National Restaurant Association Reveals Chefs' Top Trends for 2010

Ian Froeb
Delicious? Yes. Trendy? No.
The National Restaurant Association has released its annual survey (link PDF) asking chefs nationwide for the year's top trends. The top trend, with nearly 88% of respondents saying it's "hot," is locally grown produce. The #2 trend is locally sourced meat and seafood, and #3 is sustainability.

So I, staunch defender of all things local and sustainable, am rejoicing, right? Not really. I mean, it's good that restaurants are paying attention to these issues, but I'll be more impressed if, say, five years from now, restaurants continue to pay attention to these issues -- not because they're trendy, but because they're important.

In all, the survey ranks the hotness of 214 individual items. At the very bottom, with only 14% of respondents saying that it's "hot," is...crème brûlée. Unfortunately, for those of us -- namely, me -- who would like this dessert banished from menus, 54% of respondents said crème brûlée is a "perennial favorite."

Though the cupcake trend shows no signs of slowing down in St. Louis, cupcakes didn't fare  well on the survey. They ranked #191 on the survey, with only 25% of respondents saying they remain hot and 52% claiming they are "yesterday's news."

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