Chefs' Top 20 Picks for What's "Hot" Today

Chefs' Top 20 Picks for What's "Hot" Today

Food & Drink

Chefs' Top 20 Picks for What's "Hot" Today

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p(right caption). Locally-grown is “hot” nationwide

Have you noticed more bite-sized sweet treats populating the dessert cart at your favorite café lately? More restaurants touting their locally-grown fruits and vegetables? Then you must be an astute trend spotter, because those are at the top of the list of what America’s chefs deem to be ‘hot’ in the nation’s eateries right now.

The National Restaurant Association recently completed an Internet survey of 1,282 members of the American Culinary Federation. Chefs were given a list of 194 food items, beverage items, cuisines and preparation methods, and were asked to rate items as ‘hot,’ ‘cool/passé,’ or ‘perennial favorite.’

Below are the chefs’ Top 20 ‘Hot Picks’ for this year.


p(left caption). See below for Showstopper Martini recipe.

1. Bite-size desserts

2. Locally-grown produce

3. Organic produce

4. Small plates/tapas/mezze

5. Specialty sandwiches

6. Craft/artisan/microbrew beer

7. Sustainable seafood

8. Grass-fed items

9. Energy drink cocktails

10. Salts (e.g., sea, smoked, colored, kosher)

11. Ethnic fusion cuisine

12. Flatbreads

13. Martinis/flavored martinis

14. Mojito

15. Asian entrée salads

16. Pomegranates

17. Asian appetizers

18. Microdistilled/artisanal liquors

19. Organic wine

20. Specialty beer (e.g., seasonal, fruit, spice/herb, beer cocktails)

The National Restaurant Association, founded in 1919, is the leading business association for the restaurant industry, which is comprised of 935,000 restaurant and foodservice outlets and a workforce of 12.8 million employees.

NRA Show Kicks Off in Chicago

The NRA Show gets underway this weekend in Chicago, with thousands of restaurateurs and exhibitors descending upon the Windy City for the enormous annual convention at McCormick Place. Presumptive Republican Party Presidential Nominee, John McCain, is among the speakers at this year’s event.

Operating in conjunction with the NRA show this year is the first annual International Wine, Spirits & Beer Event (IWSB), the first professional U.S. beverage alcohol forum focused exclusively on the restaurant and hospitality industry.

To celebrate the inaugural event, leading NRA mixologist John Abels has created a special ‘Show-Stopper Martini.’ Click here to view the recipe, which is a prime example of item number 13 on the chef’s ‘Hot’ list.

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