Three Hot Food Trends

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Man preparing take out food, Covent Garden Market, London

Man preparing take out food, Covent Garden Market, London

Man preparing take out food, Covent Garden Market, London

Photo by: Anna Bryukhanova

Anna Bryukhanova

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Food lovers around the country are expanding beyond the upscale for the authentic, both old and new. They want to eat traditional street food with their hands, lick fried chicken off their fingers and try cutting-edge desserts. You know you want to too. Here’s how.

Authentic Street Food

Fine dining may be the pinnacle of the foodie world, but some of the best, most authentic food can be found at street stalls for just a couple of bucks. If you’ve ever been to the night markets of Thailand or Taiwan, you’ve been lucky enough to wolf down killer authentic eats. If you haven’t been — and can’t make it there — you can get a taste of the world at home.

Just over the border are the night markets of Richmond, just outside Vancouver, Canada. The market’s packed with traditional goods like dumplings, pork buns and more. Asian eats that rival those in Richmond can be had at the 626 Night Markets outside of Los Angeles. For more Asian treats, Lucky Rice hosts food festivals across the country, from Miami to San Francisco.

Anthony Bourdain has championed street food for years, and now he’s bringing the best street food cooks from around the globe to New York City. Bourdain Market is going to open in a few years, featuring everything from his favorite taco stand from Mexico to the foods of hometown chefs like April Bloomfield.

Smack in the middle of the country is Latinicity, a new food hall in Chicago from superstar chefs Richard Sandoval and Jose Garces. Mapped out by dish, the place will entice you with an aisle of tortas and then another of arroz.

For these street eats, you can hang with friends all night long — no reservations needed — and return again and again to try everything.

Fried Chicken

Fried chicken is an undying favorite, but it’s getting amped up by chefs from coast to coast. Celebrity chef Carla Hall is transporting her Nashville hometown’s hot fried chicken to Brooklyn. At Carla Hall’s Southern Kitchen, that fiery bird will be tamed by sweet tea and biscuits. Another hot chicken comes from star chef David Chang. At Fuku, he stuffs the crackly, spicy meat into potato roll sandwiches fat with pickles and butter.

Down in Charleston, S.C., Chef Robert Stehling is taking his famous fried chicken from Hominy Grill and making it the star at his new fast-service Chick’s Fry House. On the opposite coast, star chef Richard Blais is dishing up his fried chicken at his new casual joint, The Crack Shack, in San Diego. To get the bird by the piece, head to Atlanta, where Chef Linton Hopkins is staying true to his Southern roots at Hop’s Chicken in Ponce City Market.

Farm-to-Table Desserts

Death-by-chocolate cake is never going to, well, die, but top restaurants around the country are putting new spins on dessert. They’re extending the farm-to-table concept to the last course, incorporating vegetables into sweet dishes.

Daniel Humm, the genius chef behind Eleven Madison Park, offers butternut squash for dessert at The NoMad, pairing it with a sarsaparilla creme brulee. Also in New York City, the lauded Italian restaurant Del Posto has celery on its sweet menu, as both a sorbetto and agrodolce.

In Los Angeles, star chef José Andrés combines black olives with white chocolate in lollipops. Farther north, Thomas Keller incorporates turnips into a dessert of persimmons and spiced shortbread.

Sean Brock, the chef of Husk in Charleston and Nashville, even extends the concept to savory herbs. He pairs a toasted thyme meringue with a grapefruit tart. Susan Spicer of Bayona in New Orleans plays with herbs too, topping an olive oil cake with rosemary streusel.

These avant-garde desserts go way beyond carrot cake, but they’re just as satisfying and way more exciting.

For more on food trends, be sure to check out Justin Warner of Food Network’s Foodie Call.

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