Helen Yung, Sweet Republic co-owner I think it'll be the year of gourmet food trucks. It started this year but will make a huge jump in 2011, with well-regarded restaurants joining the game.
Craig DeMarco, Postino owner My short list: Multi-purpose spaces, sausage shops, pies, wine on tap, manuka honey and humble service staff.
Bernie Kantak, Citizen Public House chef-owner It seems people here are broadening the spectrum of ingredients they are willing to give a try. I know many of my colleagues are already seeing this happen. There are some really great breeds of pork, like meishan and mangalitsa that are making appearances on menus around town already -- I personally would love to see more of it!
But I think the big thing will be late night dining. There are some places that are doing some really wonderful things around town like FnB, Posh and Petite Maison with their late night offerings. I can only see that trend growing. (Especially with Citizen opening up! HA!) I think more people are looking at dining as more of an experience and entertainment than they have in the past, and honestly that really makes our jobs that much more fun!
Sam Fox will buy a fleet of used Kia Sorrentos in attempt to get in on that whole newfangled 'food truck' trend.
Seriously though, I think there will be a huge increase in the availablity of gluten-free foods on menus, and farm branded menu items will continue to appear as well. I think that food trucks will subside in exchange for a slew of pop-up restaurants.
Payton Curry, Caffe Boa chef There will be a few more chef-owned gastropubs popping up. Let's say in the Arcadia area for example.
Pavle Milic, FnB co-owner I think there will be more Arizona wines in restaurants, and also we're gonna see a lot of new wineries. In the food scene, I think 2011 is about more niche, ethnic food joints -- a window to what Arizona needs and wants. And in the Phoenix metro area, the hubs for dining are Scottsdale and Downtown Phoenix, so there's a lot of opportunity in places like Ahwatukee and Gilbert.
Chef-owned restaurants, guests taking phone pics of food and posting them on Twitter and FaceBook, less foam, macaroons, less deconstructed and then reconstructed food, more artisan cheeses, sous vide (now machines are in Williams-Sonoma as well as Sur La Table), chefs protesting protesters at their place of work or home, different cuts or kinds of meats (pigs feet, rabbit, sweetbreads, hanger steak, rognons blanc, veal cheeks, pork belly), and foie gras will become mainstream, showing up in cafeterias in elementary schools everywhere.
Sima Verzino, Marcellino Ristorante Italianoco-owner People want to hear good things about the recession being over in 2011. We've felt huge upsurge in business lately -- Marcellino's doing pizza now. Since we've moved into SouthBridge it's brought him a lot of happiness. I notice that people are in a better frame of mind, people are smiling more.
Chef and food writer Gwen Ashley Walters will open a smoothie shop next door to Essence Bakery Cafe, ensuring that I never leave my hood. Hot cocktails will get some lovin'. Also, I will finally open my own bar (seriously). Stay tuned...
I think that the growing public awareness and desire to find out where the food that they eat comes from will spread from vegetables to the meats and fishes as well. The meats and fishes that we serve at noca come from the best purveyors that we can source them from.
The uber-cheap happy hours around town will fade away. There will still be great deals, but prices will be higher. Gourmet "style" tacos, BBQ, grilled cheese, hot dogs, and mac 'n cheese will continue to be popular on menus. The bar is already set pretty high, but late night meals will be copied, especially since there was an article in the Republic. The cream has already rose to the top. I would hate to see it get watered down and all mixed up. That's why I don't do it. However, late night with guest chefs is a great idea to keep things fresh.