Top Chefs on 2014 Food Trends

It seems that everyone these days is a self-proclaimed foodie. Gone are the days of having to explain what truffles are or what a medium-rare steak should look like. Each year, more trends pop up in the culinary world—for better or worse. In order to stay on top of everything that’s going on in the delicious realm of gastronomy, we chatted with six Forbes Travel Guide Tastemakers to get their take on what to expect next year, from ingredients to foodie destinations.

Dean Fearing: Chef and owner of Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Fearing’s in Dallas

What are the hottest food trends in Dallas? I think it’s all going back to the basics. It’s back to food being good. I really like it. The era of trying to be real creative and real avant-garde is here in Dallas in a few restaurants; but I think, across the board, it’s comfort food, homey food, good food that’s well-seasoned and approachable.

What cooking methods will be popular in 2014? I think sous vide is here and is not leaving. It’s definitely something that a lot of chefs are exploring here in town. Smoking and grilling will always be a big Texas forefront. The smoking is what’s becoming really creative because there are whole different levels of what you’d think of just Texas barbecue, and what distinguishes those is the pride and technology of how people are smoking now to produce a better product.

What are some trends that you could do without? Fried chicken. Everybody makes a good fried chicken. When everyone was trying to stretch fried chicken into a new flavor, that was one trend that I didn’t like. I’m glad the humdrum Italian is gone. But my biggest one is that I’m glad the celebrity chef-chain restaurant scene has left Dallas.

Hot: Asian bowl (noodle bowls, ramen, pho), barbecue, pizza.

Not: Molecular gastronomy, foam.

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