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Restaurants Canada’s 2016 chef survey results revealed

Craft beer takes the number-1 spot in hot trends for the second year in a row, while "house-made condiments/sauces" appears on the list for the first time


Restaurants Canada’s 2016 Canadian Chef Survey results have been revealed, and it looks as though craft beer is a trend with true staying power. Craft beer/microbrews had the top spot in the 2015 survey, and it remains the top hot trend in Canadian restaurants for 2016 as well.

Also notable is the fact that the category “house-made condiments/sauces” is a brand new addition to both the Top 10 Hot Trends and Top 10 Up-and-Comers lists for 2016; while the Top 10 Up-and-Comers list features several other first-time items: alternative pulse proteins, chef-driven fast casual concepts, ethnic cheeses, and house-made/artisan pickles.

Close to 500 professional chefs across the country participated in this annual survey, conducted by independent market research firm BrandSpark International between Jan. 11 and Feb. 1, 2016.

Here are the Top 10 Hot Trends and the Top 10 Up-and-Comers:

Top 10 Hot Trends

1. Craft beer/microbrews
2. Charcuterie/house-cured meats
3. Ethnic sauces (e.g. sriracha, raita/raitha, chimichurri, soy sauce)
4. Locally sourced foods (locavore)
5. Food smoking
6. House-made condiments/sauces
7. Gluten-free/food allergy conscious
8. Inexpensive/underused cuts of meat (e.g. beef cheek, brisket, pork shoulder, skirt steak)
9. Organic produce
10. Leafy greens (e.g. kale, Swiss chard, mustard greens, collard greens, dandelion, beet greens)

Top 10 Up-and-Comers

1. House-made condiments/sauces
2. Ancient grains (e.g. kamut, spelt, amaranth, freekeh)
3. Alternative pulse proteins (e.g. pigeon peas, cranberry beans, black beluga lentils)
4. Inexpensive/underused cuts of meat (e.g. beef cheek, brisket, pork shoulder, skirt steak)
5. Micro-distilled/artisan liquor
6. Ethnic/street-food-inspired appetizers (e.g. tempura, taquitos)
7. Chef-driven fast-casual concepts
8. Unusual/uncommon herbs (e.g. chervil, lovage, papalo, lemon balm)
9. Ethnic cheeses (e.g. queso fresco, paneer, labneh, halloumi)
10. House-made/artisan pickles


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