The year ahead in restaurants

Photo by Urban Mixer (Raj Taneja) via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

If yesterday’s post was about dining in, today’s is about dining out. NPR’s food blog, The Salt, provides highlights from

a recent survey of 1,800 chefs across the nation. The survey, part of the National Restaurant Association’s latest Restaurant Industry Forecast, categorized 198 menu items as “hot trends,” “yesterday’s news” or “perennial favorites.” Meant to be an annual snapshot of the entire restaurant industry, the forecast also predicts trends in restaurant technologies and consumer attitudes in the coming year, says Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of Research at the NRA.

Jessica Stoller-Conrad notes that

hot trends include house-cured meats, artisanal cheeses and gourmet lemonade. And in addition to locally grown organic produce, hyperlocal items, such as vegetables raised in restaurant gardens, are also expected to ramp up in 2013.

“Among Americans now, there is a heightened level of interest in food overall, and that runs the spectrum from farm to fork,” says Riehle. This interest could stem from the growing popularity of cooking shows and culinary school graduates, he says.

Head here for the full story, including links to the chef survey results and more.

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