Cocktails with a culinary twist, the “nose to tail” movement, South American and Mediterranean-influenced cuisine, and reimagined childhood desserts are among the top trends, according to Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants’ 2017 Culinary & Cocktails Trend Forecast, released this week. This third annual trend report offers a glimpse into the innovative flavors and unique sips that will influence restaurant and bar menus in the coming year.
The forecast findings were uncovered via an extensive survey of leading chefs, sommeliers, general managers and bartenders from 70+ acclaimed Kimpton restaurants, bars and lounges across 30+ U.S. cities. New this year, the report also includes insights from renowned food influencers, photographers and videographers. These culinary and cocktail aficionados partnered with Kimpton to create original content via videos, recipes and images, to showcase their unique take on interesting forecast findings.
In 2017, restaurant and cocktail enthusiasts can expect to see the following trends come to life across the country.
Top Culinary Trends
- A surge in Mediterranean-inspired dishes like creamy sesame hummus with braised chickpeas, olive oil charred octopus, and Moroccan spiced lamp chops with tomato-cucumber fattoush and lemon yogurt
- New twists on favorite childhood desserts like boozy berry sundaes with blackberry chartreuse and sour cherry mascarpone-flavored frozen push-ups
- Ongoing interest in using the whole beast to create rich, flavorful dishes like oven-roasted bone marrow burgers, chicken skin chips crusted with quinoa and marcona almonds, braised pork neck ragout pappardelle, and cheekily named pig face candy bars with country style pâté and raw sugar brulée
- The sustainability-driven “root to leaf” movement that embraces using vegetables in their entirety in dishes like radish greens, carrot top pesto, salt roasted beets, and celery root purées
- More lean meat alternatives popping onto menus to be featured in dishes like smoked elk carpaccio and venison tartare as well as ox, bison, boar, ostrich for the more adventurous diner
- Spices like cardamom, cumin and turmeric that add an extra kick to any dish.
Leading Cocktail Trends
- Adding a culinary twist to classic cocktails with unique ingredients like roasted grapes, salt-roasted plantains, smoked tomato water, puréed red pepper, snap peas, corn, or even pickling brine to create either sweet or savory culinary cocktails
- South American-inspired cocktails like a Caipirinha using mezcal, cachaça, jalapeño-infused cachaça, serrano chili syrup or pisco
- Fat-washing cocktails with alternative non-meat-based fats like milk, coconut and peanut butter
- Wine and cheese remain the top food and drink pairing, but fresh new combinations like oysters and gin or sherry and fries will emerge as chefs and bartenders collaborate more on tasting menus and small plates
- Signature cocktails developed out of fermented beverages like Kombucha, ginger beer and coconut kefir for creations like a cranberry and tangerine Kombucha cocktail
Bringing The Trends To Life
Kimpton chefs and bartenders are already bringing these trends to life in their restaurants and bars. And in the spirit of unique pairings, Kimpton’s director of bars Mike Ryan and director of music Lauren Bucherie have come together to create a custom Spotify playlist featuring classic rock. According to the Culinary & Cocktail forecast, classic rock and indie folk are the top two music genres that strike a chord with guests. The songs help make the bitters pop, the sugars balanced and the spirits smooth.