What we’re seeing:
The days when the word “protein” conjured up images of red meat and chicken breasts are gone. Today, as consumers make it their mission to consume more protein, they’re finding it in more unusual meat-free places, from beverages to desserts. “Meatless Monday” menus lean heavily on nuts and other plant proteins. As Americans continue to strive for a more balanced diet, we don’t see this going away anytime soon.
What they’re saying:
Bruce Bronster: People are becoming much more educated with regards to protein. Producers are telling you where meats come from. They’re very open in terms of educating the consumer on how meats are raised. People want a balanced diet and now we’re realizing animal fats aren’t that unhealthy for you.
In the kitchen:
• At Niche in Clayton, MO, Gerard Craft offers a vegetable friendly alternative to chorizo with his Hen of the Woods Mushroom dish with chorizo spices, corn puree, pickled peaches and fennel.
• At Oceana in New York City, chef Ben Pollinger offers a seafood charcuterie plate of lobster terrine, smoked salmon and smoked Norwegian mackerel toast.
• Oak in Dallas features a Chilled Almond Soup with grape, mushroom button and orange made with an almond puree.