Worst Food Trends of the Decade
I queried local chefs/restaurateurs about their most despised trends of the 00s--here's what they said:
1. The Tatertini
I'd nearly forgotten about these atrocities until I encountered one at a function a few months back (I'm not going to say where...I don't want to sound ungrateful for the invitation): Mashed potatoes served in a martini glass. Yep, they dish you up a glob of potatoes, then you pick the toppings. Your host can feel generous--it's practically a meal, right?--for peanuts, er, actually I'm pretty sure potatoes are even cheaper than peanuts. "It was more of an 1980's hotel banquet thing," says Asher Miller of 20.21, "but I saw it a couple of times in the last few years...I hope I don't see it again (or have to do it again). Maybe it sounds fancy on paper, but it's bumpkin in person."
2. Excessive Use of Fuss
Many chefs said they loathed gratuitous fuss, preferring to keep things simple. Miller says he hopes 2010 is the end of 'the Trio of things.' "Why put three of the same thing on the plate?" he asks "You know one's not going to be as good as the others and then it's not exciting. Just do one thing and make it yummy." Wil Borgstorm of Pazzaluna called out giant menus ("Who can execute consistently great food when you have a 75 item menu? Very few, if any."), deconstructed food ("If you need to deconstruct it, was it worth preparing in the first place?") and molecular gastronomy ("Rarely does a chef have a degree in chemistry and if they did they should work in manufacturing side of the food industry. The use of all the chemicals from stabilizers to emulsifiers and there effects on human health are no substitutes for what mother nature provides.") Russell Klein of Meritage found too many cooks getting in over their heads with Asian fusion. "Just because you put wasabi and soy on something doesn't make it Asian," he says. "Too many cooks with too little knowledge about the ingredients they are using..."