Black the new colour of dessert

Morgenstern’s scores with its charcoal ice cream
Morgenstern’s scores with its charcoal ice creamPHOTO: INSTAGRAM/ MORGENSTERNSNYC

Charcoal ice cream, anyone? Here are some of next year's food trends

NEW YORK • Your next coolest meal in 2017 might be a Filipino speciality and your cocktail could be pitch-black. Here are the food trends to watch out for in the new year, according to Bloomberg.

THE DOMINANCE OF MEAT AND ARTISANAL BUTCHER SHOPS

People say they are eating less meat, but there are new, meat-centric restaurants.

These include Manhattan's 4 Charles Prime Rib, from the meat-obsessed Au Cheval team in Chicago, whose speciality is self-evident, and the upcoming Pig Bleecker, where chefs will focus on smoked meats.

THE DOMINANCE OF VEGETABLES

Still, vegetables continue to push meat right off the plate in other places.

Just look at Los Angeles, with places such as P.Y.T., where the primo dish is a salt-baked turnip dramatically cracked open at the table, and Beefsteak, where Top Chef star Marcel Vigneron serves lots of bowl food, such as the barbecue-sauced smoked bowl with corn and beans.

THE EXPLOSION OF FILIPINO FOOD

At Washington's much-heralded Bad Saint, people start lining up for dinner at 3pm.

At Manhattan's Mission Chinese Food, Angela Dimiyuga is introducing native Filipino dishes such as lumpia egg rolls and pork belly with pig liver sauce.

THE DEFEAT OF FOOD WASTE

A big problem in the United States is food waste.

People battling this include chef Tom Colicchio and culinary hero Anthony Bourdain, who is partnering the Rockefeller Foundation to star in Wasted! The Story Of Food Waste, a documentary to premiere next year.

THE RETHINKING OF CHILLED RED WINE

Consider this the expansion of the rose wine craze. More and more reds, especially lighter-bodied ones, are being served cooled.

Whole Foods has pinpointed this as a major trend, calling out fruit-forward styles such as Beaujolais and grenache. Chilling them brings out the wines' brightness. Did Diane Keaton anticipate this when she announced that her new red wine, the Keaton, should be served over ice? Perhaps.


Little Donkey in Boston re-imagines the seafood tower PHOTO: INSTAGRAM/LITTLEDONKEYBOSTON

THE REDESIGNING OF THE SEAFOOD TOWER

Talented chefs are re-imagining the classic. Check out the new towers coming from places such as Little Donkey in Boston, where Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette have the Donkey Platter, loaded with little bowls of dishes such as tuna poke with chillies; scallops with white soya sauce; and salmon roe with wasabi.

At the super-fun Maple & Ash steakhouse, the seafood tower has evolved farther. All the shellfish is grilled or griddled; there is no ice.

THE FAST-FOODISATION OF CEREAL

The recent years have not been great to Big Cereal. Sales have declined, thanks to all those energy bars, the disdain of standard cereals in the worlds of health and fitness, and the breakfast agendas at fast-food places.

So look for collaborations with star chefs to capitalise on the versatility of such a familiar product. Thomas Keller's RTG pairs Special K, yogurt meringues and fresh berries with unsweetened almond milk; Daniel Boulud combines Cracklin' Oat Bran with dried figs and sesame halva.

THE INTRODUCTION OF CHARCOAL TO YOUR DESSERTS

Black food is always good for a dramatic social media photo.

This summer, a perfectly black charcoal-coconut ice cream flavour at Morgenstern's in New York got a lot of attention. The purported health benefits when charcoal is activated include detoxification, teeth-whitening, and hangover-curing.

In New York, you can find it in cocktails at Mission Chinese Food, the Wayland and Goodnight Sonny, where they mix Ashes To Ashes, a blend of rose syrup, fresh lemon juice and activated charcoal, garnished with rose petals, as well as in juices at the Wild Son.

BLOOMBERG

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 24, 2016, with the headline 'Black the new colour of dessert'. Print Edition | Subscribe