10 Unexpected Food Trends Compiled by Chef Rick Bayless

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Rick Bayless, an American chef who specializes in traditional Mexican cuisine with a modern twist, was asked to create a list of ingredients and flavors he predicts will shortly be taking over the food world. Bayless drew from his years of travels, experiences, and feedback from his restaurant to compile this list of 10 trends. Sorry folks, no bacon made the list.

Check out the interesting list here and take note, restaurant owners. If you’re looking for creative ways to develop a unique menu certain to draw in the crowds, listen to Mr. Bayless.

• BITTER GREENS: Bayless stated that Kale has “opened the door to new kinds of greens.” Bayless noted that more experimental greens such as beet greens, baby arugula, and sorrel have begun to be introduced into dishes.

• BRAISING: “It’s time to re-embrace the slow cooker because braising is a cooking method that keeps coming back. Braised meats, especially pork, will be seen on restaurant and food truck menus from coast to coast.”

• FERMENTATION: Bayless predicts that fermentation will be in demand in 2013. Fermentation delivers sour flavors that Bayless says “demonstrate an evolution of the American taste.” Think homemade sauerkraut and Kimchi toppings on Mexican food.

• HABANERO CHILIES: Bayless notes that habaneros have a complex fruit flavor and a distinct heat. He suggests pairing habanero chilies with any sort of dairy product.

• HERBY SWEET DESSERTS: the chef suggests that the combination of herby and sweet will be the in-demand dessert dish. He notes that salty tastes are maturing into the direction of savory flavors.

• MIDDLE EASTERN: Bayless thinks that it’s high time Americans get excited about Middle Eastern cuisine. He notes that it is healthy and full of flavor. His favorite Middle Eastern spice is sumac, which pairs well with fish, chicken, vegetables, adn cheese.

• MUSHROOMS: Bayless suggests restaurant owners look to the large variety of mushrooms that are being cultivated today. He explains that the various aromas and textures can lead to a variety of dishes. And they’re inexpensive!

• SMOKEY TACOS: Bayless believes that tacos will be taking center stage shortly. He says tacos are being more influenced by other cultures, including Spanish tapas and Japanese tempura.

• MORE SMOKEY TACOS: Specifically, the smoked salmon taco. Bayless describes a recipe he loves, which includes a brine utilizing brown sugar and pure maple syrup. He also suggests putting together a unique taco bar, which uses items like capers, sesame seeds, furikake, whipped cream cheese, and various tortillas.

• STREET FOOD: Bayless says this one is a no-brainer. The rising popularity of food trucks shows no signs of stopping. Bayless believes the new trend in the food truck industry will be dishes replicating the rustic and fresh ingredients, leading to a soulful, localized dish.

Check out more information on Chef Rick Bayless’ food trend list at Delish.com.

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