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Where's the Beef Going in 2013?

Hot & Cool Food Trends

What’s on the horizon in the world of beef for 2013? The Certified Angus Beef brand recently hosted a diverse group of chefs from across the U.S. at its new Education & Culinary Center in Wooster, Ohio, for some crystal ball gazing to try and figure it out.

The Chefs Panel represented a cross-section of individual restaurateurs, corporate chefs and academia who discussed observations over the past year, exchanged ideas and anticipated trends in the kitchen for the coming year.  

Members of the trends panel were: Brad Barnes, Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, N.Y.; Craig Deihl, Cypress, Charleston, S.C.; Jorge de la Torre, Johnson & Wales; John Doherty, consulting chef, New York City; Cindy Hutson, Ortanique, Coral Gables, Fla., Grand Cayman and Harbour Island; Ric Rosser, Saltgrass Steakhouse chain; Rory Schepisi, Boothill Vega, Vega, Texas; Cedric Tovar, Rosemary’s and Bobo, New York City.

Here are some of the panel’s key takeaways.

Top food trends – 13 for ’13

  • 2013, The Year of the Strip: Showcase the flavorful strip steak instead of traditional middle meat favorites: the ribeye and filet.
  • Surf & Turf 2.0: Utilize more economical pieces of beef such as the ball tip and teres major cuts, paired with seafood options, which are currently available at lower market price points.
  • History Tells Us: Reintroduce guests to alternative cuts of beef that have been braised, slowly cooked in international cultures for centuries and are full of flavor.
  • Thinking Globally Local: Use local ingredients to create international dishes. For instance, prepare heirloom, Lowcountry rice in a Risotto style for a Northern Italian flair, or fried rice with kimchee juice and spices for a Korean spin.
  • Craft-Driven Programs Take Center-Stage: Implement craft-driven cocktail, cheese, charcuterie, bourbon, cheese and pickle programs, which continue to draw the attention of guests interested in how foods are created.  
  • Gourmet American Junk and Fair Food: Experiment with high-end nostalgic favorites and Fair Food such as Corn Dogs with Lobster and Pork and Beans with Pork Belly.
  • Broaden Protein Horizons: Add lesser known cuts of beef like the chuck flap and sirloin flap, and dark meat chicken to the menu as they become more accepted by American palates. 
  • Saving on Specials: Turn undervalued cuts, like chuck steaks and chuck short ribs from the chuck roll into creative specials and profit centers. Or, reinterpret cuts for more value, like cutting off the vein-end of the strip loin, curing it bresaola style and slicing it thin to serve as a unique charcuterie choice.
  • Tapas for One: Deliver individual tapas-style dishes offering a more catered experience for guests to try multiple dishes.
  • Refined and Relaxed: Serve in a more casual style and setting but with elevated menu items like artisan sausages or gourmet burgers customers can enjoy without the fuss.  
  • Tell Stories with Social Media: Incorporate social media to communicate directly with customers, sharing behind-the-scenes stories of product sources, seasonal specials and delivery to the plate.
  • Hand-held Neighborhood Butcher: Communicate with customers through smartphones –information previously acquired from the traditional butcher. Chefs will continue to innovatively educate consumers on cuts, preparations and ways to save at home. 
  • School Customers: Offer more and more educational programming for guests including cooking classes, book clubs with menu pairings and chef exchange events. Guests want to have stories behind dishes to share with friends.

Check out The Food Channel’s own food forecast for 2013. It’s our annual Top Ten Food Trends feature story.

For more insights and innovations check out CultureWaves®, the place to go for the latest observations in the World Thought Bank – events, ideas, trends and more. Add your own thoughts about anything in life – entertainment, design, technology, well-being and, yes, food trends. And, take a look at a few of our other Hot & Cool Food Trends.