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2017 Food and Beverage Trends

In order to increase event attendance, it’s essential to plan events that are new, exciting and relevant. Stay ahead of the game by checking out the food and beverage trends of 2017. Then book a trendy new event that your guests won’t want to miss. Here’s what to expect in 2017:

Vegetarian comfort food

Meat-heavy meals and pasta dishes are moving aside to make way for vegetable-based food. Expect to see a growing number of vegetarian or vegetable-based meals in restaurants across the country. In addition to the standard veggie dishes, many restaurants are swapping spiralized zucchini or carrot noodles for pasta and using mashed cauliflower instead of rice, pasta and pizza crust.

Check out the vegetarian tasting menu at Honey Salt in Vegas.

Artisan butchers

salttime_photo6Though vegetable dishes are taking over menus, many artisanal butcher shops are pushing back by setting up butcher shops-cum-restaurants, delivering a more upscale flair to the craft of butchery. The “butcher-to-table” trend lets customers see the preparation of everything from grilled steak to charcuterie. Which brings us to our next point…charcuterie is going to be all the rage in 2017. And as charcuterie gets a refresh, many chefs are using new cuts of meat in their dishes as a part of the war on waste (see below). 

Book a butcher demonstration at Echo & Rig in Las Vegas, at Belcampo in San Francisco or at Salt and Time in Austin.

Street-food-inspired dishes

Last year, street food and food trucks were hugely popular. But street foods are now moving into the kitchens of the nation’s top chefs. Expect to see dumplings, tempura and kabobs popping up on menus. Street food serves as a gateway to other cultures, people and places, so they provide the perfect opportunity to introduce your clients and colleagues to something new and exciting.

Check out the street-food-inspired dishes at Boleo in Chicago.

Bowls, bowls and more bowls

Over the last few years, bowls have been slowly creeping into different types of cuisine. Between acai, poke and ramen bowls, the bowl craze has officially risen to new heights. 2017 will bring a heavy emphasis on grain and vegetable bowls—and bowls in general. Besides the fact that bowls are a clean way to consume your food, there’s a psychological benefit as well. Holding a bowl makes you more prone to mindfulness, meaning you’ll feel full a lot faster, and you’ll be able to savor all the flavors and textures with every bite. 

Spices and house-made condiments

pansaariMany foodies are demanding more heat and flavor from their meals so there are two trends that are sure to come from that: the use of spices and house-made condiments. There’s been a huge rise in the use of spices over the last year and that’s likely to continue in 2017. Not only are chefs relying heavily on spices, but they’re using a few at a time to amp up the flavor. This year we should see a rise in southeast Asian spices like chilies, tamarind, lemongrass, turmeric, ginger, coriander/cilantro, cardamom, kaffir lime, cumin, cinnamon, cloves, caraway, mustard seed, shrimp paste, sharp citrus juices and zests.

Restaurant-goers are also looking for that balanced sweet heat, and many restaurants are quite literally trying to make that secret sauce that keeps people coming back for more. 

Create your own BBQ sauce with G Texas Catering in Dallas, learn how incorporate Indian spices into your cooking at Pansaari in Washington, D.C., and stop by The Spice House during this walking tour with Chicago Food Planet.

War on waste

The NRDC recently found that 40 percent of our food is not eaten. In response, cooks are learning to create delicious dishes with parts of the animal, fruit or vegetable that would normally end up in the trash. So don’t be alarmed if you’re seeing carrot tops, fish bones and cilantro roots on your plate. 

If you’re looking to get in on the action, book a cooking challenge with Team Building with Taste in Dallas or Atlanta. The organization donates unused food to charity throughout the year.  

Authentic ethnic foods

springbokEthnic foods are appearing everywhere these days, with help, in part, from the adventurous millennials who are exploring global flavors. The focus of many chefs and restauranteurs is to keep it as authentic as possible. This year, we’ll see a heavy focus on African, Middle Eastern and Latin American cuisine. And this trend will be everywhere from 5-star restaurants to quick-service and fast food spots.

Sample the flavors of Africa at Peli Peli or Springbok in Houston.

Chilled red wine

If you consider yourself a wine connoiseur, you may want to take a seat for this one. More and more reds, especially lighter-bodied ones, are being served cooled. While you won’t want to drop ice cubes in your merlot, chilling fruit-forward styles such as Beaujolais and grenache will bring out the wines’ brightness.

What’s out in 2017

  • Pastas and grains
  • Kale
  • Food trucks

What are the 2017 buzzwords

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