Wining & Dining
Food Forecast 2020
2/1/2020 1:00:00 PM
Food Forcast

A Food Lover's Guide to SWLA


Our annual Food Lover’s Guide is one of our most exciting special sections of the year. It appeals to most all our readers because everyone likes to eat, right? We bring you up-to-date information on what to eat, where to eat, and where you might eat next week. From food trucks, food trends, future eateries, and an insightful portrayal of the day-to-day life of a successful chef, you’ll find it all here in our foodie features.



Food Forecast 2020

by Angie Kay Dilmore


According to Chef Amanda Cusey at Villa Harlequin, we’ll continue to see a rise in health-focused foods, less processed foods, and more plant-based diets. "People are becoming more aware of what they put into their bodies,” she says. 


Chef Michael Elliott at Golden Nugget Lake Charles agrees. "Plant-based food offerings will continue to become more relevant in the marketplace. Improvements on flavor profiles, appearance, dietary awareness, and social behaviors will continue to make this a popular trend in the coming years.” 

Elliot has also seen a movement towards more family-style dining. Golden Nugget launched their Family-Style Sunday dinner at Grotto last month. "This allows several shareable entrees to be enjoyed by your family and friends!” he says. 


In conjunction with increased health awareness, Cusey anticipates an increased interest in mocktails, as consumers seek alcoholic alternatives.


Wood-fire cooking is expected to rise like smoke from a chimney. Paul Pettefer, owner of Paul’s Rib Shack, fell for wood-fired cooking about five years ago. He says cooking meat on a live-wood fire is primal and earthy. And it tastes fantastic! "Cooking with wood elevates your food,” says Pettefer. "We cook meats, sides, and even desserts on occasion, over a beautiful, live wood fire. That fantastic smell draws you in, and the flavor it puts on the food closes the deal. We call them Stickburners, and we’re never going back to anything else.”


Chef Chad Jackson, Marketing Associate with Sysco New Orleans, says fads are often traps for restaurateurs, yet certain trends are undeniable. "The coming year will bring customers’ further insistence of product sourcing, meaning more local focus, and a smaller footprint. Ethnic cuisines of every sort will continue to entice the growing millennial demand for new spice combinations and flavor profiles. Portion size may finally be a concept embraced in the south. Most impressive would be a committed local focus on the agrarian roots that built and sustained this proud food culture.”


Chef Lyle Broussard at Jack Daniel’s Bar and Grill, L’Auberge Casino Resort predicts more collaboration between local chefs. "I believe that SWLA is on the brink of something amazing when it comes to food this year.”


Mike Sperandeo, co-owner of Villa Harlequin says consumers today often expect more than good food, good service and a nice atmosphere when dining. "We hear so many words and phrases thrown about these days . . . sustainable farming, organic, gluten free, plant-based dishes, celebrity chefs, farm-to-table, locally-sourced seafood, Keto diet, restaurant delivery services, meal prep packages, craft this and that, and so on. It’s definitely a new world in the food and beverage industry.” Sperandeo and his staff incorporate many new ideas in dining out, but the bottom line is, it’s still about good food, good service and a nice atmosphere.


Other trends to watch for:

On the nut butters and spreads shelves, make friends with macadamia nut butter and watermelon seed butter.

Look for more hybrid flavors, combining sweet and savory. Good morning, bone broth oatmeal!

In the produce section, cauliflower continues to reign, along with more ways to use this versatile cruciferous veggie.


In the beverage aisle, look for boozy kombucha and brown sugar bubble tea.

Giving the dairy aisle a tropical feel, coconut yogurt may topple strawberry as the most popular flavor.

New ethnic trends will include Latin American, Korean, and West African.

Consumers are also looking for streamlined convenience with more automation and many chain cafes are stepping up to the plate.


What’s on the way out? According to Uber Eats, acai (say hello to aronia berries), charcoal, seitan, and hummus (despite other predictions of an increase in consumption of Middle Eastern foods.)


Posted by: Angie Kay Dilmore | Submit comment | Tell a friend

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