Menu predictions for what we’ll be sampling at restaurants in 2014 are already showing up on the plate in Atlanta. Guests at the Atlanta Les Dames d’Escoffier International 13th annual Afternoon in the Country were treated to a tasting of dishes from more than sixty Atlanta area chefs at an outdoor party set at the rural Serenbe community located about thirty miles south of downtown.
Rich, familiar and hard to resist earthy flavors such as The Feed Store’s braised root vegetables with braised chicken thighs were the order of the day. Bacchanalia chef Anne Quatrano served up snails and Aria’s Gerry Klaskala dished out slow cooked black eye pea ragout with collard greens and country ham.
The future of food is looking a lot like a polished version of dining’s delicious past according to the Sterling-Rice Group’s 2014 restaurant report which lists “Refined Classics” as one of the top trend picks. Local Three Kitchen treated the gathered foodies to elegant bites of “meatloaf and potatoes”.
Also on the list, “New Farm to Table” with lesser-known cuts of pork and beef and a wider variety of proteins from goat to rabbit jumping onto menus. Veni Vidi Vici’s chef Jamie Adams served oxtail gnocchi.
Chicken makes way for duck. The team from Leon’s Full Service presented duck ham on a savory pancake frisee and pears from Whippoorwill Hollow Farms.
Duck confit starred in caterer Bold American Events’ tasty offering with a sweet potato gnocchi and Brussels sprouts leaves. More duck from Livingston restaurant in a petite bite of sweet tea infused duck breast with ginger applesauce and candied lemon pecans. Which brings us to another predicted trend for the New Year -lots of lemon. Preserved lemons added bright notes to Chicken and The Egg chef Marc Taft’s braised short rib with smoked Gouda grits.
And tart lemon with spicy ginger beer balanced the sweet notes of Belle Meade Bourbon in the Tennessee Stud cocktail served on the rocks for guests to sip.
Kazia Jankowski, associate culinary director of the Sterling-Rice Group says, “Lemon is pure. Lemon is versatile. Lemon is nostalgic. For those reasons, it and not other citrus will be the flavor of next year. Lemon’s bright flavor is fresh and unadulterated.”
Year of the Yolk
Another yellow food beaming brighter on the culinary scene is the egg yolk. Good-bye egg white omelet, hello the whole thing.
Chef Steven Satterfield of Miller-Union who presented a sunny side up quail egg on butternut squash hash says, “The yolk is where it’s at! The texture is unctuous and a runny yolk is one of my favorite things on earth.” Nutrition note: egg yolks contain important nutrients including choline, which supports brain health.
Registered dietitian, Janet Helm who tracks healthy food trends on her blog Nutrition Unplugged says, “I think it gets people excited about food. Quinoa, kale, Greek yogurt and chickpeas became trendy, so perhaps that motivated more people to buy these foods and use them more often. That’s a good thing.”
Congratulations to the LDEI Afternoon in the Country organizing teams!! We earned big $$$ for culinary scholarships and grants for culinarians in the Atlanta area to improve their skills so that we all can eat even better as the trends march on!!!
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