What’s Hot, And What’s Not

Bacon-wrapped whatever? That’s so 2010. Today’s culinary buzz is reserved for cephalapods, high-end Mexican, cold-brewed coffee, sour beers, seaweed, and burgers, natch.


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Fermented black garlic; nduja spreadable pork sausage with paprika a bit spicy; whole carrots braised or roasted lately.

—Chris Pastena, owner, Calavera, Lungomare, Chop Bar


Whey broths; grains.

—Julya Shin, chef de cuisine, Penrose


Pizza; whole animals; cooking by wood fire; urban farms.

—Rico Rivera, executive chef, Flora


Alexander Baxevanis-CC

Blistered padron peppers.

Blistered or charred peppers: padron, shishito, Jimmy Nardello; toast, as in avocado toast; whole grains; gluten free; uni; beef tallow fries instead of duck fat; high-end Mexican food: the $12 taco; radishes; the burger (but it’s always in).

—Melissa Axelrod, chef/owner, Mockingbird


And What’s Not

Foams; sous vide eggs; reclaimed wood; Edison bulbs; cupcakes; kale (but not really); edible flower garnishes.

—Rico Rivera, executive chef, Flora



Sliders, in this case brisket.

Sliders; shooters; “soils.”

—Christopher Kronner, owner and head chef, Kronnerburger


Bacon (It sounds crazy coming from a breakfast guy who sells a lot of housemade bacon, but it seems like there should be some restraint with this; there’s just so much bacon and pork belly on menus). Tuna, especially bluefin (These things will naturally trend down on menus as their numbers decline in the wild).

—Andrew Vennari, chef, Sequoia Diner


Deviled eggs (They are classic. But so many poorly executed and overwrought examples have made them played out). Sriracha (So many great hot sauces out there; why the obsession with this one?) Buzzwords: organic, sustainable, biodynamic, local. (All of these words have just become branding.)

—Geoff Davis, chef de cuisine, The Dock



Mexican corn.

Albondiga. (You’re serving a fucking meatball; call it that). Uni with Jalapeno (#uniabuse). Mexican corn (Did you really discover this on a back alley in El De Efe, or did you just see every other restaurant doing it?)

—Kyle Itani, executive chef and owner, Hopscotch


Trios, deconstructed anything; foams; quinoa; sun-dried tomatoes (But I think they have been out since the late 90s … )

—Melissa Axelrod, chef/owner, Mockingbird


Tweezers; cooking things in plastic bags; cured meat plates (How much pink salt can we be expected to eat?)

—Ben Harris, chef de cuisine, Pizzaiolo


White flaky fish; beurre blanc or beurre rouge; serving bread or chips on request.

—Chris Pastena, chef/owner, Calavera, Lungomare, Chop Bar

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