What's Hot for 2008

According to the National Restaurant Association survey of chefs, the following are "hot" for 2008:

1. Bite-size desserts
2. Locally grown produce
3. Organic produce
4. Small plates/tapas/mezze
5. Specialty sandwiches
6. Craft/artisan/microbrew beer
7. Sustainable seafood
8. Grass-fed items
9. Energy drink cocktails
10. Salts (e.g. sea, smoked, colored, kosher)

Bite-sized desserts. Yay! Big portions force diners to share. Who wants to share dessert? I mean, who WANTS to as opposed to who feels FORCED into it by huge portions. My favorite? Sampler plates with lots of bite-sized desserts.

Locally grown produce. Nice. Funny to think of this as a trend rather than a way of life, but whatever.

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Organic produce. Not sure if Walmart organic is a good thing or not, but if it means people are paying more attention to produce, that's good.

Small plates. As long as you don't end up spending $60 and feel hungry, I'm down with this one too.

Specialty sandwiches. Is this like what they serve at Craft where my grilled cheese and mushroom sandwich was sliced with a tuna-laden knife? If so, I'll pass.

Craft/artisan/microbrew beer. Really? This is a new trend? Color me bored.

Sustainable seafood. Fish Forever: The Definitive Guide to Understanding, Selecting, and Preparing Healthy, Delicious, and Environmentally Sustainable Seafood was one of my favorite books last year. This feels like an imperative to me. Either we go sustainable or we can forget eating clean and safe seafood in the future.

Grass-fed items. I suppose they mean meat? I'm trying to warm up to it. Really. But I am so used to fat in meat...

Energy drink cocktails. Scary.

Salts. I'm kind of growing bored of this one too, does that mean I'm ahead of the curve? Obsession with salts seems very 2004.

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What trends are you most excited about or most tired of?

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