Trends without end, the final round: nanobreweries, restaurant economics and the demise of mixology
Leigh Sullivan, president, Leigh Sullivan Enterprises
On health: I see a lot of chefs and restaurants emphasizing much healthier foods than they have in the past, including fresher ingredients, smaller portions and cleaner flavors. That seems to be the direction we're headed.
On the culinary map: What I'm most excited about in 2013 is just how many amazing restaurants we have to look forward to. What I see is how Colorado is quickly developing from a secondary food market to an awesome market that's right up there with the best food cities in America -- and that makes this chick very happy.
Barbara Macfarlane, co-owner, Marczyk Fine Foods
On vegetables and canning: Kale is going to be the new bacon. We'll see the leafy vegetable in every iteration, from chips to salads to snacks in a bag, just like potato chips. Canning is huge right now, too. When we did the first Marczyk Neighborhood Fair and had a canning contest, I thought we'd get about four entries; instead we got about twenty, and our judges, Chandler Romeo and Dana Coffield, who I thought were just going to have a casual time, were serious about their jobs, even to the point of disqualifying two contestants. I think as things get more techie, there's a natural desire to get off the grid, so to speak. Canning is it.
On home gardening: Home gardens are expanding -- along with beekeeping and raising chickens - and people want to preserve summer's fruits, because there's a real nostalgia for it.
On gluten-free products: Our sales don't show this to be a growing "trend" -- we sell three times the amount of bread now that we're making our own -- but the e-mails in my inbox tell a different story. I think we'll see "deconstructed" sandwiches without the bread and more gluten-free labeling on menus. If we're lucky, we'll start getting some gluten-free foodstuffs that actually taste not just good, but great.
On keg wines and punch: I predict that keg wines will become increasingly popular in the market, especially since there are more outlets for the product, and there are more and more producers putting great juice into kegs. And call me crazy, but I think punch will continue to grow in popularity. I also predict that people will get tired of their Ocean Spray mixed bottle service, and the cost, and start opting for a "social bowl" to share instead -- plus, it's more modern.
On the philosophies of Alain Ducasse: "I want to remind people of the taste of bread and butter," said Alain Ducasse. Looking out over his global empire of gourmet restaurants, star-studded tables reaching from Tokyo to the Eiffel Tower, the French chef decided this spring it was time for something new. "We've never been about bling-bling -- but now we are definitively going to get back to essentials," Ducasse said. "There are no accessories -- just like a very beautiful woman does not need accessories. Cuisine, noted Ducasse, "has become too complicated -- this is about subject, verb, adjective: duck, turnips, sauce." And dishes, he continued, of no more than three ingredients will aim to "define the essence of taste." The new trend, les cuisine simple? I am so on board with you, chef. As you said, "We want to make the cuisine simpler, more readable -- not cuisine for the sake of demonstration."