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Culinary Trends for 2014

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What’s hot and what’s cold is what chefs have from the American Culinary Federation have to say each year when they predict menu trends each year. The National Restaurant Association (NRA) surveyed nearly 1,300 chefs and industry professionals who are members of the American Culinary Federation, which is one of the largest professional chefs’ organizations in the country. They rated a list of 258 items as a hot trend, yesterday’s news or perennial favorite.

“Today’s consumers are more interested than ever in what they eat and where their food comes from, and that is reflected in our menu trends research,” Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the National Restaurant Association’s (NRA) Research and Knowledge Group, said in a recent statement. The NRA produces this research every year. According to Riehle, “True trends — as opposed to temporary fads — show the evolution of the wider shifts of our modern society over time, and focus on the provenance of various food and beverage items, unique aspects of how they are prepared and presented, as well as the dietary profiles of those meals.”

The consumer is a lot savvier than they ever were before. There is so much more information out there for the consumer to engage and read on the subject of food. The appetite for this sought of information is growing by leaps and bounds.

Parents are interested more than ever in what their children are consuming and where that food is coming from. Even in lower socio-economic groups there is a new trend to better nutrition for their children. Teenagers are now talking about environmental issues and sustainable food sources for the future as these topics have been brought into the classrooms around the country.

New diagnoses of celiac disease, lactose intolerance and nut related allergies are on the rise. A lot of these disorders where not thought to be problems before as so many of them were subclinical in nature. Those afflicted with subclinical symptoms would just live with their “undiagnosed conditions” unaware of what was causing the disturbance in their bodies. With medical technology advancing diagnosis of subclinical cases food growers/manufactures have responded with food choices so varied that there is something readily available to eat no matter what your problem is. People are eating better and feeling better then ever before. Of course, this does not apply to those people that have chosen to maintain nutrition deficient foods into their diet or have not seen a doctor in years.

The 2014 Top 10 Menu Trends are just the tip of the iceberg for what will come in 2015 and each year thereafter as we progress to 2020. What we have seen from last year to this year, there is a hopeful assumption that the trends will only get healthier and healthier.

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