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5 Culinary Trends in 2009

August 22, 2009 Le Cordon Bleu Orlando 0 Comments

The food service industry is resilient and innovative. It has to be. Maybe more so than any other industry it is affected by economic ups and downs. As a result, the industry has learned to respond quickly to consumer demand--sometimes with success; sometimes not. This year is no exception. A great Florida culinary program can help you be ahead of the curve in adapting to the trends of the cooking industry.

The National Restaurant Association's 2009 Restaurant Industry Forecast shows that consumers are looking for restaurants to provide value and healthy choices. The industry is responding.

Let’s take a look at some of the most in-demand trends and how the food service industry is meeting them:

Greener Restaurants
Restaurant owners are moving to make their establishments more environmentally friendly by reducing energy and water usage. Restaurants are also moving to recycling and composting of waste material. The overall trend is to look for efficient and cost-effective ways to make the industry greener. This includes a turn to our next trend for 2009 …

Locally-Sourced Food
Many environmentally-focused diners understand the impact of importing food from every corner of the globe. The farther away produce is grown the more effort and fuel it takes to get it to market and to a restaurant table. Locally sourced food is helps restaurant become greener by reducing the carbon foot print of its menu items. Additionally, recent outbreaks of tainted foods have shown some of the inherent dangers of our global food supply. Locally sourced food creates a much smaller problem if there is an issue with tainted food supplies.

Bite-Sized Desserts
For years the trend was big, bigger, biggest. Serving sizes for everything from fast food French fries to desserts at fine dining establishments kept getting bigger to meet consumer demand and to differentiate restaurants from the competition. With a much higher focus on health issues, diners are no longer seeking the biggest portions the way they once did. The industry has responded with smaller desserts, many no bigger than a few spoonfuls.

Value
It’s no secret that in bad economic times that budgets for dining out are one of the first things cut. In today’s difficult economic times consumers are looking get the most out of their dining experiences. They want to feel that they are getting high quality meals for the price they are paying. Restaurants are responding by initiating efficiency programs that seek to keep the ceiling on operational costs even as food prices continue to increase.

Healthful Kids’ Meals
Even fast food chains are getting in on this trend. As parents are eating better themselves, they want to see their children better as well. The industry has responded by providing healthier menu options for kids, including juice choices instead of sodas and fruit and vegetable choices instead of French fries.

This article is presented by The Orlando Culinary Academy. The Orlando Culinary Academy offers Le Cordon Bleu culinary education classes and culinary training programs in Orlando, Florida. To learn more about the class offerings, please visit Chefs.edu/Orlando for more information.

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