Top 20 Hot Food Items for 2008

In October 2007, the National Restaurant Association conducted a survey involving over 1,200 chefs in the American Culinary Federation. Participants in the survey were asked to rate 194 food items, beverages, cuisines and preparation methods.

The survey picked up on several trends within the restaurant industry. Consumers prefer smaller portions, with bite-sized desserts and small plates/tapas/mezze being rated by chefs as the first and forth hottest food items. “Green” options, such as organic or locally grown produce and sustainable seafood, also rated well among the survey’s participants. Finally, the survey revealed that consumers are looking for unique tastes and mixtures.

The following is a list of top 20 hottest items on the menu:

  1. Bite-size desserts

  2. Locally grown produce

  3. Organic produce

  4. Small plates/tapas/mezze

  5. Specialty sandwiches

  6. Craft/artisan/microbew beer

  7. Sustainable seafood

  8. Grass-fed items

  9. Energy drink cocktails

  10. Salts (e.g., sea, smoked, colored, kosher)

  11. Ethnic fusion Cuisine

  12. Flatbreads

  13. Martinis/flavored martinis

  14. Mojito

  15. Asian Entr´┐Że Salad

  16. Pomegranates

  17. Asian Appetizers

  18. Microdistilled/artisanal liquors

  19. Organic wine

  20. Specialty Beer (e.g., seasonal, fruit, spice/herb, beer cocktails)
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