It is possible to visit 92 restaurants and taste 1,131 dishes in 17 days, as trend-tracking Chef Gerry Ludwig, Gordon Food Service corporate consulting chef, has done. Ludwig crisscrossed the country visiting restaurants in New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Miami to identify exciting new concepts and new spins on existing trends. And he shared his findings with the audience at the MenuDirections conference put on by Restaurant Business’ sister publication FoodService Director earlier this year.
This week, we’ll bring you three of Ludwig’s biggest takeaways. First up, quinoa—that once unique, now ubiquitous grain—has moved beyond salads and bowls to pancakes, risotto, even burgers and buns. Here are some of the more interesting applications he tasted: