These chefs don’t need to read tea leaves to predict the next food trends.
Food Network star Jeff Mauro and two Big Apple restaurant owners, Diana Tandia and Suchanan Aksornnan, are among those appearing at next week’s New York City Wine & Food Festival — and they’re sharing what foodies can expect to taste there and at their favorite hotspots in the coming months.
Starting next Thursday, the 15th edition of the delicious four-day gathering will bring together 400 food experts — including celebrity chefs, culinary personalities, up-and-coming mixologists, as well as wine and spirit producers — for an epic epicurean celebration designed to feed guests’ stomachs and awaken their senses.
Ahead of the food festivities, three participating chefs gave the Daily News a taste of the latest trends the culinary universe is cooking up.
Jeff Mauro, co-host of the Food Network’s “The Kitchen” and owner of MauroProvisions
“The number one thing you’ll see all over the country for the first time is our Chicago food trends,” said the Emmy-nominated Chicago-born chef. “And that is because of the popularity of the FX show, ‘The Bear,’ which really introduced the nation to the wonder of the Chicago Italian beef sandwich in giardiniera.”
The 44-year-old co-host of “The Kitchen” burst onto the culinary scene after winning the seventh season of “Food Network Star” in 2011 — after which he became the host of his own show, titled “Sandwich King.”
Mauro, who likes to keep his creations “simple all the time: meat, cheese, bread, a little sauce, maybe a little something crunchy,” has noticed the growing popularity of Italian beef on bread, the quintessential Chicago sandwich.
The sandwich is usually made with thin slices of seasoned roast beef on a long French roll, topped with peppers and giardiniera, a mix of pickled vegetables.
“It went from nobody knowing what it was” to “people seeking it out now from all over,” he said. “I mean, not just Arizona and Florida, where you see a lot of Chicago transplants but, all over the country — which: A) it’s good for business, but B) it’s such an underrated sandwich that is finally getting its due.”
(Chef Jeff Mauro and the entire cast of “The Kitchen” are joining Elvis Duran and the Z100 Morning Show to host Tacos and Tequilas After Dark, a Mexican-flavored fiesta at Pier 86 on Oct. 15. Doors open at 7 p.m. $185/$235)
Chef Bao Bao, owner and executive chef of Baoburg in Greenpoint, Brooklyn
Suchanan Aksornnan, the Asian fusion star better known as Chef Bao Bao, has noticed hibiscus popping up in culinary creations. The beautiful, bright flower, which saw a 24% increase in menu offerings across the U.S. between 2018 to 2021, is also a favorite among Baoburg’s faithful customers.
The “Hibiscus Flower,” a drink created by the Thai-born chef is a mouth-watering combination of mezcal, tequila, chipotle, blackcurrant, lime, tajin and hibiscus, the “famous Asian flower that is dehydrated and [that] I make a syrup out of,” she says.
Bao Bao’s special ingredient is rich in vitamin C and adds a distinctive sour and sweet flavor to the drink, she said, adding that it also “gives it a really nice red color.”
The 35-year-old food entrepreneur — who was once listed by Zagat as one of the “30 Under 30″ culinary rising stars in the city — has also noticed a seasonal trend in her restaurant. “Because of the [cooler] weather, people are craving soups and also some hot and spicy dishes,” she said.
The most popular dish in her restaurant — which serves Southeast Asian street-style comfort food — is the Khai Soi, a thick ramen noodle soup served in yellow curry broth and duck leg confit, traditional to her native province of Chiang Rai, in northern Thailand, known for bringing some heat to the kitchen, Bao Bao said.
“But not super spicy, when compared to the [Thai] south,” where they like things “extremely spicy,” she added. “We are pretty much medium-sized spicy.”
(Chef Bao Bao brings her Thai and Vietnamese flavors to Taste of Asia, the festival’s celebration of Asian cuisine hosted by Food Network star Chef Jet Tila. Sample delicious Asian delicacies while getting your groove on at the recently opened Hard Rock Hotel New York in Times Square. Oct. 14 from 9 – 11 p.m. $150)
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Diana Tandia, chef and owner of Berber Street Food in West Village, Manhattan
The recent spike in interest in plant-based foods signals to Chef Diana Tandia that we are “going back to our roots.”
The chef, born in Mauritania in Northwest Africa, grew up watching her relatives prepare food from scratch. She’s now the owner of a tiny and popular restaurant on Carmine St., where she showcases different cuisines from her native region, “with a touch of French and Asian” influence that can be traced back to her time working in fine dining in New York City.
“Africa is the Motherland, where we were vegan for many years [and] meat was only for the people who colonized us,” she said. “But right now seeing the vegan trend, the moringa, the djolof rice (African broken rice cooked in earthy spicy tomato sauce) — that’s really happening because of African food.”
The 43-year-old chef, who opened her own restaurant in 2018 after working in New York City’s top restaurants such as Daniel Boloud’s Daniel and the Gramercy Tavern, is now famous for her take on street food from Nigeria, Senegal, Morocco and neighboring nations.
“A lot of people think when they talk about street food, they think of something cheap [but] it has nothing do with cheap,” she said. “It’s just people who don’t have that much money. They wake up with hope. And they go to bed with hope. And all they show is the love through their food.”
(Chef Diana Tandia showcases her African-fusion cuisine alongside 25 spirit brands who will highlight their favorite creations at a late-night cocktail and disco party. Disco and Drinks: A Night of Classic Cocktails, at Center415 in Midtown Manhattan, will feature Spritz Society founder Ben Soffer as host. Oct. 14 from 10 p.m. – 12:30 a.m. $99)
Source by www.nydailynews.com