One of the things that has really helped me become the person I am is food.
And it’s no secret that 2014 was an amazing year for food, with cronuts gaining well-deserved traction and ramen finally earning its place in the spotlight. 2015 is going to be a year, as well. We interviewed four experts about their predictions for the culinary greatness that is to come. Here is what we learned.
“Food is going to be sustainable for the mind, body and stomach,” insists Soheil Leibowitz, fitness director at the Hartford Condominium. In addition to sourcing local farms and using un-expired produce, restaurants this year are going to encourage patrons to walk, or run, to restaurants. Farmers markets will replace all convenient parking. And restaurant owners will only validate garage parking tickets for restaurant goers who demonstrate they have already cleared 10,000 steps for the day.
“The days of instinct and whim are over,” explained Jim Johnson, analyst at MCB International, “Now that big data is here, and it’s here to stay, we can finally make decisions based on proven facts and validated statistics.” Big Data has long been the overbearing, irritating, grammatically-frustrating shadow cast over the food industry. From critical Yelp reviews by people who didn’t have reservations to Zagat reviews that no longer hold any merit, restaurant owners have been victim to free speech and easy-access for too long. 2015 is the year they fight back. Leading restaurateurs will adopt algorithms that help them identify which customers are likely to leave a negative review and take action by improving their service, in real-time.
This shift will have positive long-term effects. The identified negative reviewers will have disproportionately higher ratings of the restaurant than may be justified, ultimately decreasing their Klout score and losing them credibility among Yelp readers.
2015 is an election year, with the nation’s eye glued to Philadelphia’s mayoral election and Kentucky’s gubernatorial race.
The winds of change are also strong abroad: Argentina, Guatemala, and the Faroe Islands all hold their general elections this year. As progressive and conservative groups around the world continue their march toward Erebor, food will reflect political tensions through its own competing flavors, like the sweet, soft texture of uni paired with the bitter negativity of grapefruit. “Ugh, why would you do that?” will remark one customer, tasting the aforementioned dish at McConnell’s Experimental Kitchen. “Because healthcare is not a fundamental human right,” the server will reply, stoically.
Perhaps the most highly anticipated event to look out for in 2015 is food’s shift to being bigger. This year will be a banner year for 3-d foods, as restaurant owners partner with 3-d glasses manufacturers and 3-d printers to create food that is loud, action-packed, and beautiful. And we’re going to see some big stars eating food this year. Oscar winners Jennifer Lawrence and Tom Hanks are going to be seen eating food. Director Wes Anderson is also exploring eating food, which will be a real treat for indie food-eaters who are excited about the new angles and quirky cuts Anderson brings to the table. “We used to keep food out of movies,” says movie screen writer Jenna Gillebrand, “because we didn’t want to throw it in people’s faces that attractive people can eat whatever they want. The movie industry is very conscientious about depression. But this year, movies are big. We’re pulling out all the stops.”
So, there you have it. Cast aside your New Years weight loss resolutions, and get ready for an awesome year in food.