“The ‘farm to table’ trend is completely overused at this point, as it’s been said for years now. What restaurant isn’t farm to table? It should be a given that you support local farms and purveyors … especially if they are in abundance in your region (like in the Southeast).
“The ‘craft cocktail’ and ‘artisanal ice’ trends need to go. All cocktail lists should be carefully crafted, and what really makes ice artisanal, anyway? If the cocktail isn’t good, pretty ice isn’t going to help it.
“I’m already getting tired of the Alabama white sauce trend. It will be on the Chili’s menu in about six months.
“The term ‘chef driven’ has been co-opted by the big chains at this point.”
—Erik Niel, James Beard-nominated chef and operator of Chattanooga, Tenn., concepts Easy Bistro & Bar and Main Street Meats