Chefs Are the New Cooks, Bistros Are the New Restaurants, and Other Trendy Trends


Its the end of the year, and the food-trend stories are coming fast and furious. First, high priestess of Italian cooking Marcella Hazan hates the fact that, in todays glitzy culture, once-humble cooks are now referred to as chefs. And the Financial Times of London notices that restaurants are no longer promoting themselves as restaurants, since the word implies expense and commitment: Restaurateurs appear to be doing everything to avoid calling their new openings restaurants. Caf, bar, bar and kitchen, bistro, bistrot de luxe, canteen, trattoria, osteria and lounge are now far more common names than restaurant. Of course weve seen this Stateside, too milk bars, tapas bars, salumerias, fish shacks, yakitoris, and cafs, caffs, and kafs (this despite the fact that caf society is on the wane in Paris). Ken Friedman even described the John Dory as a kind of Victorian pub meets tiled fishmonger.

And Michael Whiteman tells Hotels magazine, in its prediction of next years trends: Because theyre lagging indicators, all those new restaurants that recently were aiming for opulence and dripping with luxury (targeting the expense-account types) now will be part of the cyclical bistro-ization of America. And if not bistros, look for osterias, the Italian equivalent.

Epicurious also points to some trends weve already seen James Oliver Cury says that noodle bars are the new sushi joints (well, yeah), ginger is the new mint, and of course value is the new sustainable. He also notes that Peruvian food will be the new Thai something Todd English and Bon Apptit have both predicted, and something George Bush (having recently downed a Pisco Sour) probably agrees with. Of course, if Peruvian doesn't manage to take off, were going to say that saying Peruvian is in is the new saying izakayas are in.

Epicurious Predicts Top 10 Food Trends for 2009 [Epi-log/Epicurious]
Why the term restaurant may soon disappear [Financial Times]
No Chefs in My Kitchen [NYT]
Experts Offer Top Food Trends for Hotels & Restaurants In 2009 [Hotels via Eater]