8 Food Trends We Want to Disappear in 2019
By, Erin Peterson
Everyone has to eat, but not everyone has to (or wants to) eat trendy food. The age of social media has changed the environment of any restaurant into an unusual one. The “foodie” craze isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, but we can all agree that there are certain food trends that are obnoxious an a whole new level.
Insanely humongous rich food gone wild. What do I hate about it? Uh, everything? I don’t need a 5 patty burger. In fact, no one does. It doesn’t make it taste better, and how are you supposed to eat it exactly… unhinge your jaw? I don’t want to have to apologize to my trainer for eating a ridiculous mountain of unhealthy food just to show off for the Insta. What mindset do you even need to be in to order a pizza the size of a table unless you’re taking your T-ball team out for dinner? Let’s get back to basics and focus on good cooking, not showboating.
Constant food photography. People hovering over their dishes with their phones, sometimes standing on chairs to get the perfect shot, swatting away their loved ones’ hands to make sure they get the best possible cheese pull before anyone eats, and using portable flashlights in a dimly lit restaurant to make sure that everything is in perfect focus. Try focusing on your company instead.
Awkward plating. Giant splatters, inedible garnishes, curly parsley (PLEASE STOP) and constantly trying to turn every dish into something deconstructed? Let’s talk. This isn’t making your customer come back. I went to one of the most talked-about 3 Michelin star restaurants in the world, and despite the awe-inspiring plating, the meal was garbage. I only liked, let alone loved, 3 of the 12 courses for my $400 meal. I thought I was going to have a near-religious food experience, and I was left deeply disappointed and quite a bit lighter in the wallet. Good tasting, well-made food is more important than artsy presentation, always.
Trendy mediocritization of food. The glorification of junk food by the chefs whose skills should be shown off instead of deep fried has to end. Don’t add Aleppo pepper to your dish just because it’s in every other Bon Appetit recipe. If I see another dish with poorly executed pork belly I think I’ll scream. Just because it’s popular doesn’t mean you need to cook with it. Be authentic to your cooking style, and really work to understand the flavor profile of each ingredient you select, as well as how best to prepare it. Cookie cutter menus are boring and just plain bad business. Stand out using what makes you unique to your benefit.
Snobbery. Just because you cooked it in a sous vide doesn’t make you a better chef. Really. It also doesn’t make my experience in your restaurant any better. Honest cooking and high-quality, attentive and respectful service is far more important than the latest cooking gadget. Have you ever been to a place with someone vegan or gluten free only to be brushed off by the restaurant staff? I hate it when restaurants act like they shouldn’t eat out just because of dietary restrictions. Creating dishes that have a universal design for multiple restrictions is just one successful way of making everyone feel welcome.
Poor service. High-quality warm and welcoming customer service is becoming less common, and makes it all the more desirable to the modern diner. If we like you, we’re coming back. Last night, my husband was harshly brushed off just once by a rude bartender and immediately told me he had no plans of returning despite my insistence that he probably was just having a bad day. His answer? There are just too many great options in town to have to settle for being mistreated.
Unicorn or glitter everything. Too much food coloring means all flash and no flavor. We don’t need something to be weirdly colored to enjoy it. Honestly, eating the rainbow when it comes to naturally produced colors and flavors is altogether more interesting.
Back-breaking seating. For the love of all that is holy, please stop using trendy seating that is uncomfortable for your customers. If it isn’t ergonomic, I’m not going to linger and order dessert.
Meat-centric restaurants. Listen, I love meat just like anyone else, but what about all of the other wonderful produce that you can use in such creative ways? If you only have meat on your menu, you're missing a huge section of the population that loves vegetables. I have had vegetables and fruits that have rivaled any other dish with meat in it so many times that it is what I gravitate toward on menus. Not only is it better for the planet, but it produces a breadth of creativity that is unmatched. How many varieties exist? I doubt that there is any limit, especially with new varieties being discovered all the time. I especially applaud those who are sourcing locally foraged goods. It is high time we begin to remember how rich and diverse our local ecosystems are, and appreciate the biodiversity wherever we live.