The countdown is on! The new decade dawns in just five days and while some may still be luxuriating in holiday stretchy pants, RCS is putting a bow on the year that was 2019 and gazing out at the horizon to see what new food and dining trends are set to emerge in 2020. Some currents of the past year, cauliflower crusts, meat alternatives, non-dairy “milks” and mindful consumption are still going strong. Many of those trends with a long shelf life seem likely to carry on into the New Year since they focus on health and wellness, as people incline more towards pursuing lifestyles for optimal personal well-being. Food trends also recognize an emphasis on planetary wellness such as products generated from farming practices that restore degraded soil, improve biodiversity and offer long-lasting environmental benefits.
We dug into a few foodie forecasts and found that indeed the future looks fondly on products and practices that befit the mind, body and soul. Consumers are opting for more plant based, low carb diets and knocking back a boldly flavored mocktail or two instead of a martini lunch in order to keep in fine fettle. Smaller portions (shared plates) are making a big impact on the way people eat as insightful operators include half-portions and snacking options on menus, allowing for a diverse eating experience. The same holds true for the advancing trend of wines offered in 3 ounce pours that provide an opportunity to experience just enough of a few vintages without over-imbibing.
A few ingredients may not be familiar now, but soon might be found cropping up on food and drink menus. Foods known as adaptogens; turmeric, ginseng, holy basil, maitake and reishi mushrooms are so named because of their unique ability to “adapt” their function according to the specific needs of the body. Consuming some of these ingredients are purported to increase resistance to stress.
There’s no need to feel peckish about including eggs in the dietary regimen as low fat foods are now out with the old, replaced by “good fat” foods. Popular paleo and keto diets have taken the stigma out of high fat foods, recognizing the health benefits not only of eggs, but butter, nuts, cheese, avocados and our favorite: dark chocolate!
With all of this good food news to sustain us in the busy months ahead, we’re feeling mighty fortified to take on a new and exciting decade. As we take a cup of zero-proof kindness into the New Year we give a cheer and salute to YOUR health and bid best wishes for delicious days in 2020.
Chef Mary Howley is the culinary consultant to the RCS Hospitality Group and a former Executive Chef of her own catering company, several country clubs, and fine dining restaurants. She studied throughout Europe and honed her skills on the East Coast working with a myriad of culinary styles. She had the honor to serve as research and development chef for Food Unlimited, and held the position of Pastry Chef in two James Beard Dinner Events.