#1 Food Smoking
You’ve definitely eaten smoked meat before, but have you tried smoked cheese? Or jalapeno peppers? Whether served on their own or as a component of a dish, smoking will give an entirely new flavour experience this year.
#2 Half Portions
As longtime fans of half-pint beers, this sounds like a great idea. And hopefully, a cost-efficient one too.
This has been on the up-and-up over the past few years, but we still welcome the change from fried veggies, or even steamed ones.
Shown: Shrimp fried rice with pickled radishes.
#4 Inexpensive/Underused Cuts Of Meat
Nose-to-tail dining has been on the menus for a while, but chefs are taking ownership of different cuts of meat in a way they never did before in 2014.
#5 Underutilized Fish
And meanwhile, previously unused fish (like the bluefish shown here) that aren’t usually seen among the salmons, tunas and sea bass on menus could be coming to a plate near you.
#6 Artisanal Poutine
We aren’t shy about our poutine love around here, so we welcome any poutine that wants to add a dash of fabulous.
#7 Sweet And Salty Desserts
Satisfy all sorts of tastebuds at the same time — desserts like salted caramels can be found virtually anywhere these days, and we think that’s a really good thing.
Superfoods like quinoa are almost the norm now, so it’s time to turn the attention to superfruits, like mangosteen (seen here), or goji berries.
#9 Natural Sweeteners
Sugar is turning into a bigger and bigger no-no, so why not put your attention towards natural sweeteners like honey, maple syrup and agave for recipes?
Shown: An Agave Margarita.
Not everyone wants to booze all the time, you know. Considering the empty calories, the various reasons why people don’t drink, and the drunkenness, a refreshing drink without alcohol could look more and more appealing.
#11 Small Batch Sodas
And on that same note, restaurants that make their own sodas could be on the forefront of a really smart trend — that is, yummy drinks that don’t use quite the amount of sugar as mass-produced ones. And yes, booze could be added to these batches.
#12 Specialty Beer
While we’re on the topic of drinks, it’s hard to ignore the specialty beers that are showing up at beer stores — and why would you want to? Anything from fruity options to seasonal choices make beer that much more interesting.
#13 Smaller Menus
We welcome this switch that takes us from having too many options to paring it down to a select, quality few.
#14 Liquid Nitrogen Chilling/Freezing
The molecular gastronomy trend has moved from high-end restaurants to more casual spots, meaning your ice cream could be insta-frozen just about anywhere now.
#15 Amuse Bouche/Bit Size Hors D’Oeuvres
Forget the days when an amuse bouche only came when you were eating a $100 per person meal. Scaled-down appetizers or little “bonus bites” between courses give chefs a chance to show off their skill in a miniature way.
#16 Desserts From Vegetables
I think it could make for some really wonderful savoury desserts. Dishes like avocado mousse (shown here)
#17 Traditional Ethnic Desserts
#17 a : Mexican flan (shown here). Other up-and-comers include
#17 b : South Korea’s delimanjoo and
#17 c : the Middle East’s qatayef.
#18 Unusual/Uncommon Herbs
Chefs are putting away the basil and rosemary, and opening up their kitchens to chervil, lovage, papalo and lemon balm — and we can’t wait to taste it.
#19 Specialty Oils
New kinds of oils, like grapeseed (shown here), truffle, sesame and hazelnut will infuse dishes with deeper levels of flavour, and give chefs a chance to experiment with new cooking temperatures and techniques.
#20 Gluten-Free Beer
As we mentioned, gluten-free is the big trend for this year, and it extends to everything from desserts to beer. That should be a massive relief for those who experience bloating after an ale, and gives beer lovers a new taste to try.