Culinary Crystal Ball

Local chefs dish on the food trends they want to see (or not see) in 2015

click to enlarge Charcuterie board at Bouquet Restaurant & Wine Bar
Charcuterie board at Bouquet Restaurant & Wine Bar


ere you go, folks. Another one of those lists telling you what’s hot in the world of food. But while most other roundups focus on national or worldwide culinary trends, we at CityBeat decided to keep things local and survey hometown food and beverage professionals to see exactly what it is they’re planning to serve you this year. And, just for fun, we also asked them to throw in some of the things they never want to cross paths with again.

Matthew Buschle, Virgil’s Café:

“This winter we will be working on building a wood-fired oven for baking bread, smack dab right in the middle of the patio; fire bricks and mortar were my Christmas gift to myself. We got some starters going. For breads, a killer mushroom starter, a beer sourdough and a spent beer-grain starter — should be fun to see how those develop.”

David Cook, Daveed’s NEXT Restaurant & Catering:

“I would like to see more offal in sandwich making.”

Rachel DesRochers, Grateful Grahams:

“We are looking forward to pairing with Carriage House Farm more this year for our seasonal bites using some of the herbs they grow in the farm for some fun interesting new flavors.”

Colonel De Stewart, Colonel De Gourmet Herbs & Spices:

“I am looking forward to more research in 2015 for spices I’ve never carried, and Washington State Solar Evaporated Salt. Things I want to go away in 2015: Dr. Oz and his spice quackery. Seriously, half the crap he tries to cure with acai can be cured better with bourbon.”

Derek Dos Anjos, The Anchor-OTR:

“My favorite so far is Yuzukosho. It is a ground paste made of chili peppers, yuzu peel and salt. We use it as a marinade or in salad dressings, but best of all we put it in our wing sauce. Out? I for one am glad that the trend of Cincinnati only being known for Skyline, Montgomery Inn, Graeter’s etc., is finally over. While it’s great to have national branding, I think we as a city have finally gotten over the hump of chain restaurants.”

Jana Douglass, Happy Chicks Bakery:

“We are pumped to be working with Waterfields, LLC to incorporate sprouts and other living greens into our menu and cakes.”

Mike Florea, Maribelle’s eat + drink:

“I don’t smoke weed, but I foresee people cooking with small amounts of it. I’m not sure how you remove THC from something. It’ll be interesting. Weed butter — if you can get rid of the THC and keep the CBD (cannabidiol) — it would be a health craze.”

Jimmy Gibson, Jimmy G’s:

“Schmaltz (chicken fat) and gribenes (crisped chicken skin similar to pork rinds). I’m buying a Tandoor oven liner from India and setting it into one side/end of my wood grill. Out? The overwhelming need for guys to put the longitude and latitude with GPS coordinates and zip codes of the locations/birthplaces of the menu ingredients on their menus. Tweezers. I hate tweezers.”

Lou Ginocchio, O Pie O:

“We’re using miso paste in some of our sweet pies, but aren’t sharing this fact with many of our customers. It brings such potential with its ‘meaty’ umami, salty goodness. As a dessert ingredient, it’s just starting to trend in NYC. Would like to see it get more attention here.”

Jim Hanser, Red Roost Tavern:

“I can’t wait for all my fine farming friends to put those galoshes back on and bring me some nice spring treats to work with. At Red Roost Tavern, we like our produce with a little mud on it. Out? As we emerge from the holiday season, I would love to dig a nice deep hole and bury everything and anything pumpkin.”

Jason Louda, Meatball Kitchen:

“I would like to continue to see an upsurge in high-quality interpretations of street food and casual, ‘come as you are’ dining in general. Good food doesn’t always have to come in a posh environment. Things I would love to see on less of: bourbon, bacon and beets. Severely over-used.”

Kenny McNutt, MadTree Brewing:

“I cannot wait to finally get the Catch-a-Fire Cafe constructed so they can start serving up pies, wings, grinders, etc., in the taproom from their brand new 5,000-pound wood-fired pizza oven. We’ve waited an inane amount of time to get through permitting, with delays on delays and hearing that something will be allowed then being told that it won’t. Oh well, we’re in the home stretch now.”

Jackson Rouse, The Rookwood:

“Please let the Caesar salad go, let the wedge die. Please care about your customers and create a salad with texture, intrigue and flavor. Your customers will thank you and not miss raspberry vinaigrette.”

Molly Wellmann, Neons/Japp’s/Old Kentucky Bourbon Bar/Myrtle’s Punch House:

“I’m most excited about punch, obviously. I’m having a blast with the old recipes and the stories that come with them but also making up my own recipes. I’m also immersing myself in gin knowledge and gin. The trend I wish would die is flavored whiskey, especially Fireball. Blek!”

Stephen Williams, Bouquet Restaurant & Wine Bar:

“Using more pickled eggs and random things Justin Dean (of Relish the Garden) shows up with at my back door. More honey, less sugar. More crazy creations from Sixteen Bricks Artisan Bakehouse and Waterfields, LLC. More duck fat and hot sauce. More clarity in produce.” ©
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