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The 2020 Trends, According to Chefs

Smoke makes a comeback, women in the driver seat

The Lempert Report

Food & Wine asked celebrity chefs and other foodservice pundits, in total 34 food experts, to offer a look into their crystal balls. Here’s some of what they found out:

  • Cassidee Dabney, chef of Blackberry Farm in Tennessee, said, “As a young cook/sous chef working in the age of 'bad boy' chefs, I think the newer chefs are more focused on health, mindful eating, sustainable foods and lifestyles and fitness. Thus, cooking with that mindset. Food to fuel the mind body and spirit.” 
  • Thomas Chen, chef at Tuome in New York, predicts it's all about smoke: "I think smoking is going to be very big in 2020. In addition to its dramatic appearance at the table, smoking provides a certain umami needed in an increasingly plant-based food space." He is experimenting with smoked butter, which is perfect for adding a smokiness to vegetables or enjoying with bread,  he says.  
  • “I think that you’re going to see a continued emphasis on sustainability. Sourcing locally and seasonally isn’t good enough anymore, and I believe moving forward we will continue to push toward a heightened knowledge and awareness of our consumption of our most finite resources,” says Brady Williams, chef of Canlis in Seattle.
  • Amy Brandwein, chef/owner of Centrolina and Piccolina in Washington, D.C., says, “Urban agriculture, hyperlocal ingredients that are readily available and sustainable fish—more awareness of ocean issues and environmental impact.”  
  • “Juices and other interesting beverage pairings will take another leap again to the main stage,” said Justin Cogley, chef of Aubergine in Carmel-by-the-Sea, Calif.
  • "Expect more women to be in charge," says Angela Pinkerton, chef and partner of Che Fico and Che Fico Alimentari in San Francisco. "Butcher shops, bakeries and restaurant kitchens helmed, diners and dining rooms in check. It’s the coolest time to be a woman boss. If there’s business to be done, we are most certainly on it, and we are changing the language of it all."  

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