I’ve been studying the restaurant business in Dallas for almost 20 years. I have never seen such a robust market. We certainly have a lot of talent, but it worries me a little that chefs from larger markets aren’t moving here to work. Instead our local chefs just move around.
Most of the strain this causes on the quality of a restaurant goes on behind the scenes as executive chefs struggle to keep a team in place long enough to get it on a roll. But the good news is creative restaurants are opening and customers are filling the seats.
A few weeks ago, the National Restaurant Association announced the 2016 Culinary Forecast. It looks like Dallas not only hits the predicted trends, but many of our chefs are in the forefront of the movement. I’m looking at you artisan butchery, new cuts of meat, sustainable seafood, and artisan ice cream. We could bring up our food waste reduction/management standards and ancient grain games.
What other local trends have you noticed?
- Locally sourced meats and seafood
- Chef-driven fast-casual concepts
- Locally grown produce
- Hyper-local sourcing
- Natural ingredients/minimally processed food
- Environmental sustainability
- Healthful kids’ meals
- New cuts of meat
- Sustainable seafood
- House-made/artisan ice cream
- Ethnic condiments/spices
- Authentic ethnic cuisine
- Farm/estate branded items
- Artisan butchery
- Ancient grains
- Ethnic-inspired breakfast items
- Fresh/house-made sausage
- House-made/artisan pickles
- Food waste reduction/management
- Street food/food trucks