Future Perfect: Chef Wish Lists for 2014

Indy’s culinary trend watch for the next year.

A really good dumpling joint. More sustainable seafood. Smaller, healthier portions. What’s in our local culinary future? We asked some of Indy’s top chefs, bartenders, and restaurateurs to look into their crystal balls and predict some trends for 2014 that were either on their way or that they dream of seeing in the Circle City.

30-Second Cocktails

“As a restaurateur, I’d like to see a lot of things in Indy, like more great, innovative brunch spots and good chef-driven barbecue. But I think a big trend this year will be simpler, more straightforward drinks at a lower price point (but with great ingredients) that bartenders can put together more quickly.”

—Ed Rudisell, owner of Siam Square (936 Virginia Ave., 317-636-8424) and co-owner of Black Market (922 Massachusetts Ave., 317-822-6757) and Rook (719 Virginia Ave., 317-759-5828)

English-Style Savory Pies

“It would be great if we could get more places to focus on individual items like noodles or dumplings. But I’d love to see a pub or a place focus on traditional British hand pies filled with savory meats and root vegetables. Talk about comfort food.”

—Micah Frank, chef and co-owner of Black Market (922 Massachusetts Ave., 317-822-6757)

A Great Vegetarian Restaurant

“I would love to see a place that does vegetarian really well with local, seasonal ingredients. And call me crazy, but I love a great salad bar like the legendary soup and salad bar at Old Wives’ Tale in Portland, Oregon. Indy could use something like that.”

Tyler Herald, executive chef at Patachou Inc.

More Use of Lesser Cuts of Meat

“It’s happening already, but I see chefs using more formerly obscure cuts and pieces like tongue, marrow, sweetbreads, bellies. I also think there is a return to foie gras, caviar, and traditional luxury items on high-end menus.”

—Dan Dunville, executive chef at 10-01 Food & Drink (1001 Broad Ripple Ave., 317-253-1001)

More International Cuisine Downtown

“Indy has its share of ethnic restaurants all around Indy, but the best of them haven’t been downtown. It would be great not to have to drive so far for good Asian or Latin cuisine.”

—Erin Kem, sous chef at R Bistro (888 Massachusetts Ave., 317-423-0312)

New Types of Seafood

“As chefs use more unusual cuts of meat like pork flatirons and short loins, I’d love to see chefs use less common fish such as Scorpion fish or blue fish and get customers to like more raw preparations such as crudo.”

—Kathy Jones, executive chef at Iozzo’s Garden of Italy (946 S. Meridian St., 317-974-1100) and co-owner of Junonia Fish Market (222 E. Market St., 317-503-3224)

Tighter, More Focused Plating

“As the economy improves a bit and people no longer expect huge, calorie-rich entrees, chefs will focus more on the quality of individual elements and how they balance with the other elements on the plate.”

—Thom England, Culinary Arts Program Coordinator at Ivy Tech Community College

Innovative Cocktail Garnishes

“Simple slices of fruit on the rim of a glass don’t cut it anymore. I’ve seen places using edible flowers, mini s’mores, or dehydrated fruits for garnishes. The fruit ends up having a cool transparent quality.”

Josh Gonzales, The Thunderbird (1127 Shelby St.)

Less Use of the Word “Foodie”

“People are wanting their love of food as a lifestyle to be more individualized. Even if the term is still popular, I think we’ll find a lot of younger people trying to disassociate themselves with that word.”

—Erin Till, Neal Brown Hospitality Group

Real French Food

“It’s definitely reemerging in New York City and Chicago. But will anyone embrace it here?”

—Neal Brown, chef-owner of Libertine Liquor Bar (38 E. Washington St., 317-631-3333) and Pizzology (13190 Hazel Dale Pkwy., 317-844-2550)