Chris Cheung is the Chef and owner at East Wind Snack Shop in NYC and Tansuo in Nashville. We asked him to elaborate on the trends he’s seeing in the culinary space.
Looking back at 2017, what evolving trends did you see dominate the food landscape?
I saw the rise of Chinese food, and the best thing about that was that it was so many different styles of this great cuisine. From different regions to progressive and visionary, imported restaurants from China set up shop in America. It’s a very exciting time for a chef like me.
Looking back at 2017, what ingredients did you see gain popularity with consumers?
I saw increased curiosity and willingness to try more spices and chilies. I also feel that vegetables of all kinds are being embraced more than ever.
I saw increased requests for gluten-free and vegan. For many chefs, this is a big change and challenge. Focusing on dietary restrictions are not what many of us are used to on a large scale, and it’s going to need to evolve and be discussed by more chefs – it’s a real issue.
Conversely, did you notice any trends or ingredients lose momentum in 2017?
I also think molecular gastronomy has lost some steam. Yet, some of the techniques have found their way into mainstream kitchens… such sous vide [French for “under vacuum”] and use of the ISO [International Organization for Standardization].
Looking ahead to 2018, do you anticipate any interesting themes or trending ingredients in the food landscape?
More Americanized settings for Chinese and other Asian foods will be coming. Fast-casual Chinese restaurants and more Dim Sum restaurants are opening. All, I hope, with a dedication to quality food.
How do you plan on incorporating these trending ingredients and themes into your cooking?
I plan on opening a couple of fast-casual Dim Sum places myself!