Flavor Trends

According to the “What’s Hot” culinary forecast from the National Restaurant Association in Washington, D.C., international flavors continue to influence the menus of all types of restaurants, with African flavors being the hottest new cuisine to be explored by chefs around the country.

Middle Eastern flavors are also gaining traction, with both ethnic cuisines identified as a mover and shaker (up 5% or more from the 2015 forecast).

This annual survey of nearly 1,600 professional chefs explores the top menu trends for the coming year. And while African, Latin American, Middle Eastern, Southeast Asian and Mediterranean are the top five ethnic flavor trends, what the chefs have also identified as being hot is for recipes to be authentic.

In other words, more culinary experts are using traditional cooking methods and real herbs and spices to deliver the ethnic flavor, versus a flavored seasoning blend concocted in a laboratory. The chefs also recognized opportunities in ethnic fusion cuisine, where flavors and foods from two cultures come together in unique ways. Think teriyaki tacos and peri peri veal parmesan.