New Canadian Chef Survey highlights top menu trends for 2010

HALIFAX, April 15 /CNW/ - Local, organic and sustainable foods are heating things up in Canadian restaurant kitchens - and they will be on display at ApEx 2010, April 18 - 19 at Exhibition Park in Halifax.

These trends were identified in the first-ever CRFA Canadian Chef Survey, conducted for the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association by independent market research firm BrandSpark International.

"Canadian chefs have identified the top trends, and now ApEx will bring those trends to life for restaurant owners and the entire kitchen team," says Luis Clavel, Executive Chef of the Holiday Inn Harbourview and President of Nova Scotia Association of Chefs and Cooks. "With customers paying more attention to food and ingredients than ever before, it's a very exciting time for chefs and restaurateurs."

Surveyed chefs rated myriad menu items and cooking methods as either a 'hot trend,' 'yesterday's news,' or 'perennial favourite.' Here are the chef picks for 2010:

Top 10 Canadian Menu Trends

    1.  Locally sourced food
    2.  Sustainability
    3.  Organic produce
    4.  Artisanal cheeses
    5.  Simplicity / Back to basics
    6.  Nutritional / healthy cuisine
    7.  Free-range poultry / pork
    8.  Small plates / tapas / mezze / dim sum
    9.  Bite size / mini desserts
    10. Superfruits (e.g. acai, goji berry, mangosteen)

The CRFA survey also reveals the 'up and comers' poised to be the next hot trend:

Top 10 Up and Coming Canadian Menu Trends

    1.  Ancient grains (e.g. kamut, spelt, amaranth)
    2.  Gluten-free beer
    3.  Vegan entrées
    4.  Organic alcohol
    5.  African cuisine
    6.  New / fabricated cuts of meat
    7.  Gluten-free cuisine
    8.  Middle Eastern cuisine
    9.  Quinoa
    10. Non-traditional fish (e.g. branzino, Arctic char, barramundi)

"These topline trends indicate an increasing restaurant focus on health, nutrition and the environment," says Luc Erjavec, CRFA's Vice President for Atlantic Canada. "The release of the Chef Survey results coinciding with ApEx is a unique opportunity for attendees, providing them with a roadmap to better navigate the various offerings at the show this year."

Reflecting Canadian Chef Survey results, ApEx 2010 will feature:

    -   Source Local Marketplace - highlighting 13 local producers of various
        foods and beverages for restaurants, looking to reach owners, chefs
        and cooks in Atlantic Canada.

        Source Local participants include King's Processing, VanDyk's,
        Randsland, Armstrong and Sainte Famille Winery to name a few.

    -   Green Zone - showcasing 12 equipment manufacturers and suppliers
        offering a wide range of sustainable solutions for operators, such as
        energy-efficient ranges and fridges, non-toxic cleaners and
        biodegradable products.

        Sponsored by Heritage Gas, Green Zone includes Spring Air, Permul,
        Polar Plastic, Follet, State Chemical and many more.

ApEx is owned and operated by CRFA, one of the country's leading business associations. Through its trade shows, member savings, research and advocacy, CRFA works to create an environment that allows foodservice operators to grow and prosper.

SOURCE Restaurants Canada

For further information: For further information: or to arrange interviews with local chefs who can speak to the Canadian Chef Survey, contact Luc Erjavec, CRFA's Vice President, Atlantic Canada at (902) 425-0061 or; or Prasanthi Vasanthakumar, CRFA Communications at (416) 649-4254

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