Friday, December 12, 2008

NRA 'What's Hot' survey released

The National Restaurant Association's (NRA) "What's Hot in 2009" survey of American Culinary Federation chefs is the industry's leading culinary forecast. This year marks the third annual survey of ACF chefs. More than 1,600 professional chefs nationwide ranked nearly 210 culinary items as a "hot trend," "yesterday's news" or "perennial favorite."

The full survey can be viewed here, but the top 20 are listed below.

What’s Hot: Top 20 Trends
1. Locally grown produce
2. Bite-size/mini desserts
3. Organic produce
4. Nutritionally balanced children's dishes
5. New/fabricated cuts of meat (e.g. Denver steak, pork flat iron, bone-in Tuscan veal chop)
6. Fruit/vegetable children's side items
7. Superfruits (e.g. acai, goji berry, mangosteen)
8. Small plates/tapas/mezze/dim sum
9. Micro-distilled/artisan liquor
10. Sustainable seafood
11. Nutrition/health (e.g. low-fat, reduced sodium, antioxidants, high-fiber)
12. Gluten-free/food allergy conscious
13. Non-traditional fish (e.g. branzino, Arctic char, barramundi)
14. Artisanal cheeses
15. Exotic fruit (e.g. durian, passion fruit, dragon fruit, guava)
16. Culinary cocktails (e.g. savory, customized to specific dishes)
17. Micro-vegetables/micro-greens
18. Organic wine
19. Dessert flights/combos/platters
20. Free-range poultry/pork

In your opinion, what food trends will be hot in 2009? Tell us about it in the comments section.

ACF-approved continuing education courses at Barry Callebaut Chocolate Academy

Barry Callebaut, a leading manufacturer of high-quality cocoa and chocolate products, announced that 15 courses at its Chocolate Academy in Chicago have been approved for continuing education hours through the American Culinary Federation (ACF). From introductory courses on the origins of chocolate to specialized classes on molding, enrobing and sculpting techniques, the Chocolate Academy’s one-of-a-kind training is specifically designed to encourage participants to apply and broaden their technical skills under the guidance of trained master chocolatiers. The small classes are taught in a personal setting that encourages participants to share their unique experience and knowledge about the latest chocolate-making trends with other participants.Courses at Barry Callebaut's Chicago Chocolate Academy are also eligible for continuing education credit through the Research Chefs Association.