Trailblazing Chefs and Blazing-Hot Flavors — 2013 Predictions From Food Network Kitchens

by in News, December 23rd, 2012

Blazing Hot Flavors - 2013 Food Trend PredictionsFood Network Kitchens have come up with their annual list of the top food trends that will define 2013. Check out some of the trends here.

1. Pop “Culture” — Is fermentation poised to be the new yoga? Beer, miso, yogurt, kombucha and their kin will multiply in 2013. Chefs love fermentation because it’s the ultimate source of complex flavors (it’s what makes grapes into a glass of wine), marketers love selling “live active cultures,” health nuts appreciate probiotics, and DIY-ers are learning that it’s easy to get into.

2. Heat Seekers — With jalapenos and chipotles now as common as meat and potatoes, the search for spicy satisfaction will lead us to seek heat in new places. The mass market is getting on board with Doritos taco shells, Sriracha popcorn and Spicy Pizzeria Cracker Jacks, while chefs are exploring warming Aleppo pepper and numbing Sichuan pepper.

3. Fish Sauce Brings the Funk — As we developed a taste for Southeast Asian food, we also acquired a taste for this pungent, ultraconcentrated umami bomb. Now it’s everywhere, from fast-casual chains (like Chipotle’s Southeast Asian spin-off, ShopHouse), to fancy Italian restaurants — there’s even a barrel-aged, responsibly sourced version.

4. Asian Infusion — Second-generation Asian-American chefs like David Chang (of New York, Toronto and Sydney’s Momofuku restaurants), Roy Choi (of Kogi and A-Frame in Los Angeles) and Danny Bowien (of Mission Chinese Food in San Francisco and New York) are making kimchi (pungent pickled cabbage), gochujang (Korean chile paste) and shichimi togarashi (Japanese 7-spice blend) as American as apple pie.

5. Fun-house Food — This year we don’t have to be too serious about food. Creative chefs are pushing experimentation to extremes with a spirit of play and a sense of humor that seem entirely of the moment, producing funhouse cuisines where pastrami meets kung pao, kimchi meets tacos and ramen meets matzo balls.

6. Comeback Cuisines — Is the pu-pu platter about to finally get a little respect? After years of looking for authenticity in distant lands, we are coming to appreciate our own native, hyphenated cuisines: Italian-American, Tex-Mex, Jewish-American, Chinese-American, even Tiki. Fantastic chefs are reviving forgotten Americanized classics from General Tso’s chicken to chicken Parm to fantastic effect.

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Comments (9)

  1. Mali says:

    I'm a cook and bake-holic and always looking for inspiration and the update food trend. I'm looking forward to see the list above popping up in 2013. Thanks and happy new year!

  2. CaJohn Hard says:

    Let us just hope there is a show about hot & spicy where it's not treated like it's some kind of fraternity gag by the Network. Hosted by people who actually enjoy the hottest chiles and foods! I'm in!!!

  3. Here's to the Food Network swinging the spicy stick!!!

  4. Chilidon Hyatt says:

    As far as the chilehead world is concerned, it seems like these shows are always three or four years behind what we are eating,growing,and making in the sauce kitchens. Sources of information about sauces,chiles,and the foods we use them in are not hard to find.C

  5. Eleebana Leo says:

    You must know my weakness! These sound and look amazing!! While these look do rather tasty and inventive… way to mix two very unhealthy foods together! Ah ha ha ha!

  6. Chefs and home gardeners and cooks have long known about the wide range of heat and flavors among the worlds chile peppers. A show that featured the complexity and intricate nuances of flavors that can be brought out by cooking with chile papers would be well received. Spicy Flavor Seekers.

  7. Ramona Price says:

    Is there a way for small businesses just getting going to get the word out about their products? I do shows, festivals etc, but we need some marketing strategies. Would the chefs be interested in trying some?

  8. TMCW says:

    Let's hope Cajohn Hard. I would love to see them explore the world of artisan sauces, chocolates and confections with a kick that are not the mediocre mass market products.

  9. @ChiliCult says:

    Seconding CaJohn Hard.
    Reports on the spicy trend keep going for nothing but the strange craze that is the hot-hotter-hottest chile pepper. Meanwhile, there's a whole world of flavors – and, yes, pungencies – awaiting discovery, with chilli alone, but also with other pungent and aromatic spices, with novel combinations as well as traditional dishes and flavor principles.

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