Apr 19, 2013 • By

The hottest trends in food from five experts

Well into 2013, we’re months out from the reports on food trends that typically accompany the new year.

How are things shaking out in the kitchen? What will you be seeing on the table over the next few months?

We asked five of the food experts who helped determine the nominees for The Munchies: People’s Choice Food Awards from Tablespoon.com (You can vote for the winners by April 30!).

Andrew Zimmern, chef, TV personality and host of “Bizarre Foods”

Zimmern was once again tapped to help lead the process to distill the big, juicy world of food experiences down to a handful of nominees for the 20 categories in the Munchies. (Hear him talk about why the Munchies are different from other food awards, in this audio interview).

As for trends, Zimmern says the craft food movement is the biggest one that he’s been watching for the home cook. He says making your own bacon, soy sauce, sauerkraut and pickles is just the beginning.

graham elliot bowles masterchef

Graham Elliot – chef, TV personality and judge on Fox’s “MasterChef”

“I see a big focus on vegetable-based dishes: Not your usual sides and salads, but a big push for vegetable entrees without the feeling of being deprived of meat! This trend is easy for home cooks to follow. Go to the market and experiment with different vegetables you normally don’t try. The trick is to simply prepare the veggies so they taste like themselves!”

angie dudley bakerella

Angie Dudley – Bakerella and author of “Cake Pops”

“I think scaled down sweets are still popular right now. Miniature versions of full-size desserts make people feel special when presented in individual servings. Cake pops are everywhere. Also mini pies, tarts and desserts in jars too.

“Another sweet I keep seeing is macaroons. But not just round, beautiful ones. People are really getting creative and kicking up the cute factor by making these charming treats look like bunnies, chicks, snowmen and bears. It makes you love them even more, if possible.”

dean mcdermott gourmet dad

Dean McDermott – Actor, The Gourmet Dad and winner of “Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off” season two

“The trend I want to see is kids eating what their parents eat. It’s time to get rid of the delineation between adult food and kids’ food! It’s time for parents to stop being short-order cooks and to start teaching kids how to eat like the grown-ups.

Dean’s tips for frustrated parents?

“Keep trying. There are battles you will win and battles you will lose, but the important thing is that you keep trying. Get in the  kitchen and experiment! Try new things and make mistakes. You’ll learn from your mistakes and the next time you attempt that dish, you’ll nail it. Also, getting your kids involved in the preparation and creation of a meal not only teaches them about  what goes into their food, but also gives them a sense of accomplishment and a vested interested in trying what they have  made.”

Kristen Olson Betty Crocker

Kristen Olson – Digital Food Editor in the Betty Crocker Kitchens

I’m excited that more and more people are cooking at home and really getting into it, whether it’s a recipe they already know or experimenting with things like kimchee and artisan bread — both are really big right now.

“I see the trend of DIY continuing to grow as more people take on making their own soda and yogurt. As for baking, I love seeing how far gluten-free and allergen-friendly treats have come and I predict that they’re only going to become more prevalent and more delicious.

“It seems that every year or so a new cultural cuisine is tagged as the ‘it’ food — Spanish tapas, Thai street food, for example. A great way to try these flavors at home is to shop the international aisles of the supermarket and try a new spice like za’atar sprinkled on pita chips or  sweet potato fries.”

We want to hear from you. What are your favorite food trends and hot spots?

Vote now, and often, through April 30, at  Tablespoon.com/themunchies!

And if you’re interested in learning more about 2013 food trends, see our earlier post compiled by our Global Consumer Insights department.