The year is in full swing, and there is already a lot going on in the food industry today. From
new restaurant openings and innovative menus to interesting meat alternatives and sustainable initiatives, it appears to be off to a strong start. It's an exciting time not only for new and up-and-coming chefs but also for chefs who have been in the industry long enough to see some major changes.
Throughout the year, there are tons of events that celebrate all the things going on in the culinary space. Conferences, festivals, parties, all bringing people together through a passion for food. We rounded up some of the chefs who are participating in this weekend's
South Beach Wine & Food Festival to share what they're most excited about right now. South Beach Wine & Food Festival paid for hotel stay/airfare as part of a press trip the writer of this story attended. However, SOBEWFF did not approve or review this story. Valerie Chang Itamae
"I'm excited to see the emergence of Nikkei restaurants in Miami and in America at large. When my father, brother, and I first opened Itamae two years ago, I couldn’t think of another Nikkei restaurant here in the U.S. Since we opened, there are at least three new Nikkei restaurants in Miami alone. In 2020, we want to continue to build awareness and push the cuisine forward."
Chloe Coscarelli Chef Chloe
"I am most excited about seaweed! From kelp noodles to dulse to spirulina, these under-the-sea foods are finally having the moment they deserve. High in nutrients and minerals,
are everything we need to improve thyroid function and overall health. If I haven't turned into a mermaid by 2021, I'll consider my year a failure."
Dallas Wynne Stubborn Seed
"I am very excited for 2020! I think it is going to be an excellent year for our industry as we are quickly recognizing some of the major changes going on with lifestyle choices, not only with our guests but with our employees. When it comes to food trends, I am in love with the continued obsession with Kombucha. I can't wait to experiment and hopefully find a fun way to incorporate it into my desserts! I've also come to love the challenge of vegan and gluten-free cooking and baking. If you asked me about it at the beginning of last year, I would have been reluctant to say I wasn't very interested in it, however, my team and I have taken on the challenge of trying to adapt recipes to fit all of our guests, and it has been so much fun for all of us learning new techniques."
Helene Henderson Malibu Farm
"I think that alternative meats and milks will continue to expand and take a bigger bite out of the traditional market as more and more Americans will try those products. Generally speaking, I think the market share of vegetarian and vegan dining options will continue to expand. I think we will see two very different curves of a desire to eat 'real' food grown and cooked traditional ways, and more vegetable focus with smaller meat servings. There will also be a growth in the complete opposite spectrum which is the alternative meat, engineered food products that are created by modern science but still focus on reduction in animal footprint."
Stephanie Vitori Cheeseburger Baby
"I always said that 2020 would be 'my' year, but empowering women isn't a trend, it's my mission. 2020 isn’t 'my' year, it's 'OUR' year. The future is female."
Ernisha Randolph Shuckin' & Jivin' Restaurant
"In 2020, I'm so excited to grow our take-out to a unique social experience. Currently, most guests visit our restaurant and take-out their orders. The current atmosphere is so inviting that some dine-in at the limited seats we have. We will be expanding this year to create a more social and casual experience in our 1970s themed restaurant."
Michelle Bernstein Cafe La Trova
"I am thoroughly excited about how much Israeli/Middle Eastern food/spices/flavors are happening around the country! I went to high school in Israel and fell in love with the ingredients and recipes there. The food is so clean yet flavorful, layered with interesting and intricate bursts and textures. Sumac is being harvested all around the middle of the country, Za'atar has become a staple in kitchens and hummus is sold and eaten absolutely everywhere. I look forward to seeing it elevated more and more, especially with masters like Michael Solomonov, Alon Shaya, Genevieve Gergis, and Ori Menashe setting the standards."