Trend: Sustainable seafood, such as wild American shrimp

 
  Trend: Korean cuisine, such as kimchi
 
  Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink pastry chef Hedy Goldsmith’s peanut butter in a cup with homemade malted marshmallows

What new global influences do you see chefs exploring?
I would say Korean food is the next cuisine chefs are really exploring—lots of kimchi, bulgogi, and barbecue are popping up on menus all over the country in unexpected ways. Michael Schwartz’s spicy grilled beef salad with kimchi at Michael’s Genuine was at the forefront years ago, and now so many others have followed suit. Another trend I’ve seen is the proliferation of multicultural breads: bao, nan, lavash, cornbreads, arepas, tortillas, and m’smen. Plus, bakers are using all types of unusual grains and seeds to enhance flavor and experiment. There have also never been more choices for artisanal pizza and flatbreads, not just from Italy but inspired by Greece, the Middle East, South America, and even Asia. Carbophobes are out; fresh, whole-grain goodness is making a serious comeback.

Do you think the trend of using all parts of a cow or pig is already on the outs, or are many Americans still discovering it?
I do not think it’s actually a trend at all. It’s here to stay, as cutting back on waste and finding new ways to cook with lesser known and less expensive cuts of meat helps make food more affordable, and is more sustainable and ethical.

Your newest show, Top Chef: Just Desserts, focuses on pastry chefs, and desserts are hot right now. What are your thoughts on that?
I think we’re at a time when the world is uncertain and nothing really is more comforting than dessert. They’re soulful and nostalgic. They have absolutely no nutritional value. I mean, think about it, no doctor is going to tell you to eat it. They’re all about pleasure, and in these times, I think that’s what people are looking for.

That said, who are some pastry chefs to look out for?
In New York, Kierin Baldwin from The Dutch is fantastic. She’s the new queen of pies! I’m excited to see what she does in Miami. And I love Hedy Goldsmith [of Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink]. She really gets people’s palates. You definitely see her skill and sophistication in every dish, and at the same time, she manages to get to the soul of one’s taste buds. Jordan Kahn [of Red Medicine in Los Angeles] is also definitely one to watch.

Lastly: dark, white, or milk?
Dark, 70 percent. No question.

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