the games, and our West Patio presents the ideal canvas to create such a setting,” says Ed McLaughlin, Hollyburn Country Club CEO.
The modern white décor, accented with simple greenery and colour floral arrangements created a simple and elegant space for guests to relax and enjoy exclusive services provided by Hollyburn Country Club. Guests had a great time lounging on clean, white Barcelona chairs and indulging in culinary offerings from the prestigious Hollyburn Bar & Grill. A private bar was set up to accommodate lounge attendees as they socialized under the large white tents shading them from the blazing summer sun. The crisp white décor against the natural beauty of the club further emphasized the impressive views of the city and ocean below.
Each night, as the sun set and the tennis matches were complete, a local band set up residence on the patio, and performed live music into the summer night creating a relaxing atmosphere for guests to mingle with friends while sipping Beringer Wines from the Napa Valley and recounting the day’s activities. Available until late into the evening, the lounge was the perfect retreat for guests to enjoy the warm summer night with the lights of Vancouver glowing in the background.