Trends without end, round four: Bread, breed and Twitter fatigue
On liquids: Twelve is looking to pick up a small barrel to pre-mix Manhattans, which is probably our most popular cocktail. We're going to blend the bourbon and sweet vermouth, and then finish it to order with bitters, ice and cherries.
On enough with those overused descriptions: I'm hoping to see fewer trendy words and phrases to describe food -- no more "organic," "sustainable" or "farm-to-table" (everyone is farm-to-table, if you think about it). Let's just focus on the best products available, and note that I'd rather get a "great" tomato from California instead of a "mediocre" one from Colorado. There are some things that are best produced elsewhere.
Clint Wangsnes, chef de cuisine, Zengo and al Lado
On conscious eating: I think the biggest trend for 2013 is going to be responsible dining. More than ever, customers care about what they're eating, where their food comes from, sustainability, and does it support local farmers?
Troy Guard, owner-executive chef, TAG, TAG/RAW BAR, TAG Burger Bar
On cooking for kids: I think we're going to see more great restaurants trying to appeal to young, urban couples and families by embracing kids in the dining room and developing more compelling menus for younger diners.
On distilling: I think I might be seeing some of my chef colleagues and bar friends find themselves becoming small-batch distillers, experimenting with various techniques and fermentations to make their own spirits.
Eric Rivera, executive chef, Cafe/Bar
On sugar finales: Desserts are going to come into play in the coming year; most restaurants are realizing that crème brûlée, cheesecake and doughnuts just aren't cutting it anymore. The use of unique berries like huckleberries, gooseberries and boysenberries will be popular, while strawberries, blueberries and blackberries move off the list. There are so many new honeys and craft syrups, too, that we can utilize, and I think that a lot of chefs, including me, often overlook desserts as an opportunity to showcase our creativity and generate additional revenue for our restaurants.
Watch for another installment of "Trends Without End" on January 2.