July 10, 2016
by Chef Brad Barnes
With changes occurring at a super fast rate within the food world, mashups are causing some of the most unusual and interesting food, dish and flavor collisions. Micro moments are becoming more important, all-day dining, big flavors and the need for customization are all drivers contributing to the craving for new and unusual taste experiences. Fusion isn’t really a good moniker for this situation; cheeseburgers served between doughnuts, bloody Marys topped with “pupu platteresque” assortments of foods or the multi-flavored eggroll offerings are all offspring related to this insatiable appetite for the new and different. Like most trends, mashups cause a fleeting array of dishes to appear, drop and get replaced as fast as possible.
As the industry looks to organize the disruptive innovation that is spinning us toward 2020, a definitive variety of “most desirable” restaurant concepts is taking shape. To me, the telltale business set is occurring most visibly and proactively in college and university dining. Students’ eminent demands for heightened personalities in food service; sustainable, global, good fuel/healthy and “I want what I want, when I want it” are leading to mission changes in some of our most prestigious universities and many of our most attended colleges. All this should lead us to develop equipment that allows cooks to do what they do, in a more sustainable and varied way. If I had things my way, I would be looking towards more compact and efficient cooking apparatus that supports and even emulates global cuisine cooking styles and processes. Additionally I would be thinking about how to support the instant remote transaction through every critical control point within the process. Self-service is becoming more and more important, causing us to consider line of site, reach and accessibility with a variety of hot and cold items. Service accouterments are becoming more important than ever and vessels critical to the task.
Chef Brad Barnes, CMC, is the Director of the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) Consulting and Industry Programs
Categorized in: Foodservice Trends