Trends for Tastings: A Look at the Latest Food Trends

Steamed dumplings lay on a table

Food trends come and go, but it never hurts to remain up to date on new developments in the culinary world. In this article, we will take a closer look at how social media, technology and more are influencing the industry with insight from chefs at AVA MediterrAegean, Jaleo at Disney Springs and Morimoto Asia.

AVA MediterrAegean

Chef Michaël Michaelidis, Head of Culinary of Riviera Dining Group.

Why do you think Tasting Menu trends have become so popular?

Tasting Menus have become more popular as knowledge of elevated cuisine becomes more universally known. The days of ordering one dish are not in vogue the same way they were in our parents’ generation.

How have you adapted your menu to reflect current food trends?

We serve dishes that we know will create an aspect of “dinner theater” like our Daily Fish Selection, offered grilled, baked, or wrapped in sea salt and carved and flambéed table-side, allowing for a more flavorful entrée. We also launched our Seasonal Tasting Menu when we saw guests were leaning toward curated experiences. Our Seasonal Tasting Menu provides guests with a three-course menu, highlighting some of AVA MediterrAegean’s innovative dishes. I believe it’s important to use high-quality ingredients that are in season when preparing a Tasting Menu.

How do you keep up with emerging food trends?

You have to put in the work. I read, watch cooking shows and stay connected with the chefs I met while working in Monaco, London, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Tokyo. Food trends are constantly changing; however, having these global connections have allowed me to stay inspired and up-to-date with the industry.

How do you think technology has impacted food trends?

Technology has allowed us to try new techniques that have rocked our industry, including molecular gastronomy, using the sous vide technique, and flash freezing with liquid nitrogen. But there are less sophisticated techniques that have resulted from access to technology, like using an air fryer or stick blender to create impactful, delicious meals. 

Jaleo at Disney Springs

Responses from Chef Kristoffer Anderson, Executive Chef of Jaleo at Disney Springs ®

What unique ingredients have you incorporated into your dishes to stay ahead of the curve?

I am always trying to figure out how to get the best seafood at Jaleo at Disney Springs®. Spain is huge on seafood, and since I visited José Andrés this summer in Andalucia, my way of cooking and sourcing seafood has been different. Getting fresh seafood from Spain is difficult and can be pricey, but we try to find the best products just like you would have them in Spain.

How do you keep up with emerging food trends?

Instagram. We have a group chat with all the Chefs here in Jaleo at Disney Springs®, and we are constantly sharing photos saying, “we should try this” or “let’s order this for a special.” Besides that, we pay close attention to what José Andrés is doing. For a long time, we didn’t use many edible flowers on our dishes. Now I see in José’s new document series, “José Andrés and Family in Spain,” that he has made a couple of dishes with flowers, and I think it’s something you will see on our menu here soon. 

What do you think will be the next big food trend?

Vegetables. Vegetables are always big for José Andrés, but each year I feel the world advancing with what they can create with vegetables. 

How have you ensured you provide an elevated dining experience for your guests?

Our restaurant in Disney Springs is a little different because of its size. One thing that we stay true to is attention to detail, no matter how high our volume gets. In all our Chef meetings and even pre-shifts with the cooks, we always express the importance of attention to detail. Our food is simple, but it needs to be executed in the right way to tell the true story behind Spanish Tapas. So, to answer the question, no one person can change the elevation of the dining experience. It takes a total team effort between the back of the house and the front of the house to focus on the little things. That is what you can find here at Jaleo at Disney Springs®.

Morimoto Asia

Responses from Chef Takeshi Ikeuchi, Executive Chef at Morimoto Asia

What food trends have you noticed becoming popular in your area?

We recently added a vegetarian menu to Morimoto Asia’s menu and it’s selling better than we expected. Therefore, I think the number of health-conscious customers is increasing. I also believe experiential eating is a trend that is becoming popular in the area, which is why we are seeing the rise of omakase and tasting menus. 

What advice would you give to chefs looking to incorporate new trends into their menus?

While it’s great to follow trends to gain public awareness, you need to ensure the trends align with your restaurant’s brand. It needs to make sense. At Morimoto Asia, when bettering our menu, I go through a lot of trial and error, using the highest quality ingredients and global culinary techniques. 

How have you adapted your menu to reflect current food trends?

I make sure to acquire popular ingredients and add them to my dishes. At Morimoto Asia, we also offer our Omakase nightly, where guests can observe and indulge in our multi-course, curated menu prepared by our expert sushi chefs. Omakase translates to “entrust” in the chef, letting them decide what dishes to cook, the plating, and the presentation, which results in a memorable experience. 

What unique ingredients have you incorporated into your dishes to stay ahead of the curve?

I try to introduce dishes that are not yet well known to our customers in Florida, like XO sauce (a spicy seafood sauce) and YUBA (tofu skin).


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Written by Alexis George

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