Bycatch, game meat make inroads
But with high food costs, fears of overfishing, and diners becoming increasingly adventuresome, junk fish is now a delicacy. Sea robin, lion fish, green crabs, scup and other fish that used to leave fishermen and chefs scratching their heads will increasingly find places on the menu.
Custom beer. Beer trend expert Peter LeFrance predicted this one: Restaurants will increasingly commission breweries to make signature beers. Brooklyn Brewery in Brooklyn, N.Y., makes custom brews for Danny Meyer’s Shake Shack and Blue Smoke restaurants, and Eleven Madison Park in New York City. Sapporo Brewery in Japan brews a special brand for French restaurateur Joël Robuchon to serve in his restaurants.
We’ll also see more chefs brewing their own beer. Seattle area-based John Howie says he plans to brew his own beer at a restaurant he’s opening in Bothell, Wash., next year. Nearby, he’s testing a distillery for gin, vodka, and varietally- and winery-specific grappa. Don’t be surprised to see more restaurants doing their own distilling, although probably off-site for legal reasons.
Game meat. The chief executive of New York City-based better-burger chain Bareburger says bison burgers outsell the restaurant’s burgers by two to one, and lamb burgers by four to one. Other chefs report a growing popularity of elk, and venison is now a regular addition to Season 52’s winter menu. Antelope is making strides, too, although it might not find its place on menus for a couple of years.
I don’t expect to see goat on chains that don’t have Caribbean themes for a while, but it’s certainly a darling of whole-animal-roasting independents. Expect to see more of that in 2013.