Trend Hooey

Everything old is new again. Or something like that. Plus the scoop on an abundance of eating events.


According to “the experts,” 2018 is a year of new food trends. And I think I’ve been misinformed about the meaning of “trend.” And “new.”

Whole Foods says the flavors of the Middle East will be hot, along with sparkling water (where has Whole Foods been for the past five years?). The Nation’s Restaurant News trade mag points to pizza and chicken to trend—last year they tagged ostrich as the new beef, so …

According to the Fine Dining Lovers website (from the San Pellegrino folks), fried food and mushrooms will be giving us shivers in 2018. Meanwhile, Chase Bank—where I get all my financial and dining advice—says farm-to-table menus will be the thing. And kids will be wearing tie-dye and playing with these new “smart phone” contraptions. Those darn kids.

The Chicago Tribune is crazy about cottage cheese; Forbes fancies Filipino food; restaurant industry source QSR raves about brightly colored cocktails and black-tinted entrees; and the National Restaurant Association has its eye on Peruvian cuisine, ethnic spices like ras el hanout and Japanese shichimi, and healthy kids meals.

Maybe it’s time for Jerry Seinfeld’s all-cereal restaurant. Oh wait, that’s already here. And here. And here.


If you consider how much it would cost to visit practically every independent restaurant in town, tickets to these upcoming events, with opportunities to sample dozens of menus, are a damn fine investment.

* Don’t forget, this weekend is the 10th Annual Downtown Food & Wine Fest around Lake Eola, with samples from 30+ Orlando area faves. I’ll be judging there on Saturday—find me and I might even share some dishes (there’s a lot, help me!).

* Check out the Audubon Park Garden District’s offerings on March 3 during the 4th Annual Eat Local, Sip Local Stroll. Locally sourced produce, sustainable Florida cheese and meats, Florida craft beer and more will be in attendance. Expect offerings from La Femme du Fromage, Florida & Co., Buttermilk Bakery, P is for Pie Bake Shop, Wild Ocean Seafood Market and Redlight Redlight, along with sales from the shops along Corrine Drive. Advance tickets start at $25.

* March 21 brings the Winter Park Wine & Dine back, with 35 restaurants, bakeries and wineries participating. Sample food and drink from Hamilton’s Kitchen at The Alfond Inn, BRIO Tuscan Grille, Reel Fish Coastal Kitchen, Maestro Cucina Napoletana, Quantum Leap Winery, Kelly’s Homemade Ice Cream and Sweet by Holly in an unlimited, walkabout fashion for as little as $39.

* Last year, Jason Chin hosted a Beard in Baldwin event on the streets of Baldwin Park, and it was a glorious affair. This year, BinB returns on April 14, benefiting the James Beard Foundation National Scholars Program for educating the next generation of chefs, and I mention it early because it will sell out. Some of our finest restaurants will participate, including Seito Sushi, Osprey Tavern, 1921 by Norman Van Aken, both Black Rooster Taqueria and Hunger St. Tacos (taco war!), Pizza Bruno, Urbain 40, Ravenous Pig and more, along with some very special guest chefs in the VIP section inside Osprey.

Got some tips for dining around Orlando? A question about the best places for your favorite food? Send me a note. Stay in touch at and access a comprehensive list of my print and online reviews here!



Categories: Savor Orlando