BlackBook Exclusive: Eden Local Chef David Laris on the Hottest Spring Food Trends

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Spring-cleaning is right around the corner and that means long, lingering strolls through local farmers markets. But what to look for?

Quinoa and beets are so last season and while kale may still be lingering, there’s always something new hitting the trendometer. So we to get the scoop on what is seasonally veggie forward, we tapped David Laris, Chef and Chief Creative Officer of Cachet Hospitality Group. With his innovative restaurants like Eden Local specializing in seasonal farm to table eats, he doesn’t really need a crystal ball to let us in on what food trends will also help us to feel fit and fabulous in the coming months.

We sat him down to, um, chew the fat.

 

What will everyone be eating in 2018?

Super food powders, in particular the emergence of more drinks using them, turmeric and coconut milk chia lattes. More interest in plant based cooking, a lot more interest. Heritage vegetables from hyper local and urban farms. Things like stinging nettles and cardoons will be everywhere.

How are restaurants adapting to different tastes?

Mocktails and tea will be big. People will be drinking less alcohol. Restaurants will be putting a lot more energy into alcohol-free beverages. Also, desserts with alternative sugars and exotic ingredients.

 

 

With so many questions about digestive health, Is food getting political?

Local and sustainable will grow in popularity and there will be increased awareness in the concerns around commercial agriculture – transparency will be a big word in food. There will also be a lot of talk around waste in the food industry…especially plastics.
A lot more talk about how Insects fit in our diet, although that will be more towards the latter part of the year and will not heat up in the US for a couple of years yet, as the US has yet to take a firm stance on this topic. An interesting conversation will emerge around sustainable insect production.

How will international foods affect trends?

Authentic ethnic cuisines, in particular interest in Central and Latin American flavors…Peru will be hot.  Middle Eastern and Central Asian cuisines will also be on people’s radars. The importance of fermentation and having a healthy gut will creep into mainstream diets and more restaurants and consumers will want to understand why the gut is so important to complete wellbeing.

How do you feel about burgers and other dishes that taste like meat but are vegetarian?

Plant based meat replacements called Heme are the dawn of a new era beyond corn; although I am not really a fan of making meat substitutes, as I believe the vegetable itself is so glorious. Why try to fake meat? It has always struck me as bizarre – the same way I cringe at vegetarians who say they don’t like vegetables.