Lamar Moore is an executive chef and restauranteur.
We spoke with him about the shift from fine-dining to more casual restaurant concepts.
Looking back at 2017, what evolving trends did you see dominate the food landscape?
The evolving trends I saw were Ramen craze, sushirrito, poke bowls and fried chicken spots.
Looking back at 2017, what ingredients did you see gain popularity with consumers?
I saw quinoa gain popularity. Lots of people are eating healthier – more vegans and vegetarians. Allergies have reportedly increased 20 percent over the last four years.
Organic eggs, cumin and Mediterranean spices were also popular.
Conversely, did you notice any trends or ingredients lose momentum in 2017?
Fine dining. The last few years several fine dining restaurants are either closing or re-concepting, due to the demand of guests wanting food faster and in a more casual setting.
Looking ahead to 2018, do you anticipate any interesting themes or trending ingredients in the food landscape?
Yes, I expect to see many smaller, causal concepts. I feel people are more inclined to cook at home with ingredients from farmer’s markets. Using local foods is becoming more attractive for chefs, restaurant owners and everyday cooks.
How do you plan on incorporating these trending ingredients and themes into your cooking?
I plan to use these trends by working more with local farmers and producers. My future concepts will be more casual, family-style environments. I also plan to make seasonings at demos to teach guests how to season food simply with great ingredients.