North Jersey Chefs Predict the Big Food Trends of 2016
Food trends, like any others, come and go. As the new year gets into gear, some trends will be left behind and others will burst onto the food scene. From new fish dishes to exotic spicy sauces to the next incarnation of “superfood” greens, North Jersey chefs and restaurant industry insiders predict what trends are going to dominate dining in 2016.
FUNKY ICE CREAMS
When it comes to the beloved frozen treat, one trend is “not for the traditionalists,” admits Vincent Barcelona, corporate chef for Supreme Oil Co. in Englewood. But for those willing to go out on a limb, he sees lots of places continuing to churn out more than your typical chocolate and vanilla: “I’m seeing a lot wacky stuff like rosemary-infused, burnt orange, black pepper and olive oil.” Example: Brooklyn-based Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream, whose flavors include Earl Grey, honeycomb and ginger and whose pints you can scoop up at Fairway Market in Woodland Park.
Plenty of foods we enjoy every day are the product of fermentation — yogurt, cheese and beer, for example. But chefs are experimenting further with pickling and fermenting, which not only packs foods with enzymes and healthy bacteria but also “gives food an added brightness,” according to Barcelona. He sees fermented black beans, cabbage and other vegetables preserved in-house by chefs popping up everywhere from fast casual joints to high-end restaurants.
EXOTIC SPICES AND SAUCES
If the craze over Sriracha proves anything, it’s that “people are bored,” says Barcelona. “They want their palates to come alive!” Chefs and food industry experts searching for other spicy condiments and flavors are looking towards Africa and India. “I think what we’re going to see now is people using more ethnic spices,” Costagliola says. “There are ghost peppers from India, harissas from North Africa.” Merida agrees, saying that African flavors especially will become more popular.
“I’m seeing a lot wacky stuff like rosemary-infused, burnt orange, black pepper and olive oil.” Example: Brooklyn-based Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream, whose flavors include Earl Grey, honeycomb and ginger and whose pints you can scoop up at Fairway Market in Woodland Park.