What’s next in the kitchen? Here are forecasts for leading trends in 2012

Betty Wrenn Day - Posted on Jan 18, 2012 - 04:51 PM

With 2011 behind us, it’s time to see what 2012 has in store for the upcoming year; that is, what’s on the pantry shelves, atop the kitchen range or in the oven, on the grill, or at the restaurants. The foods we prepare and serve and the restaurant menus from which we make selections will most likely be a little different, showing new trends with new ideas.

High food prices are certainly the topic of most everyone’s conversation, with healthful food alternatives being at the top of the list.

The Food Channel, Fox News and Nicole Marshall Middleton, World News writer, have boldly predicted how, what and where people will be enjoying what they eat in the Chinese Year of the Dragon.

All three resources predict that there will be more outdoor cooking—what is referred to as social cooking. "Expect to see more and more expansive outdoor kitchens. Piece-by-piece many homeowners have built another dream kitchen just steps away from their back door. In 2012 they will be even a more elaborate setup—a mini-fridge, sink, granite tops, etc. Everyone will participate."

Food Channel predicts, "Groovin’ On Peruvian: The next hot ethnic food is the cuisine of Peru. Peru hosts one of the word’s biggest annual food festivals and is home to many, many culinary schools, and new Peruvian restaurants are opening all over this country."

Middleton believes "French country comfort foods have been gracing the food pages." She also predicts rabbit becoming a more popular meat option with the higher cost of beef. "Brussels sprouts and beets have long been underrated but have a high health rating. These veggies are popping up everywhere on menus and cookbooks. Look for honey and agave to pop up in more foods as sweeteners."

Fox News believes Jewish foods will be the trend for 2012. "Expect Jewish and Jewish-inspired cooking of different kinds to be given a closer look. Moroccan foods full of spices (though not spicy), healthy (grains and greens) becoming the next big thing."

Food Channel says, "With the rise of the YouTube Chef, everyone is a star in their own kitchen and now these new Julia Childs and Emeril wannabes want to bring their kitchen into your home or at least on your home computer. Expect these chefs to multiply like rabbits in the year ahead."