Friday, July 9, 2010

Top 10 Worst Food Trends?

Yesterday my dad passed along an article from The Monterey Herald entitled "10 Worst Dining Trends of the Previous Decade" by Christopher Borrelli of The Chicago Tribune. The article was interesting, to say the least.

I agree with some and not-so-much with others. Here they are...

  1. Deconstruction
  2. The Chef as a Media Whore
  3. The Menu as a Book
  4. Foam
  5. Knee-Jerk Online Reviews
  6. Proudly Obnoxious Fast Food Options
  7. The Communal Table
  8. The $40 Entree
  9. Molecular Gastronomy
  10. Fried Onion Blossoms
My Initial Reaction : Someone took a lot of time collecting negative thoughts. I didn't realize that the fried onion blossom was a real trend outside of Outback Steakhouse?  If an entree is $40, it better be meant for two.  I find deconstruction and molecular gastronomy fascinating and inspiring as long as it is not over done and the final dish is about the food not just the process and technique; if it doesn't taste good, no one cares how edgy and cool it looks. I find communal tables wonderful for large parties and families and I love the idea as long as the entire restaurant is not communal...sometimes you just want to enjoy a nice dinner for two without having to force yourself into a awkward conversation with fellow patrons. Foam is weird but fun. The trend I find most irritating is #5, knee-jerk online reviews. Ugh. I  can't imagine wasting as much time as most Yelpers do being so negative; its exhausting, really.  Constructive criticism is one thing but after a few minutes on Yelp I start to feel suffocated by all the debbie downers...not a fan.

Here are some of the trends that were nominated, but did not make the "Top 10" list:
  • Mache
  • Water Sommeliers
  • Organ-meat Entrees
  • Unisex Bathrooms
  • Bacon Tattoos on Chefs
  • Chef's Tables
  • Over-Flaunted Kitchen Burns
Every Chef/Foodie out there has their own individual pet peeves. Chef David Chang (Momofuku Noodle Bar, Momofuku Ko, Momofuku Milk Bar and Momofuku Ssäm Bar, etc) was interviewed and he took no time blurting out what trends annoyed him the most: The Cheesecake Factory, the Kobe beef movement, walls of wine bottles as decoration, and the steakhouse craze.  Tim Zagat (co-founder of The Zagat Restaurant Survey) thinks the #1 worst trend is buying wine to show it off. Tanya Steel (editor-in-chief of Epicurious) can't stand it when restaurants refuse to list a phone number or have the name of the place outside.

...What are your pet peeves?

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