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15 Predictions For Miami Dining 2011

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It's getting a bit into January to still be milking this end-of-year stuff, but as a serious student of prognostication I can't let the opportunity slip by: I feel the need to share these shocking truths about the upcoming year with you. Plus my Ouija board was getting dusty.

Here then, is a peek at what is potentially ahead for us in the Miami dining scene of 2011:

  • There will be fewer food trucks one year from now than there are today.
  • A major Miami food blog will go kablooey, and a couple of smaller ones will disappear as well.
  • Three words: Fresh chick peas.
  • Big-name chefs will continue their exodus from high-end hotels (last year at least 8 such hotels lost their chefs). Haute hotel restaurants will have a bad year in general (with a few exceptions), as locals have so many more reasons these days not to have to spend lots of money plus pay valet at such places.
  • Quinoa will go another year without catching on in any mainstream sort of way.
  • Organic, farm-to-fork sorts of eateries will continue to open up and do well; the public will start making distinctions, however, between the real deal and those peddling phony organic and fake farm-to-fork.
  • Green, green, green, and more green. Eco-friendly plate ware, packaging, water, delivery vehicles...groovy! And vegetables will be shown more respect in restaurants, both as main courses and side plates.
  • Bacon will continue to dominate. Pork belly will fade as a fad, but is now a part of our national menu. Specialized, Wagyu-like breeds of pricy, fatty pigs will be the next pork stars. Mangalitsa (MON-go-leet-sa) is already becoming popular. The Meishan pig from China is in the wings.
  • Boutique burger joints are so 2009. The best will remain; others will not.
  • Home canning is being touted as a national trend for 2011, but it isn't going to happen here. Instead, making ice creams and sorbets at home will take off in popularity. Makes more sense in this climate. Then again, maybe I'm saying this because I just bought an ice cream machine.
  • Pickled vegetables are already showing up on local restaurant plates. This is a national trend that will take hold here. Expect things besides veggies to be pickled.
  • Pies are sweeping the nation, and insane sweet-toothers are abandoning cupcakes for their slice. Should reach Miami sometime in 2012.
  • Miami chefs will band together to produce cooperative late-night dinners in restaurants, after closing hours. And expect to see more underground, backyard, or Paradise Farms-like dinners helmed by chefs yearning for some shackle-free cooking.
  • The value-driven Asian fad isn't over quite yet. Look for an all-Thai or all-Korean version next -- and for a big, corporate-driven noodle house.
  • Somebody is going to open up a great doughnut shop this year. And no, that's not just wishful thinking. You obviously don't know how Ouija boards work.

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