After the spectacular success of the cronut this year, a trendspotting report out of the US predicts more hybrid food mashups to trend in 2014.
The cronut is a combination of a croissant and a dough-nut, usually with a custard or jam filling, and is seen in fashionable cafés around the country.
Bordeaux Bakery in Wellington and Auckland's Loaf and Takapuna Beach Café & Store were amonth the first came up with their versions, usually called cro-nuts.
The unhyphenated Cronut is trademarked by its inventor New York pastry chef Dominique Ansel, who drew pre-dawn queues outside his eponymously-named bakery and as well as creating a black market for the butter-soaked, deep fried pastry on websites.
Even mainstream commercial brands such as Dunkin’ Donuts developed a copycat version of the cronut in South Korea, calling it the New York Pie Donut.
And according to hospitality and restaurant consultants Andrew Freeman & Co, the winning formula will have staying power in 2014, with chefs playing “mad scientist” and mashing up different foods and dishes.
Already, variations of another food hybrid, the ramen burger (in which fried noodle patties replace hamburger buns) are popping up around the US, the report points out.
Interesting, the report also predicts that the old menu stand-by, chicken, will no longer be the primary protein in restaurants, as chefs challenge diners to try catfish, pork belly and goat.
Meanwhile, another foodspotting report from New York-based restaurant consultants Baum + Whiteman predicts the opposite ― that in fact “the humble bird” will go haute in 2014, with chefs pricing organic, free-range rotisserie chicken like steaks.
In other Freeman-predicted trends:
• Chefs will also venture beyond plain old olive oil, elevating dishes with avocado, hazelnut, and benne seed oils.
• Look out for foods to get the fermentation treatment.
• In the same vein as the nose-to-tail trend, the Freeman report predicts that chefs will be using “the full bounty of the ocean,” that may include all parts of the fish ― think fish cheeks and Monkfish liver pate ― and marine vegetables like sea beans, plankton and seaweeds.
• Look for fries, spuds, tortilla chips and crostini to be swapped for more adventurous sides like beef tendon crisps, crispy chicken skin and jicama and cucumber crudités.