Another one in the books! As we transition from one year to the next, it’s natural to take some time to reflect on the year that was and look ahead to what’s to come. Some of our favorite websites and publications have rounded up lists of the best food stories, cookbooks, restaurants and trends of the past year. There’s also plenty to look forward to in 2016. So I’ve gone ahead and made a list of those lists, because that seemed like a fun way to share.
Thank you to everyone for your support, love and contributions to LET um EAT this past year. We’ve got big plans for 2016 that we can’t wait to share!
Best of 2015
Civil Eats: 20 Best Food & Farm Books of 2015
First things first, if you don’t subscribe to Civil Eats, make a point of it. It was founded by Naomi Starkman in 2009, has over 100 contributors nationwide and is THE daily news source “for critical thought about the American food system.” This list of food and farming books speaks to the current interests and issues: sustainable meat and seafood, food activism, home cooking, food access and the general obsession with food by the millennial generation. Plenty of suggestions for your next bookstore trip or Amazon order.
Epicurious: 21 Best Cookbooks of 2015
A lot of cookbooks came out this year and there were almost as many Best of 2015 cookbook lists, but I’d consider Conde Nast’s online recipe resource Epicurious to be a definitive one. From comfort food and baking to molecular gastronomy and elevating vegetables, there’s something for everyone. This list even features a couple of Oregon books: Picnic (by the Portland Picnic Society) and Mi Comida Latina (by Forest Grove author Marcella Kriebel).
Tasting Table’s 46: The Chefs Who Ruled the Kitchen in 2015
I feel like I read about a new restaurant opening, cookbook, a huge award or recognition every week this past year- it was a big one in the restaurant world. Tasting Table highlights these chefs from across the country that killed it in 2015: from Ed Kenney with Mud Hen Water in Honolulu and Ravi Kapur with Liholiho Yacht Club in SF to Portland’s Bonnie Morales of Kachka and Michael Solomonov of Philadelphia’s Zahav.
Forbes: Top 10 Food and Restaurant Trends of 2015
This list was honed down by a panel of “culinary experts” including Portland’s Mike Thelin, co-founder of Feast Portland, and Bret Thorn, senior food and beverage editor of Nation’s Restaurant News. It includes a few things you might expect, like fried chicken, all-day breakfast and quick service outlets by famous chefs, but also a couple of surprises: shakshuka (what is that and where is it served?) and poke (which is possibly only big in LA). See below for the NRN’s anticipated trends of 2016.
Washington Post: The Best Food Cities in America, Ranked
Tom Sietsema, the Post’s food critic, ate, drank and shopped in 271 restaurants, bars, food stores and farmers markets across the country before compiling this list. It even includes short videos, recipes and a map from each city. At the top of Tom’s list? Portland! The video highlights Chef Carlo Lamanga of Clyde Common, brunching at Screen Door, Little T’s beautiful breads and of course Stumptown and the city’s coffee culture.
Yahoo’s Favorite Food Instagrammers of 2015
Exciting to see some familiar faces & friends of @letumeat in this round up, like @rach.esq, social media consultant and photographer in Chicago and @meatballssmama, Portland-based photographer and stylist. They both post incredible photos of food, daily, which is good for both the eyes and the soul.
Punch: 2015’s Best Reads on Eating and Drinking
Punch is the online authority when it comes to imbibing. In this piece they highlight some of their fav articles of the year like a report on the sobering shift of kitchen culture (First We Feast), the rising popularity of tea (Modern Farmer) and the science behind the smoky flavor of scotch (Lucky Peach).
Civil Eats: Favorite Food & Farming News & Stories of 2015
Just one more Civil Eats list- this one will help you get caught up on the big stories from 2015 if you missed them. There’s enough reading here to distract you for a week or more, so if you need a little direction I’d definitely suggest finding some inspiration from their Good Food Vanguard series and checking out the You Read It Here First section to start.
And looking ahead to 2016
Food Tank: The Future of Food: 16 Most Exciting Stories for 2016
Food Tank is king of lists and great food content. Their newsletter always includes links to awesome tidbits of information and articles that I look forward to almost everyday. In this list Danielle Nierenberg suggests keeping an eye out for these trends: pulses, sustainable diets & public health, antibiotic resistance in livestock, youth activism and food waste.
Nation’s Restaurant News: Hot Food Trends for 2016
Probably the most informed trend list of the year, Nation’s Restaurant News surveys over 1500 chefs, asking them to rank 221 items “as a hot trend, yesterday’s news or perennial favorites for menus in 2016.” What’s high in the culinary forecast for this year? Locally & sustainably sourced meat, seafood & ingredients, chef-driven fast-casual concepts, healthy kids meals, farm/estate branded products and ethnic condiments, spices and flavors.
Eater: 2016 The Year of Food to Come
Eater took this opportunity to create a comic strip on what to expect in 2016, which turned out to be a great approach. The Danny Meyer character is close to spot on.