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Miami's Top Chefs & Bartenders Predict This Year's Food Trends


Miami's Top Chefs & Bartenders Predict This Year's Food Trends

Carla Torres | January 9, 2015 | Food & Drink

Which veggie is the new kale? Miami’s top chefs and bartenders predict this and more; read on to find out what you’ll be eating and drinking in 2015.

Scott Conant: More Casual Cooking—But You’ll Need a Reservation

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“[In 2014,] high-end chefs did casual stuff—José Andrés started a fast food restaurant and so did Roy Choi. I think we'll see that a bit more in 2015."

“With all these reservation applications popping up, everyone is going to start to move more and more in that direction of thought. You have a reservation; you know what you’re going to pay before you sit down because you’re ultimately paying for the seat, not the food. I feel like that’s the future.” —Scott Conant, owner of Corsair (Turnberry Isle Miami, 786-279-6800) and Scarpetta (Fontainebleau Miami Beach, 305-674-4660)

Nina Compton: Another Wave of Superfoods

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“For 2015, I call [broccoli] spigarello as the new kale, amaranth as the new quinoa, and the coming of matcha. Fermentation and pickling will carry over from 2014 to 2015, and I see coconut sugars making waves, as well as different flours such as plantain, cassava, and even breadfruit flours.” —Nina Compton, runner up on Top Chef season 11

Mike Pirolo: Kale is out. Cauliflower is in.

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“The kale craze is still here somehow, but I think, along with Brussel sprouts, they’re starting to fade out. For 2015, I already see people using sorghum—it’s a wheat that looks kind of like berries. Be on the lookout for that. Also, I think cauliflower is going to take over. People are roasting whole heads of cauliflower and doing all sorts of things.” —Mike Pirolo, chef and owner of Macchialina (820 Alton Road, Miami Beach, 305-534-2124)

Giorgio Rapicavoli: The Future of Food is… the Past

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“2014 was all about fermentations. I think chefs will continue to reach to our past for inspiration and combine those ideas with our modern abilities to create a style of food that will encompass our American traditions into a true cuisine.” —Giorgio Rapicavoli, chef and owner of Eating House (804 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Coral Gables, 305-448-6524)

Brad Kilgore: Latin American Cuisine Will Flourish

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“The trend of fermentation of just about everything, from vegetables to meats, is fascinating. Although this is a timeless practice and has been going on in the cuisine of cultures for many millennia, it really has just begun to break the surface in the Western culture, especially fine dining.

“For 2015, I’m calling a trend of masa and the upswing of Mexican cuisine, as well as Peruvian cuisine.” —Brad Kilgore, chef and owner of Alter (223 N.W. 23rd St.)

Richard Hales: More for the Vegans

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“At Sakaya, we introduced the Brussel sprout trends and it was an awesome vegetable, but for 2015 I predict okra will takeover. We’re already doing some stuff with it.

“I think we’re going to see more vegan concepts than ever before. I’m probably going to do a vegan concept in 2015.” —Richard Hales, chef and owner of Blackbrick (3451 N.E. First Ave., Miami, 305-573-8886) and Sakaya Kitchen (3401 N. Miami Ave., Miami, 305-576-8096)

Cricket Nelson: Food & Drinks Will Get Even More Diverse

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“2014 showed an increased awareness of health—both for the planet and for our bodies. People want fresh, organic, local, real. This has helped evolve the trend towards farm-to-table concepts, healthy homestyle cooking, and more transparency of ingredients."

“I think this will continue to develop in 2015, and in an effort to keep things interesting as our world becomes ever smaller, I think owners, chefs, and bartenders are looking more towards a global culinary palate for inspiration and diversity of flavors, sharing authenticity through the marriage of their own family's food traditions, and healthy comfort food and drinks enjoyed the world over.” —Cricket Nelson, beverage director at WunderBar (Circa 39, Miami Beach, 305-538-4900)

Rob Ferrara: Your Favorite Retro Cocktails are Back—And Much Better

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“In 2015 I think we’re going to see a lot of cocktails for two, like rum and gin, and cocktails from the ‘80s and ‘90s—Long Island Iced Tea, Harvey Wallbanger, Grasshopper, but with a modern twist—will be making a comeback. I also call clarified cocktails and using local produce in cocktails.” —Rob Ferrara, beverage director at Lure and Rum Line (Loews Miami Beach, 305-695-4550; 305-573-0658)

Elad Zvi: Stop Taking Your Bar So Seriously

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“I think we’re going back to not being so serious in the bar industry and treat it more like a family environment—but [still] giving good service. That’s something that started in 2014, but a lot of cool places opening this year are going to share this philosophy.” —Elad Zvi, co-founder of Bar Lab and managing partner of The Broken Shaker and 27 (Freehand, Miami Beach, 305-531-2727)

Gui Jaroschy: It’s Not All About the Booze

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“I think we’re going to see more cocktail bars off the beach. With the success of places like Ball & Chain and Finka in places where demand is so high for a good drink and supply is so low, people have to take notice and open more places.

“Also, low-alcohol cocktails. Once people get over the excitement of a good boozy drink and start realizing they don't want to be hammered after two drinks, the interest opens up in drinks that taste great and give a buzz, but don’t put you in an Uber at midnight.” —Gui Jaroschy, bartender at The Broken Shaker (Freehand Miami, 2727 Indian Creek Dr., Miami Beach, 305-531-2727)

Albert Trummer: Your Drink Should be Organic, Too

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“Over the last 10 years, the market has been concentrated with artificial synthetic liquors. Moving forward in 2015 I predict that a number of bartenders will start utilizing more organic, homemade creations and elixirs in their libations.” —Albert Trummer, owner and “mad scientist” at The Drawing Room (Shelborne Wyndham Grand South Beach, 305-531-1271)

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