The Top 10 Food Trends For 2019, According To Whole Foods

“Twenty-six subject experts from Whole Foods have been convening for four years to predict what’s coming next to their own shelves and to the food world as a whole. These experts range from a master sommelier and global beverage buyer to a senior R&D culinologist to the president of the Whole Kids Foundation to a produce field inspector to a board-certified, internal medicine physician to a global meat buyer; some actually started out working at the store level.

Before I share their predictions with you, what is unsaid is that the chain, now owned by Amazon, has produced the biggest trend in grocery in decades: They have awaken a previously staid industry and revitalized it as chains both large and small are changing the way they look at grocery. Amazon/Whole Foods has also attracted new talent, some from Ivy League schools who might never have thought about a career in grocery, and led other grocers on the same path. For me one of the biggest trends for 2019 will be to watch where Amazon/Whole Foods leads us next.

Now on to Whole Foods’ top 10 food trends:

Pacific Rim flavors is the top trend, with Whole Foods announcing that its Market and 365 Everyday Value brands will launch a new line of products inspired by Pacific Rim fruits like a guava tropical vinaigrette, pineapple passionfruit sparkling mineral water, mango pudding mix and passionfruit coconut frozen fruit bars. It also expect to see ingredients like longganisa (a Filipino pork sausage), dried shrimp, cuttlefish and shrimp paste to appear on restaurant and home menus in dishes from breakfast to dinner. (…)”

See more here.

A French Celebrity Chef Finds a Spot in a Lexus-Owned Space

“The aromas you might pick up in this building, owned by Lexus, the car company, may not be that new-car smell but rather curry, roasting meat, smoked vegetables, caramel and freshly ground coffee. Food is the main purpose of this installation, which features a ground-floor cafe, a full-service restaurant and bar upstairs, and not a car in sight. It’s the third such venture for the brand, after others in Tokyo and Dubai. Union Square Hospitality Group is behind the cafe and restaurant, but the food is being devised by Gregory Marchand, a French celebrity chef who owns the Frenchie restaurants in Paris and London. He will be on hand from time to time for the next four to six months; after that, another chef-in-residence will be imported. “We want chefs who are new to New York and up-and-coming,” said Kirk Edmondson, the manager. The long-term executive chef is Nickolas Martinez, who worked with Joël Robuchon and at Foragers City Table. Kaz Fujimura is responsible for pastries, and Andrea Morris is in charge of drinks and wine. A circular bar and lounge is on one side of the second floor. The dining room, done mostly in black and white with a spacious open kitchen, seats 50. Mr. Marchand’s menu includes some of his signature dishes like baby leeks with Parmesan sabayon and smoked egg yolk, halibut grenobloise, and a toffee and banana dessert called banoffee.”

View more here.

Ford teaming up with Walmart and Postmates on robot deliveries

“Ford is joining forces with Walmart and Postmates to create a grocery delivery service using self-driving vehicles in Miami, the companies announced Wednesday.

Ford has been using Miami as a test bed for its self-driving vehicles since earlier this year. And more recently, the auto giant joined with Postmates to see how people ordering takeout food would interact with an autonomous delivery van.

Now Ford is moving to the next stage: grocery delivery. The company says it will experiment with different vehicle types, as well as modifications to those vehicles needed to keep perishable food items fresh. It will also experiment with a variety of scenarios, such as multiple deliveries on one trip and the user experience of retrieving delivery items from a fully driverless vehicle.”

See more here.

The Nutella Cafe is finally opening in Union Square

“Nutella stans of the eastern seaboard, your time has finally come: the Nutella Cafe in New York City opens on Nov. 14, in all of its ridiculously decadent, Instagrammable glory. In case you have not also been tracking this cafe so intensely that employees at Google are probably concerned about your Nutella search history, a bit of background: in June, Ferrero announced the opening of a Nutella cafe in the Big Apple, marking the second such cafe in the U.S. after the original opened in Chicago in 2017. The menu at the Chicago location is already drool-worthy enough — now, many of those fan favorites are about to hit the New York location, which also includes new menu items that will make your Nutella-loving heart sing.

Before we even get into the menu, though, you need to know that this new cafe is a capital E Experience, from the decor to the merchandise to ordering the food itself. The new cafe, which is located in Union Square, is so Instagram-worthy that it has attracted crowds long before its opening. The front door is a Nutella jar; the ceiling is crafted to replicated Nutella spread; even the light fixtures are based off of the yellow flower on the iconic Nutella jar. The place is wall-to-wall Nutella, lined with unique merchandise, a gelato station, a coffee station, shelves of Nutella goods, and a massive light fixture that says “Nutella” on it that covers an entire wall.”

View more here.

 

Diners Wake Up To Modern, Eclectic Breakfast Fare

“A perfect vehicle for delivering on-trend flavors and seasonal ingredients, Loaded Hash Browns can keep a breakfast/brunch menu new and exciting. Here, chef/owner Alicia Hinze of The Buttered Tin in St. Paul, Minn., uses Idaho hash brown potatoes as a crisp, crunchy packet for tomatoes, corn and queso fresco. A fried egg and dollop of chimichurri complete the dish.

As a base and primary component, the crispy hash browns provide a satisfying textural complement to the Loaded Hash Brown’s ever-changing selection of fillings. This summery mix can morph into heartier combinations, such as grilled steak, pepper, onions and provolone.

“Already a substantial dish with 8 ounces of potatoes per serving, the Loaded Idaho Hash Browns could easily move to the lunch and dinner menu, especially when offered with a heftier filling,” says Don Odiorne, VP foodservice & website, Idaho Potato Commission. “Changing the filling with the season keeps this signature dish new and fresh.”

See more here.

NYC Food Trucks To Soon Get Letter Grades Like Restaurants

Food Carts, Trucks to Get Letter Grades Just Like NYC Restaurants

“Every cart or truck will be getting (a) newly designed decal, and when the inspector finishes the inspection, an ‘A’ looks just like the restaurant A,” says Deputy Commissioner for Environmental Health Corrine Schiff.

Beginning in December, all of the city’s 5,500 mobile food vendors will be graded on their food safety and will receive a corresponding alphabet score. A tracking device will also be attached to every unit so inspectors can keep track of each business.”

Read more here.

The Best Restaurants on the Upper East Side

1. Flora Bar
945 Madison Ave., nr. 75th St.; 646-558-5383

Sure, the location is a little eccentric by local standards (the dining room sits on the semi-bunkered basement level of the Met Breuer museum on Madison Avenue). The decor is a little spare, too (did we mention that it’s in the basement of the Met Breuer?), and local gourmets will complain that the chef, Ignacio Mattos, is an interloper from the wilder, much more unruly culinary regions further downtown (he operates two popular restaurants below 14th Street). But we’d argue that the mingling of high culture and high cuisine at this unlikely three-star establishment creates the kind of alchemy which is unique not just on the Upper East Side, but to the city as a whole. Throw in Mattos’s refreshingly ingenious brand of high-low cooking (where else on the block can you get your crème fraîche and caviar served with house-frizzled potato chips?), the elegantly accessible lunchtime service (yes, there’s a Wagyu burger), the exceptional all-day coffee-and-pastry bar, and one of the better brunch menus in this brunch-crazed part of town, and you have the ideal Upper East Side restaurant for this unfussy, post-gourmet age.

See more restaurants here.