10 Cutting Edge Food Trends for 2015 by Seth Makowsky

MRG 2015 - 10 Cutting Edge Trends

Seth Makowsky of MRG Makowsky Restaurant Group predicts the Food Trends for 2015. Brinner, Asian Infusion, new avenues for delivery and more!

1. Brinner: It’s What’s for Dinner!

MRG 2015 - 10 Cutting Edge Food Trends for 2015Breakfast + Dinner = Brinner

There is simply not enough time during the week to cook and eat breakfast. As a result breakfast is making its way to weeknight dinner tables. For foodies, it’s all part of the larger concept that you should be able to eat what you want whenever you want.

Via HuffPost UK Lifestyle, Cara Sloss, a spokesperson from the British Dietetic Association, says she can understand why the trend has gained popularity, with fewer people are working a typical 9-5 day than ever before.

Keep a look out for other brinner trends:

For recipe ideas or for a little brinner inspirations visit our Pinterest board:

Popular Hashtags: #breakfastfordinner #brinner

2. Advanced Asian

A host of more complex and true-to-region Asian foods will dominate food trends for 2015.

Burning Binchōtan
Burning Binchōtan
  • Charcoal: With the demand for more authentic Asian food, chefs are turning to the ancient Japanese charcoal or Binchōtan. The fineness and high quality of binchōtan are attributed to steaming at high temperatures (about 1000 degrees Celsius). Although it is often thought that binchōtan burns hot, it actually burns at a lower temperature than ordinary charcoal but for a longer period, making it preferable to a number of Japanese chefs.  Charcoal is also being used to coloring breads, crackers, and lemonades.


3. Matcha Madness

Matcha Green Tea Powder
Matcha Green Tea Powder

The never-ending quest for wellness and energy will lead many to Japanese matcha, a finely ground powder made of whole, high-grade green tea leaves. Described by some heath gurus as the “superpower green tea.” This traditional powdered Japanese tea is supposedly jam-packed with fiber, antioxidants, beta-carotenes, and I-theanines. We all know antioxidants and beta-carotenes are great, but I-theanine is really under acknowledged. It’s a great stress reliever without leaving you drowsy. Pack all of these in Matcha and you have a superfood superpower!

Matcha has become a darling of pastry chefs since it pairs well with almost any dairy and its rich, thick flavor stands up well to sugar. Look for green tea lattes, yogurts, candies, and pastries this year. Matcha is starting to show up in companies like Haagen-Dazs ice cream, Starbucks lattes and Jamba Juice smoothies.

For recipe ideas or for a little Matcha Madness inspirations visit our Pinterest board: Cutting Edge Food Trends.


4. Beer, Please!

Drinking is becoming an art form, which is forcing bars and restaurants to up their games. You can no long stock a couple beers and offering White Zin as the wine option. Millennials are all about craft beer, signature and hand-crafted cocktails and flavored spirits. The American Culinary Federation predicts that 2015 will see much more of the following:

  1. 1.Micro-distilled/artisan spirits
  2. Locally produced beer/wine/spirits
  3. Onsite barrel-aged drinks
  4. Regional signature cocktails
  5. Culinary cocktails (e.g. savory, fresh ingredients)

For insanely good drink concoctions or inspirations visit our Pinterest board: Cutting Edge Food Trends for 2015.


5. Farm to Table to Solve World Hungry?

Ugly Fruits & Veggies Retailers: In Europe and the U.S. by default now cater to the perfectionist shopper who prefers only the pristine looking produce. However, many fruits and vegetables, while edible and nutritious, just don’t measure up. That means farmers end up tossing out a huge amount of food that fails to meet retailers’ cosmetic standards — in some cases, as much as 20 to 40 percent of fresh produce gets wasted, according to estimates from the United Nations Environment Program.

Luckily as shoppers become more aware of food waste they are opening up to the idea of cooking with less than perfect looking fruits and vegetables.

Environmental Sustainability & Hyper-Local Sourcing: According to chefs surveyed by the National Restaurant Association

“Consumers today increasingly incorporate restaurants into their daily lives, they want to be able to follow their personal preferences and philosophies no matter where or how they choose to dine,” said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of research for the National Restaurant Association. “So, it’s only natural that culinary themes like local sourcing, sustainability and nutrition top our list of menu trends for 2015. Those concepts are wider lifestyle choices for many Americans in other aspects of their lives that also translate into the food space.”

“Chefs are committed to supporting their communities and helping make responsible food choices,” said Thomas Macrina, CEC, CCA, AAC, National President of the American Culinary Federation. “I am pleased that members of the American Culinary Federation continue to support local sourcing and sustainable food practices as an annual trend and are paving the way for these values to become part of everyday American cooking.”

Environmental sustainability remains among the hottest trends, with restaurateurs focusing on food waste reduction as a way to both go green and manage rising food costs.
Hyper-local sourcing continues to gain momentum with restaurants including house-made, farm-branded and artisan items.

Hot Hashtags: #eatlocal #farmfresh #farmtofork


6. Restless Palate Syndrome

As Shawn LaPean, executive director of Cal Dining at the University of California, Berkeley says, “eating weird is the new normal.”

Consumers have become more adventurous with their palate. Prepared to see flavors like bitter in relation to coffees, chocolates, vegetables and beers. “Smoke is going to also be huge” according to Seth Makowsky, MRG’s founder and CEO. “You’ll be seeing smoked beers, breads, and meats.” Also look out for fermented foods; rice crackers; seaweed chips and savory yogurts (Blue Hills Yogurts’ Carrot, Sweet Potato, Beet, Butternut Squash, Tomato, and Parsnip flavors). You’re also going to be seeing sweet; sour, savory and spicy combinations that will make you take a second look.

Sources: Forbes

Hot Bashtag: #spiceupyourlife #savorymeals


7. Delivery 2.0

Online Food Delivery & the Evolution of the Grocery Store

Food Delivery: Grocery Shopping Goes 24/7: It is not just by Peapod, Fresh Direct, and Instacart anymore. Major players such as Wal-mart, Amazon, and Google are entering the online food delivery industry. Look out for same day food delivery services to be popping in more cities nationwide. For example:

  • Amazon Fresh: Amazon is now in the fresh food delivery. You can get free same-day and early morning delivery of orders over $35 on more than 500,000 items, including fresh grocery and local products. According to Amazon Fresh you can order local bakery, seafood and meats, ethnic foods, gourmet meals, and much more. Order up fresh mahi-mahi, a tasty apple pie, or a crisp salad just in time for dinner.

Food Tech Connect


8. High Tech Dining

Technology continues to work its way into the restaurant world too. With pay for play reservation apps, one-touch payment and apps that make wine lists work smarter, both diners and operators reap the benefits of smartphone technology.

  1. Nutritional information at you finger tips. Phil Lempert highlights the use of apps to discover the nutritional information of the food on your plate instantaneously. New apps make it possible to calculate the carbs, fats, protein and calories in your meal with the scan of a barcode or by inputting the ingredients.
  2. Prepaying for you non-canellable dinner:  Reservation sites like Open Table and Covered are integrating with Apple Pay, you’ll never need to reach for your wallet again. Other reservation services: SeatMe, Reserve,Resy,Sosh and Table 8. Examples of high-end restaurants doing prepaid reservations.
  3. Restaurant Incubators
    The demand for artisanal products continues to grow. There has never been a better time to start that your new culinary venture. Restaurant (Culinary) Incubators are popping up all over the country to help new food entrepreneurs. The following are 2015’s newest restaurant concept, incubators that support aspiring chefs with kitchens, dining spaces, and marketing power.

    • Kitchen LTO, Dallas: features chefs chosen through social media •
    • EatsPlace, Washington, D.C.: A community commercial kitchen and marketplace with dining space to host pop-up restaurants and guest chef residencies.
    • Avanti Food & Beverage, Denver: opening in 2015. Designed to give cooks, chefs and restaurateurs the opportunity to test their dream concepts in a marketplace setting, sans the prohibitive costs — and uneasy risks — associated with opening a brick-and-mortar.
    • DC’s Union Kitchen means access to affordable, licensed professional kitchen space, training programs and distribution.
    • The Dinner Lab showcases emerging chefs in a pop-up environment.
  4. Crowd Fun(ding):  Crowd-sourced pledge site Kickstarter is now a major force in restaurant funding, with more than 500 restaurant projects successfully getting their start through the site. Since 2009, close to 3,000 food and restaurant projects have raised $41.47 million through Kickstarter.


9. Top Chefs Abandoning Four-Star Dining?

Top chefs are abandoning 4 start dining with the goal to bring their food to the masses, feed more people, and change how the world works. There’s an inspiration to change the word through the power of food. Simultaneously, valuations for successful, scaleable fast casual concepts are ever increasing. Shake Shack’s astronomical valuation is a great example. Top chefs are refocusing and are aiming their sites and transforming their offerings to serve the masses. For example:

  • José Andrés’ ThinkFoodGroup will be opening a fast-casual chain of restaurants. The vegetable-centric fast casual concept is chef-designed and called Beefsteak. The inspiration was to provide real food fast by a chef. Thats chef, not corporation-driven – not only chef-designed, but how Jose feeds his family. With bold-flavor and unleashing the power of vegetables.  Diners will be able to customize their dishes at Beefsteak. Beefsteak opens in February 2015. It will be located at GW’s Science and Engineering Hall at 22nd and I Sts. NW near the Foggy Bottom metro and will be open to the public, not just students.
  • Roy Choi, creator of the gourmet Korean taco truck, Kogi, is a chef who is celebrated for “food that isn’t fancy” and is known as one of the founders of the food truck movement. Roy Choi is looking to expand his growing culinary empire with a new chain of fast food restaurants called Loco’l. Choi and San Francisco chef Daniel Patterson on Monday announced their plans to open the healthful-food-focused concept.


10. Rise of the New Food Court

“The modern food court is a collection of exciting, gritty, authentic concepts in dynamic spaces”, according to Seth Makowsky, founder and CEO of MRG. “Look for collections of exciting artisanal offerings, local vendors, and celebrity chef-helmed concepts to move into urban centers and airports around the country.” For example:

  • LA Grand Central Market: Located in downtown Los Angeles in a a landmark building and is the city’s largest and oldest public market. Grand Central Market’s mission is to celebrate the cuisines and cultures of Los Angeles. The Market will provide Los Angeles with a national-caliber eating experience that showcases California’s best ingredients, chefs, and entrepreneurs. Our 30,000 square-foot arcade encompasses a food emporium and retail marketplace and will continue to grow by offering downtown a shared gathering place and a dynamic hub for public programming and events. 

  • Napa Farms Market in San Francisco Airport: Is a farmers/food market within an airport It was a collaboration with top chefs like the Food Network’s Tyler Florence, and best-of-class local suppliers such as Kara’s Cupcakes, Cow Girl Creamery and Acme Bread to deliver the highest volume per square foot marketplace in an airport to date.

One thought on “10 Cutting Edge Food Trends for 2015 by Seth Makowsky

  1. Megumi Reagan says:

    Definitely agree with you on many of those fronts. I’ve always been a personal fan of brinner and matcha. Food tech is on the rise as well! There are so many new concepts coming out recently/currently!

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