As the year comes to an end, it’s only appropriate to look back and observe how trends have emerged and developed over the past twelve months in order to excitedly look toward the future and what we can expect to see in the coming year. Here’s a look at some of the changing tastes in food over the past year.
Despite the fact that the economy clearly didn’t fare so well, in Los Angeles there was a notable increase in high-profile restaurants popping up throughout 2009. How is this so? If people are holding onto their wallets tighter and choosing “staycations” over vacations, certainly they wouldn’t be interested in high-end dining, right? Apparently, wrong.
In Los Angeles there were actually more high-profile restaurant openings in 2009 than there were in the past five years, including Rivera, Drago Centro, Bouchon, and Bottega Louie. Stylish cocktail bars have also littered the city in a trend that can only be explained by the possible influx of an interest in stylish living, despite costs.
One such change in taste came when Kogi, a chef who used to lead the kitchens at the Beverly Hilton, drove around town in a food truck with Korean tacos and kimchi quesadillas. More than 600 people gathered in the cold waiting for the truck to arrive after the chef broadcasted on Twitter his various locations. And the crowds followed.
The vegan culture has also taken off over the past year. Pop-up restaurant Ludobites was opened at the Culver City art gallery for a couple of weeks by Ludovic Lefebvre, a protégé of three-star French chefs Pierre Gagnaire and Alain Passard. This event, also publicized on Twitter, had followers swooning at dishes such as foie gras beignets, sashimi with sushi-rice ice cream, and cod smeared with a complex mole sauce.
The general pattern seems to be that getting the word out to the tech-savvy youth of today can be as important to a restaurant’s success as the chef—to a certain extent, of course. Regardless, the year is almost over and it is begging the question of where 2010 will take foodies and techies and high-end cuisine…oh my!