Trends... revisited

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by jim berman, Sep 28, 2003.

  1. jim berman

    jim berman

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    Some time ago, on a much younger ChefTalk, I started a thread about food trends; where are we headed and what are you doing now that is innovative? That was a few years ago, so I thought it might be interesting to see where we all stand these days.

    So, what is the next must-do trend to sweep our industry, if there is one? What are you doing now that is 'cutting edge'?
     
  2. cape chef

    cape chef

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    I'm kind of tired of trends.

    They all lead back to the classics.

    Remember those skin tight jeans of the 70's.Levis just stood back with a grin on there face waiting for people to "get a grip"

    I just posted a question on another forum.It is"Point,Girardet,Careme,Escoffier and Adrian on an island.

    The chatter starts with Adrian saying "i've lost my immersion blender?! what should I do?"

    Get the point? whould love to be a fly on the wall during this conversation.
     
  3. jim berman

    jim berman

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    I agree. I think. I believe a strong foundation is VITAL for success. However, I think consumers see some trendy menu item somewhere and it becomes a 'must have'; it also helps pay the rent if you respond to demand.
    Some of the trendiness does contribute a drop or two to the bucket of epicurean development; we are always evolving, growing and experimenting.
    That said, what do you think?
     
  4. cape chef

    cape chef

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    I think a trend is a trend........how long will it "Pay the rent?" only as long as it's a trend.

    Is cooking with air a trend I don't know,what would F. Point say?

    Was Nouvele cuisine a trend? or was it a long thought out experiment with food? I don't know.

    Or is a trend really just taking a fundimental approach to cooking and throwing a curve ball?some hold while others swing.

    Is "farm purchased"produce a trend? Hmm,is "organic" a trend?

    Or are they the norm being rediscovered and coveted by so called "foodies"? I don't know.
     
  5. bradleyo

    bradleyo

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    I don't think this is a trend yet, but I'd sure like to see it happen. A return to the style of service epitomized by the Pavillon in its heyday: whole roasts carved at the table; platter, as opposed to plate, presentations and service; etc. Corresponding to the service, wouldn't it be great if diners actually dressed for dinner? Personally, if I'm going to spend upwards of $50 per person for dinner, I'm going to be wearing clothes that cost more than the meal.
     
  6. panini

    panini

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    the only trend I see down here is, buy one entree and get the second at 1/2 price or an all inclusive dinner.
    The retail industry has shot itself in the foot with brainwashing consumers into only buying things on sale. I hope this does not take over our industry!
    Over the last couple of years I've noticed more and more of this mentality. " If I buy two, do I get a discount!" " Do these ever go on sale?" " That item is $212., would you take $200.?"
    I know this is OT, but I see it as a trend:D
     
  7. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    If there's anything to be learned from our English friends, it's that North Indian food will soon become very mainstream in America. I predict that in 10 years, Indian food will be as common as Chinese takeout.

    The "Italian" segment is continually reinventing itself in order to stay competitive. This has resulted in higher quality and reasonable prices. Most people can "talk" Italian food now without resorting to American translations. I think the trend toward higher quality will continue.

    Curry, heat, spice. I think this is an underappreciated trend. Maybe not in Minnesota, but more and more folks on both coasts are discovering their endorphines for the first time.

    Baja style Mexican food. Too bad it's already been poorly commercialized by McFood. Prepared a la minute, this has to be the freshest tasting shrimp taco on the planet.

    Which reminds me, fish tacos anyone? :)

    Kuan
     
  8. shroomgirl

    shroomgirl

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    Dang it I just lost an exstensive reply... organic and local are not trends , they have been around forever. It is just a means to access incredible fresh meats, produce varieities and fresh products otherwise not availables, I was eating sorrel, and jonathon apples, fingerlings, fresh pastured chicken, pimentos, great lettuce mix and super pitty pans yesterday....you can not find 8 varieties of fingerlings in any store and not from many wholesalers, Good Food is Good Food and you will travel and go to locales for great food...think of Le Ruths in Gretna, or JaBonies in STL, these are in funky neighborhoods the food is great, it is timeless. Not to start an arguement of any kind, cooking is an art form, it is a form of exspression...a super Frito Misto and roasted chicken will get me across town any day. Some are saying Sushi was a trend...I see alot of the sushi chefs playing with the basics, is that trendy ...I gotta think Nope, it is just expansion of the medium.
    Small farmers have been selling in markets throughout Europe for over one thousand yearsTrendy? I don't think so.My grandmother has been using Rodale and organic gardening for all of her 92 years....and she lives in VA. not CA. In Franc e and I am sure over most of itaily anyou go to the market every AM to decde what to make. I am not going to corect spelling, cus that is what boots the thread off , sorry for the jusk.
    MTC
     
  9. cape chef

    cape chef

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    This is my point in my previous post.

    A trend these days I feel are manafactured more by "Big buisness".

    Way before organic was in vouque "in the supermarkets"our grandparents where gardening this way.
     
  10. panini

    panini

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    Exaggeration is the key to popularity. Big Business is great at marketing this.
    Small markets and family business will be almost extinct in our childrens lifetime.
    just my prediction:p
    Big Busune4ss has monopolized on the laziness of the younger generation and has geared everything towards convienience.
     
  11. shroomgirl

    shroomgirl

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    CIRA is coming on strong in STL to offset the "chain" especially white linen or cheesecake factory market invasion. I think that I am an exception to the rule, I have not had a TV for over 2 years...I don't get blasted with commercials, I was drinking a beer the other day and watching a football game and the commercials were interesting...when you don't watch for months on end the commercials are what pull your attention. So I guess there is a sense that mass marketing will inspire TRENDS...of course it will. But there was a mindset and I believe this, that what is happening in independant restaurants will trickle down to households within 5 years. Interestingly enough, I saw a bunch of foodies at market yesterday and none new that the sorrel leaf I was feeding them was sorrel....most did not know what to do with it....hmmmmm...several were food writers...the next new trend?
     
  12. lentil

    lentil

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    I know this isn't exactly a food trend, but more of a service trend. I absolutely hate it when a server squats down in front of my table in order to be more friendly. I have enough friends without making one more with my waiter. I think this is an attempt by big business to encourage bigger tips and a friendlier atmosphere. It's unprofessional. I want a relationship with my server that includes good service, a professional demeanor, and knowlege of the food being served. I don't see this in upscale places- more of a chain trend.

    And while I'm on the subject, I don't want to be called Hon or Dear by anyone other than a 65 year old diner employee. It doesn't fit in any restaurant where the meals are fancier than burgers or 2 over easy and grits. It especially doesn't work when the server is 20 years my junior. I'm not a feeble old lady, nor am I six!

    Thanks for listening...
     
  13. phoebe

    phoebe

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    I know what you mean lentil, and I agree. However, there have been studies (I swear to God) which demonstrate that servers who squat down to the guests' level, touch the guests, and use smiley faces on the checks or other personal comments get bigger tips than servers who do not. Some of us may be annoyed but apparently others respond well without even realizing it. :rolleyes:
     
  14. lentil

    lentil

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    Phoebe,

    You're right. Some marketing person devised this plan and it continues BECAUSE servers make more money, but servers need to be allowed to use their own judgement when "squatting" is welcomed. When the customer's attitude goes from pleasant to chilly as soon as the server touches them or sits down with them, they should abandon that behavior asap.

    The smiley faces I can live with- they were ubitiquitous in the seventies and remain so; I guess I'm just used to them. God forbid we all get used to the trend of overly friendly servers. I know from years of working in the industry that they're going to go in the kitchen and make the same nasty comments about their customers anyway no matter how much they pretend to like them out front...
     
  15. panini

    panini

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    I wonder if someone did surveys to see if customers like to see a server stick the order pad down the back of their pants. This is enough for me to leave.
     
  16. lentil

    lentil

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    Oh yea!! Pad down the pants is a turn-off! I'll take the smiley faces any day over that. Right up there in the disgusting catagory is a server messing with their hair, scratching any body part, and sticking fingers in their mouths, ears, or near the eyes.

    Where has common sense about cleanliness gone? It used to be that as a server, I was never allowed to be seen putting food in my mouth. Now I could pick my teeth in the dining room and it would be acceptable!:confused:
     
  17. mike

    mike

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    An interesting & well debated topic. Shroomgirl I like the cut of your jib. Ive only known about a handfull of people who didnt have TVs but they were all incredibly well read & thoughtful people not distracted or brainwashed by marketing.

    Theres a lesson there but im reluctant to throw my Sony flatscreen & 6.1 surroundsound away...id miss the Kerrang channel too much.

    Seriously it is true that big bui$$ness controls the populpous eating habits.What start as a concept from some no doubt well intentioned development chef gets convoluted & made bland & appealing at the end.

    Trends among professional chefs though are facsinating & always good for ideas & discussion. I really like tapas & hope that this becomes as popular as mexican & indian food have here.

    Im sure that indian food will become huge in the states although in reality its westerised versions made by 90% Bangledeshi cooks. But chicken tikka masala is the British national dish ..OFFICIAL.
     
  18. mike

    mike

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    Lentil,
    I once ran a wine bar restaurant where we would tend to hire surf dude types, laid back ,funny , freethinking etc..

    We served simple good food & blasted chilli peppers & punk through the pa.

    It was a gas

    Then one of my waitresses had trouble uncorking a bottle at a table. She used her teeth!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    OMG.....

    The horror !
     
  19. leo r.

    leo r.

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    Mike,i hope that waitress knew a good dentist!
    Back at the ranch,there is talk of "trends".
    Where i live in East London there is a glut of "Indian" restaurants.
    As you rightly point out Mike,they are managed and staffed by people from Bangladesh.This was known as East Pakistan to those old enough to remember.
    In the regenerated Docklands area,there is a wider choice.
    You have: Chinese,Indian,French,Italian,Malaysian,Sri Lankan,Thai and Vietnamese.
    I would like to see more African restaurants in London,besides the usual Moroccan style establishments.
     
  20. leo r.

    leo r.

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    I should have said that Bangladesh was called East Pakistan for those NOT old enough to remember:(
    By the way:
    1)There is an dearth of Jewish restaurants,which is a shame because this reduces people`s choice.
    2)This part of London once had a very large Jewish community which has diminished over the past 30 years.I know this,because i was grew up here.