We had the best conversation the other night. It was over a nice dinner at a little restaurant started by a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. This chef makes a delicious table bread, several nice pastas, and a chicken pot pie that is perfect for the winter chill. So, the mood was already pretty mellow as we tucked into our food.
And someone asked the question, â€˜What have been the most significant events of the last decade?â€™
Now, there’s a conversation starter.
Keep in mind that among those at the table was the CEO of a Chicago advertising agency, a trends analyst, and a former editor of a major publication in New York. These people had both knowledge and opinions. The ideas started flowing.
9-11. Katrina. Mobile apps and broadband. Obama. E-readers, e-commerce, economy. Ipods, iphones, iTunes. Enron. Twitter. Prozac. Aging. Reality TV. Catholic priests. Jon Stewart. Huffington Post. China. Bubble burst. Clean water. Facebook. Demise of publishing. Steroids. Portability. 24/7 life. Viagra. Lifestyle malls. Debit cards. Globalization. Blogging.
From there we moved, as foodies do, into food trends. Who and what were the food influencers of the decade? What foods came into prominence?
Sushi was the first thing out of everyone’s mouth. We transitioned to tapas and shareables. We talked about comfort foods like meatloaf and fried chicken. We discussed the popularity of celebrity chefs, food competitions, CSAs and superfoods. We recognized that ahi tuna, crystallized ginger, hibiscus, and risotto were among the many food ingredients we would not have referenced ten years ago. In fact, it became staggering to talk about the changes in food and food delivery.
So, here are our ideas of some of the top foods and food themes of the decade. Consider them suggestions, and feel free to add your thoughtsâ€”half the fun is, after all, the conversation.
Top Foods of the Decade:
â‹… Gourmet Burgers made with Kobe/Angus/Grassfed
â‹… Superfruits such as Acai, Pomegranate and Blueberry
â‹… Oils, such as olive oils and truffle oils
â‹… Whole grains, such as Kashi, polenta, risotto
â‹… Artisan foods, particularly in breads, cheeses and dark chocolates
â‹… Water, bottled and tap
â‹… Green tea
â‹… Deep fried turkey
â‹… Cheeses (brie, goat’s milk, Havarti, and more—for a longer list, click here)
Top Food Themes of the Decade:
â‹… Cooking at home; cooking local
â‹… Watching cooking on TV and the rise of Celebrity chefs
â‹… Interacting with food online/foodie blogging/food apps
â‹… Sharing food
â‹… Restaurant changes, such as dollar menus, tapas bars, fast casual, and fusion
â‹… Grocery store changes, such as the introduction of boutique concepts and Whole Foods
â‹… Comfort food and gourmet both on the menu
â‹… Fresh, Farmer’s Markets and Community Supported Agriculture
â‹… Slow Food
â‹… Updating school cafeteria food
â‹… Private branding
â‹… Fair Trade
â‹… Taco Trucks and Underground Dining
â‹… Americanization of cuisines
â‹… Greening of food/packaging
While it’s fun to look back, we also look ahead—and we have some great editorial plans for 2010 on foodchannel.com. You’ll see us doing more of our iraves reviews. You’ll find us at the Winter Fancy Food Show, at the National Restaurant Association’s annual Hotel-Motel Show, at COEX, and much more—all to bring you the latest in new products, ideas and flavors.
If you missed it, see our look ahead into the top food trends we expect to see in 2010.
And, welcome to a new decade of food enjoyment!