By Jamie Swinnerton
By Mark Antonation
By Lori Midson
By Jonathan Shikes
By Amber Taufen
By Cafe Society
By Juliet Wittman
By Jonathan Shikes
On gluten-free diets: I think the gluten-free fad is going to fade — yes, I know there are people with real celiac problems and I take it seriously, but it's still a fad, and not everyone who claims to have this disease is being honest.
On bigger cities and big-city chefs: I feel like we're going to see some repeat mistakes — some critical mistakes — namely, chefs from other cities moving to Denver and trying to initiate a new concept and then having to refocus their concepts over and over again to try to fit the necessity and find their niche. I feel like we have more and more of these big-shot chefs rolling into town in an attempt to prove themselves, while not really understanding what Denver wants — which is good, honest food. To the new chefs who are coming to Denver: Bring the money and the better-than-we-are reputation — the more the merrier — but understand that just because you're from a bigger city or have a big name doesn't mean that you understand what Denver wants or needs. Those of us who have been cooking here for a long time get it. We'll serve up the horse you rode in on — get some.
Leigh Sullivan, president, Leigh Sullivan Enterprises
On health: I see a lot of chefs and restaurants emphasizing much healthier foods than they have in the past, including fresher ingredients, smaller portions and cleaner flavors. That seems to be the direction we're headed.
On the culinary map: What I'm most excited about in 2013 is just how many amazing restaurants we have to look forward to. What I see is how Colorado is quickly developing from a secondary food market to an awesome market that's right up there with the best food cities in America — and that makes this chick very happy.
On vegetables and canning: Kale is going to be the new bacon. We'll see the leafy vegetable in every iteration, from chips to salads to snacks in a bag, just like potato chips. Canning is huge right now, too. When we did the first Marczyk Neighborhood Fair and had a canning contest, I thought we'd get about four entries; instead we got about twenty, and our judges, Chandler Romeo and Dana Coffield, who I thought were just going to have a casual time, were serious about their jobs, even to the point of disqualifying two contestants. I think as things get more tech-y, there's a natural desire to get off the grid, so to speak. Canning is it.
On home gardening: Home gardens are expanding — along with beekeeping and raising chickens — and people want to preserve summer's fruits, because there's a real nostalgia for it.
On gluten-free products: Our sales don't show this to be a growing "trend" — we sell three times the amount of bread now that we're making our own — but the e-mails in my inbox tell a different story. I think we'll see "deconstructed" sandwiches without the bread and more gluten-free labeling on menus. If we're lucky, we'll start getting some gluten-free foodstuffs that actually taste not just good, but great.
On keg wines and punch: I predict that keg wines will become increasingly popular in the market, especially since there are more outlets for the product, and there are more and more producers putting great juice into kegs. And call me crazy, but I think punch will continue to grow in popularity. I also predict that people will get tired of their Ocean Spray mixed bottle service, and the cost, and start opting for a "social bowl" to share instead — plus, it's more modern.
In Iowa--less emphasis on pork and booze; more emphasis on eating healthy. Pigging out and getting drunk are among the leading pastimes in Iowa.
I predicted last year that Scandinavian cuisine and more low spice/low intensity meals would come back but it didn't happen. Maybe this year.