I'm pretty stoked about locally sourced protein and whole-animal cooking.
I'm also fascinated by fermenting/preservation/aging in-house.
Hi @rescaldo welcome to ChefTalk. I think that it has been exciting to see more and more restaurant chefs bringing offal back on the menus. In my opinion there is nothing like a well prepared liver or kidneys.
The other one which has been around for a while now is home roasting of coffee. I got on this bandwagon and I really enjoy roasting my own beans.
@Koukouvagia my wife and I were just talking about this last night. A good way of describing what I think I'm seeing on the whole is the re-emergence of regional cuisine. Cook what you will according to what you have available, but make it f***ing good! :)
@Nicko I have yet to prepare kidneys (they're on the list; do you prefer lamb or calf organs?), though I've got some chicken liver confit hanging out in the back of my fridge. Those livers should be ready to dig out of the schmaltz and smear on toast points just in time for a glass of wine this weekend. I also just made my first batch of sauteed veal sweetbreads two weeks ago and was totally blown away (I'm going to grill them and serve them with chimichurri with pickled red onions on homemade corn tortillas next time). The cheek of anything is f***ing divine.
Also interested in heart meat, and you can never go wrong with bone marrow and savory jam with a bitter green salad.
I have never thought about roasting my own coffee. How do you source your beans?
A lot of the trends seem to be rediscovering the economies of past practices.
I suspect the local focus will die off again in favor of getting the best. The local focus is in direct competition with the protected origin laws of some foods. Buying real Parmigiano or Balsamic for example. Or the name restrictions of wine with Burgundy and Champagne as examples.
There are times local means you're getting something at it's peak. And there are times local means a sad imitation or doing without.
Trends I am excited about:
offal - I had sweetbreads in NYC in '03 and couldn't wait for more to show up on menus
elimination of tips for fair wages/benefits
return to simpler preparations/flavors
small sustainable fish - sardines, mackerel
Small plates are great IMO @rpooley, but then again I am a grazer who gets bored way before others are even halfway into their entrée.
Prolly just my ADD and servers may get irritated when I keep adding on to my order throughout the meal but I tip well so at least they get something out of the deal lol.
It seems this once humble breakfast staple is hothothot!
Good bread, sliced and toasted and spread with mashed avocado (seasoned in a hundred different ways) standing in for the mayo/butter and topped with some meaty heirloom tomato slices and bacon crumbles and micro greens is my new BLT.
Oh yeah i'm on the offal train. I cook livers, hearts, sweetbreads, tongue at home.
I was in Montreal last year and they are light years ahead of New York. Why? The customers actually order offal from the menu. In the US maybe they'll run a special every couple years, fail to get orders, and give up. We need people to order the stuff or why put it on a menu? Ever seen tripe outside of an ethnic restaurant? Probably never
@rpooley Small plates are awesome for a bar or a tasting menu, but other than that I don't think they have a place outside of the appetizer portion of a menu. Also, I totally agree with you about a fair wage for the service industry. If a restaurant told me they don't allow tipping because they pay their workers a fair wage, I probably wouldn't kvetch about the prices.
@flipflopgirl Toast! A.K.A. fat crackers . Have you ever made crackers at home? Totally worth the effort.
@MillionsKnives It seems like this is the lament of all real hard-core American cooks; American diners are too timid to try offal. Frankly, it makes me nuts. There's so much variety and flavor outside of the primal cuts (and at incredibly good prices)!
I forgot to mention! Charcuterie is a trend that I'm really excited about. It's like lunchables, but edible.