2015 Food Trends: Predictions from Four Seasons Chefs
For the spirited epicurean, a lot of the fun in dining out is discovering what's hot, trending and will be on the tip (both literally and figuratively) of everyone's tongue. While we can't, with complete certainty, predict what everyone will be buzzing about in 2015, we know who to ask… Here, we've asked some of our favourite chefs from Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts to chime in on what they believe will be this year's biggest food trends.
No matter what city they're from, this is a point that's resonating with a lot of chefs: Fresh, locally sourced vegetables are at the forefront of diners' minds—and their palettes. Executive Chef Aaron Brooks of Edge Steak and Bar at Four Seasons Hotel Miami "For a while, gluttony was cool, but then people realized it doesn't do anything for your waistline. There's a new, healthier lifestyle that people are trying to choose," Brooks says. Even though he runs a classic steakhouse, one of the most popular menu items is his "Edge" green salad, in which everything is green. (Think arugula, raw cucumbers, cooked asparagus, avocado purée.) It's how he whips up "creative sides with vegetables that are creative and have big flavour impact."
Executive Chef Martin Knaubert of The Ritz-Carlton Chicago (A Four Seasons Hotel) Both meat lovers and vegetarians will flip for what Knaubert foresees will be heating up the city's dining scene: mushrooms. "It's such a versatile food—It can enhance meat and is also great eaten alone," he says. In the winter season, the Hotel receives a weekly delivery that changes with what's fresh and available. Recently, Knaubert took blue-foot mushrooms, roasted them in a hot oven and served them with chermoula dressing.
Executive Chef Zack Mills from Wit & Wisdom at Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore Healthier choices shouldn't be limited to what we're eating, according to Mills, who also takes the environment into consideration when sourcing produce. By partnering with small, local farms, Mills wants to make sure "the same vegetables are still around for generations to come. That's why ordering food from responsible places is so important. We're trying to educate our diners, too, so they'll hopefully take some of that information home."
Carb lovers, rejoice! There's no reason to completely give up bread, or even pancakes! Just swap out refined carbs for the suggested high-fibre, protein-packed options below.
Executive Chef Cyrille Pannier of Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills While embodying a healthy lifestyle is nothing new to LA, what's new is healthy options on all the menus at the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills. Pannier makes a healthy start to your morning an easy and scrumptious decision with his pancakes. "By swapping out the white flour to grain flour, you can still enjoy a fantastic pancake that's healthier," says Pannier. Top it with a dollop of peanut butter for an even more balanced breakfast.
Executive Chef Maurizio Ferrarese of Quattro Restaurant at Four Seasons Hotel Houston Even though beef reigns in Texas, Ferrarese believes that this year, "there will be a growing number of customers looking for healthy options beyond meat proteins. This will support the already growing vegan and vegetarian movement. Grains, especially high-fibre options, will be a huge hit." Quinoa packs a punch of protein and fibre in his popular seared tuna and tomato salad.
Sharing Is Caring
Long gone are the days of ordering a salad, entrée and dessert for yourself. Now, it's cooler than ever, not to mention fun, to order a bunch of plates and pass them around.
Executive Chef Fabrizio Schenardi of Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World® Resort At the recently opened resort—a big draw for groups, whether families or business conventions—sharing comes naturally. "Family-style dining is big," says Schenardi. "Nowadays, people like to share, and big groups always want to try more than one thing." At Capa, the resort's Spanish restaurant, items like the patatas bravas and the croquetas fall under a menu section called "para picar," strictly meant for sharing.
Chef Jelle Vandenbroucke of ART Restaurant at Four Seasons Hotel Seattle In his city, Vandenbroucke believes, the concept of shared plates is a no-brainer. "Seattle is very much about supporting smaller local restaurants and rooting for hometown chefs," he says. "There's a convivial spirit here, it's a real Seattle vibe." In the lounge at ART, groups can mingle over savoury plates like smoked salmon flatbreads, short-rib tacos and warm pretzels with onion-mustard dip.
Beyond the Filet Mignon
Steaks aren't the only way to enjoy meat. Chefs are experimenting with unconventional cuts and parts from the cow and other animals.
Executive Chef Joe Palma of Bourbon Steak of Four Seasons Hotel Washington, DC According to Palma, there's a very practical reason why chefs are seeking alternative sources of protein like rabbit, goat and mutton: cost. "Beef markets are going haywire, especially from a price perspective," he says. Add to that diners' growing interest in trying new things, and you have the perfect setting for exploring choices besides the tried-and-true beef. Come spring, expect to see dishes like a braised goat and rabbit duo salad, composed of roasted, stuffed loin and confit leg, on Palma's menu.
Executive Chef Thomas Bellec of Beverly Wilshire, Beverly Hills (A Four Seasons Hotel) Bellec agrees with Palma: "Rising food costs (in particular, beef) are getting to be a challenge in the industry." But rather than sourcing from other animals, Bellec believes that chefs will be using more of what he refers to as "third cuts" from the cow, like kidneys, liver and other organs.
Text by Katie Chang
About Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
Founded in 1960, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts is dedicated to perfecting the travel experience through continual innovation and the highest standards of hospitality. Currently operating 111 hotels and resorts, and 41 residential properties in major city centres and resort destinations in 47 countries, and with more than 50 projects under planning or development, Four Seasons consistently ranks among the world's best hotels and most prestigious brands in reader polls, traveller reviews and industry awards. For more information and reservations, visit fourseasons.com. For the latest news, visit press.fourseasons.com and follow @FourSeasonsPR on Twitter.