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Andrew Mellman

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Conde Nast Traveler 2018 food trends

by Andrew Mellman » Fri Dec 15, 2017 11:16 am

Five of them . . . interesting that I've seen several already in Louisville - some for quite a while!

"Feasts from the Middle East
It's about time you learned what za'ataractually is: According to experts across the board, Middle Eastern culinary influences are finally (finally!) going mainstream in 2018, which means you'll see a lot more harissa, ras el hanout, cardamom, tahini, and lamb on menus. Regional nuances will become more pronounced, too, so you'll actually know whether you're eating Lebanese, Persian, Israeli, or Moroccan delicacies—and not just chowing down on pita and falafel and calling it "Middle Eastern."

The whole animal (and vegetable)
Vegetables were deemed the "new meat" in 2016 and continued their reign in 2017. But in 2018, experts say there will be a return to actual meat as a main, with overlooked parts of the animal like shoulder tender, oyster steak, Vegas strip steak, and Merlot cut making their way onto menus. Vegetarians, it's not all bad news for you: Though meat is expected to be more of a star in 2018, root-to-stem cooking is on the rise, which means you'll see all parts of a vegetable utilized. Hello, garlic-scape pesto, broccoli-stem slaw, and beet greens.

Soda by any other name
We love LaCroix as much as the next person, but 2018 may have you trading in that can for something else. Expect more and more house-made, craft soft drinks, and flavored sparkling waters to appear on menus in both their native form and swirled into cocktails. Can't you just hear hipsters everywhere rejoicing?

Street food goes mainstream
The past few years have seen the humble taco dominate much of the conversation. But come 2018, other street food stars get their turn to shine. Look out for more tempura, kabobs, dumplings, and pupusas, the corn tortillas popular in El Salvador that are typically filled with beans or meat. (An example of a riff on a classic: At Baby Wale in Washington, D.C. the zucchini and mozzarella pupusa comes with Salvadorean slaw.)

Peru, is that you?
With Gastón Acurio a household name and Virgilio Martínez Véliz one of the most exciting chefs of the moment, it's no wonder Peruvian food is expected to make an even bigger splash in 2018. Check out Peruvian-Japanese fusion from chef Michael Schlow at Tico Boston; the "next phase of Peruvian dining" at new Rosaliné in Los Angeles from Ricardo Zarate; Llama Inn in Williamsburg; and more. Another pisco sour, please."
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Robin Garr

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Re: Conde Nast Traveler 2018 food trends

by Robin Garr » Fri Dec 15, 2017 11:55 am

A lot of those make sense, and a few of them are already cropping up in Louisville - I've seen house-made craft sodas here and there.

Having traveled in Peru and a brother who lives there, though, I've got some doubts about Peruvian cuisine. Not that it isn't good, between seviche and anticuchos, but it's not all that diverse or unusual. Sort of like Costa Rica and Nicaragua in that regard.
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Re: Conde Nast Traveler 2018 food trends

by Andrew Mellman » Fri Dec 15, 2017 3:58 pm

Robin Garr wrote:A lot of those make sense, and a few of them are already cropping up in Louisville - I've seen house-made craft sodas here and there.

Having traveled in Peru and a brother who lives there, though, I've got some doubts about Peruvian cuisine. Not that it isn't good, between seviche and anticuchos, but it's not all that diverse or unusual. Sort of like Costa Rica and Nicaragua in that regard.


I do love Peruvian chicken, but in Chicago have also loved Peruvian-Japanese fusion! Not sure of the history, but if I remember about 1/3 of population of Peru are ethnic Japanese, and it can give the food an interesting twist.
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Re: Conde Nast Traveler 2018 food trends

by Robin Garr » Fri Dec 15, 2017 4:19 pm

Andrew Mellman wrote:I do love Peruvian chicken, but in Chicago have also loved Peruvian-Japanese fusion! Not sure of the history, but if I remember about 1/3 of population of Peru are ethnic Japanese, and it can give the food an interesting twist.

Just 0.5 of 1 percent, actually, but it's a powerful minority bloc, descended from field workers who came to escape an economic depression in Japan around 1900. As you know, there was a Japanese president, Alberto Fujimori, unfortunately brought down by scandal.

But not one-third, and - based entirely on my experience - I don't see it in the food, unless you're seeing a kinship between seviche and sushi.

https://nacla.org/article/japanese-peru ... rus-nikkei
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Re: Conde Nast Traveler 2018 food trends

by Andrew Mellman » Sat Dec 16, 2017 8:54 pm

[quote="Robin Garr"][quote="Andrew Mellman"]
But not one-third, and - based entirely on my experience - I don't see it in the food, unless you're seeing a kinship between seviche and sushi./quote]

1. Those damned decimal points get me every time (0.3 vs 30.0) :-(

2. There's a restaurant in NYC/Chicago/elsewhere (including Peru) owned by Gaston Acurio (with chef Jesus Delgado) which does Michelin quality Peruvian food exhibiting all ethnic influences, and their menu includes a multitude of Japanese-styled Peruvian dishes! I may very well be misled by this "superstar" chef's places, but from the menu(s) the Japanese influence appears quite strong.
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Re: Conde Nast Traveler 2018 food trends

by Robin Garr » Sun Dec 17, 2017 8:40 am

Andrew Mellman wrote:2. There's a restaurant in NYC/Chicago/elsewhere (including Peru) owned by Gaston Acurio (with chef Jesus Delgado) which does Michelin quality Peruvian food exhibiting all ethnic influences, and their menu includes a multitude of Japanese-styled Peruvian dishes! I may very well be misled by this "superstar" chef's places, but from the menu(s) the Japanese influence appears quite strong.

I'd sure like to try that!
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Re: Conde Nast Traveler 2018 food trends

by Iggy C » Sun Dec 17, 2017 4:33 pm

Chef's Table on Netflix has an episode on a chef in Lima, Virgilio Martínez, whose food uses some really interesting local fish, algae, and fruits and herbs from the Peruvian Amazon. I thought it was pretty enticing.

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