It's award season for chefs! Every year The James Beard Foundation sifts through thousands of entries to find the next great kings of cuisine who've made profound contributions to the American food and beverage industry. It's the culinary Oscars, turning small town chefs into celebrities and takes place in New York City in May. Some of the most renowned chefs, from Bobby Flay to Todd English were made famous after winning the prestigious James Beard Award.
The James Beard Foundation's Executive Vice President Mitchell Davis stopped by "Real Biz With Rebecca Jarvis" to talk about which one of your favorite home town restaurants and chef's will be nominated for 2014.
We asked the man behind one of the most important culinary honors in the country, what are the top foodie lover trends he's noticed this year.
While in studio, Davis also shared his secret to a delicious Kale recipe, from his cookbook "Kitchen Sense."
I'm not a culinary chef by any stretch, but I made this recipe for lunch and it's so easy I nearly fooled myself. It's now one of my favorite dishes and The Kale Salad is a perfect starter to impress your guests at your next dinner party.
4 Foodie Lover Trends for 2014 from The James Beard Foundation's Mitchell Davis
1. The Other Green Leaf: Everyone is trying to find an answer to "What is the next crossover vegetable?" Now that kale has jumped the shark, Mitchell says the next big veggie trend is cauliflower and broccoli - as long as they can change their image enough to be cool.
2. Culinary Modified Ingredients/Hybrids/Mash-ups: In 2013, we saw the emergence of the Cronut - the infamous croissant-meets-donut from celebrated pastry chef Dominique Ansel - as well as the ramen burger, and the "chicken pizzagiana" from Quality Italian, amongst numerous other hybrid foods. Mitchell sees this trend continuing strong through 2014 as chefs get more and more creative, with even chain restaurants looking to cash in on the craze.
3. Beyond Farm to Table: In 2014, chefs are becoming more political when it comes to food and the environment. Expect to see more visible interest and advocacy in their restaurants and menus that show political initiatives into sustainability.
4. Bowl Food: There has been a recent dominance of bowl concepts at restaurants nationwide, from Sweet Greens Asian salad mix-ins to Chipotle's new Shop House rice and noodle bowl concept, to the exploding ramen craze.
Here's the "Kale Salad" recipe from Mitchell Davis's cookbook " Kitchen Sense"
3/4 cup whole, raw almonds
2 bunches lacinato kale (aka black cabbage, cavalo nero, Tuscan kale, and dragon kale)
2 ounces pecorino or parmigiano, grated (to make about 1 cup)
Zest of 2 lemons
Juice of 1 lemon
1/3 to 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and black pepper
Toast the almonds in a 350°F. oven for 10 to 12 minutes, until they are nice browned, the skins of split on some, and they are fragrant. Cool and slice/chop thinly with a sharp knife. Set aside.
Remove the stems of the kale. Rinse the leaves well and spin dry. Finely slice the kale into thin shreds and place in a large bowl. Add the grated cheese, lemon zest, juice, olive oil and a generous pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Toss.
The salad is best if it is made 10 to 15 minutes before serving so the kale has a chance to wilt.
You can substitute finely sliced cauliflower, shredded Brussels sprouts, or regular kale for the lacinato kale. Walnuts, hazelnuts, pine nuts, or other nuts can be substituted for the almonds. Sometimes I add capers, chopped olives, plumped golden raisins, and/or preserved lemon to the mix
We want to hear from you. What is your favorite restaurant in your home town and who do you want to see win the James Bear Award? Tweet us @RealBizwithRJ