David Corsun

Tis the season when many of us hatch plans for the new year. Perhaps we vow to take up running, travel more or spend time with loved ones. Amid our resolutions to be better, kinder, healthier versions of ourselves, one burning question persists: What will we be eating in 2018? 

We sat down with Daniels’ resident restaurant and hospitality expert David Corsun, associate professor and director of the Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management, to discuss food and restaurant trends for the new year, including the prominence of plant-based foods, the popularity of Israeli/Middle Eastern chefs and the continued rise of turmeric.

Q: What will be a priority for people who dine out in 2018?
A: Eating for good health will increasingly be a focus for people. Will they still indulge? Sure, but the foods that are on the rise add up to this larger trend.

Q: How will this trend affect restaurants’ menus?
A: To wit, plant-based foods and drinks—not just proteins—will continue to become increasingly popular and important. Vegetables will continue to grow in importance on restaurant menus, with more of them at the center of the plate. We’ll continue to see a rise in herbs, flowers and even spices like turmeric used in beverages, including cocktails.

Q: What may decline in popularity?
A: Refined sugar is now widely accepted as the unhealthiest element of our diets. As a result, we may see a greater effort to replace it with alternative, natural sweeteners. 

Q: Will our addiction to coffee remain strong?
A: I expect so. Tea will be on the rise, although it won’t overtake our love of coffee. Unfortunately, most restaurants will continue to provide abysmal tea service—a bag on the side of a cup of lukewarm, even hot, water still doesn’t cut it.

Q: What type of cuisine will be in demand in the new year?
A: The last few years have seen several Israeli/Middle Eastern chefs come to the fore, with cuisine from the region being updated and brought into the full service, fine dining environment. This cuisine will continue to grow in popularity across restaurant segments, but particularly in fine dining.