A look back at trends born, luminaries lost in 2013

 

2013 Miami highlights

50 Eggs expands, litigates: The 50 Eggs empire hatched Swine, a bourbon-and-barbecue joint in Coral Gables, and Patpong Road, a late-night cocktail spot above Khong River House. It wasn’t all rainbows and sunny yolks in Eggland, however. The executive chefs at both Yardbird and Khong flew the coop, and the departure of Khong’s Chef Bee, Piyarat Potha Arreeratn, sparked an ugly legal battle with 50 Eggs chief John Kunkel.

Pubbelly pushes on: The Pubbelly gang started 2013 with a double bang, opening Barceloneta Sunset in South Miami and Pubbelly Steak in Miami Beach. The restaurant group also announced plans to open L’echon Brasserie in the Hilton Cabana Miami Beach and sold its ownership of Macchialina in South Beach.

Gastropubs go hog wild: It was the Year of the Gastropub, with Bulla in Coral Gables and Barley & Swine in Kendall among the notable newcomers offering craft beer and plenty of pork.

Miami gets a craft brewery: Wynwood Brewing Co. poured the first pints at its tap room in October. Its brews, including a collaboration with Wynwood neighbor Panther Coffee, already are on tap at local bars and restaurants.

Michael Schwartz expands: Six years after planting his flag in the Design District with Michael’s Genuine Food and Drink, chef-owner Schwartz opened the upscale Cypress Room on Northeast Second Avenue and the Genuine-esque Restaurant Michael Schwartz at the Raleigh Hotel.

Lamb bellies up: Is lamb belly the new pork belly? Jamie DeRosa at Tongue & Cheek in Miami Beach braises it in wine, then sears it for a crisp exterior. At Brickell’s OTC Restaurant, Jacob Anaya (formerly at Mandarin Oriental’s Azul) serves a layer of belly, slider-style on a bun, with a schmear of mint and raisin puree.

Coffee culture: Wynwood roasters Panther Coffee gave Miami Beach a jolt with a new location in Sunset Harbour and announced plans to open a third shop in the under-construction MiMo Place in Miami’s Upper Eastside.

Modern mixology: The movement is alive and well in Miami, thanks in large part to the hipsters stirring things up at the Regent Cocktail Club and the Broken Shaker, which went from pop-up to permanent this year.

Craft distilleries: In a town with a robust cocktail culture, it’s surprising Miami went so long without homegrown distilleries. That’s changing with the addition of Alchemist Distilleries, Miami Club Rum and others.

Tacos take over: Tacos are hardly news. But three taco shops in walking distance of each other, opening days apart? That’s what we call a trend.

EVAN S. BENN


Associated Press

It wasn’t Paula Deen’s career implosion. Nor the rise and fall of the Cronut. It wasn’t even the Sriracha apocalypse.

This year’s most significant food moment was more seismic, an event 125 years in the making. For 2013 was the first time in that long that the food world had something new to say about Thanksgiving. Turkey Day converged with Hanukkah, creating a holiday mashup that hasn’t happened since 1888, and won’t again for 79,000 years. Suddenly, foodies were aflutter with the possibilities of turkey-shaped menorahs and pumpkin latkes.

Or maybe it only excited those of us in the culinary media trenches who must reinvent the foods of both holidays year after year. Fair enough. Luckily, there were plenty of other food world distractions.

Deen, for example. For a second year running, she earned the top spot in the “catastrophic PR” category. In 2012, she was flogged for announcing she had both lucrative endorsement deal for a drug to treat the condition she’d until then hidden. This summer, she acknowledged having used racial slurs. Her endorsement, book and TV deals melted away faster than butter in a piping hot skillet.

Then a few months later, another foodie fessed up to bad behavior. Nigella Lawson said she’d used cocaine and marijuana. … And nobody seemed to mind.

Heat fiends ended the year angsting over the future of Sriracha, the trendy hot sauce with the rooster on the bottle. The trouble started when people living near the Irwindale, Calif.-based Huy Fong Foods complained that odors from its manufacturing plant were burning their eyes. A court ordered the company to halt production until the odors could be brought under control.

Then last month even shipments of already-bottled Sriracha were stopped after California health officials enforced stricter guidelines that require the company to age the sauces 35 days before shipping.

Though the nation may be facing a Sriracha shortage, at least we now have enough serve-yourself frozen yogurt shops to nearly rival Starbucks’ population density. I understand that trends tend to be cyclical, but let’s rush this one back to the ’80s, shall we?

And while we’re at it, let’s rid ourselves of the most overused food term of 2013: celebrity chef. There are plenty of people in the food world who truly deserve that title. And they tend to be smart enough to not use it.

It was a year of culinary comebacks. Wonder bread, Twinkies and a host of other Hostess brands were relaunched by new owners after disappearing in 2012 when the company went out of business.

One thing that won’t be coming back? Artificial trans fats. The FDA announced in November it will require the food industry to phase out the ingredient that once was a staple of baked goods, microwave popcorn and fried foods.

Better make sure you keep those new Twinkies away from school cafeterias. Federal officials this summer announced new rules to limit the calories, fat, sugar and sodium on snacks, drinks and a la carte items sold at schools during the day, an expansion of similar rules launched last year for meals.

Meanwhile, how to trim the nearly $80 billion-a-year food stamp program was the biggest deal breaker in congressional budget talks on the five-year farm bill. The Republican-controlled House this summer passed a $4 billion annual cut, while the Democratic Senate passed a version cutting just $400 million a year. This month, they agreed to disagree until the end of January, when they'll need to take up the issue again.

The must-eat food items of 2013 were all about exclusivity – French chef Dominique Ansel’s Cronut, a croissant-doughnut hybrid, and Keizo Shimamoto’s ramen burger, a beef patty served between “buns” of ramen noodles. Trouble is, the lines were so long that by the time you got one, they were no longer hip.

You missed those trends? You were probably busy eating Greek yogurt and kale salads. In fact, pretty much all things vegetable and vegan were hot. This summer’s crop of food magazines was so smitten with vegetables, they seemed to forget a lot of people like to grill meat, too.

In other media news, the Food Network turned 20, ABC’s The Chew spit out its 500th episode, Gordon Ramsay’s Fox show Kitchen Nightmares went viral after featuring an Arizona couple having an epic meltdown, and Allrecipes.com spun off into a real world print edition with Allrecipes magazine.

In the restaurant world, fast-food workers protested pay levels, photo apps continued to disrupt meals (and annoy restaurateurs), computer tablets increasingly displaced old-fashioned menus and order pads, and we almost lost Alice Waters’ iconic Berkeley, Calif., restaurant Chez Panisse to fire in March (it reopened this summer).

But the food world did lose three icons. Chicago chef Charlie Trotter died at age 54 in November from a stroke. He was credited with reinvigorating fine dining in America and putting Chicago at the vanguard of the food world. Marcella Hazan, who taught generations of Americans how to create simple, fresh Italian food, died in September at 89. And Judy Rodgers, the award-winning chef behind San Francisco’s Zuni Cafe, died this month of cancer at 57.

What’s in store for 2014? We’ve yet to crack the code for the perfect cookbook app. Will this be the year? Let’s hope the gluten-free bubble finally bursts. The Olympics will have us (briefly) smitten with vodka and pirozhki. Well, maybe the vodka part of that affair won’t be brief. And while veggies will still be hot, sustainable seafood could be the new kale.

J.M. Hirsch is the Associated Press food editor.

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