When food halls combine great local food, education and opportunities, they get closer to perfection, as seen at Auburn University, where the food hall is actually a comprehensive hospitality education facility, developed by a Ritz Carlton mastermind.
Bowls were very big
This year, it seemed like bowls were edging out sandwiches as a menu staple.
Seafood got casual
These seafood dishes are made for grab-and-go, preferably in flip-flops and with a laid-back attitude, if even just for that lunch break.
Fun food is back
Taking a look at light-hearted sporting arena food, like Aramark’s meatball cone at SAP Center, San Jose, it’s safe to say playing with your food is back in style.
BBQ fusion could be in a Wild West phase, and that suits most pitmasters just fine. Chefs who smoke are free to combine succulent pulled pork or smoke-ringed brisket with Tex Mex flavors, Asian ingredients and more.
Halal food blazed new trails
Middle Eastern and Mediterranean vibes permeate much of the halal food found in America, but exciting new fast-casual, grab-and-go directions, like pizza and fried chicken, are part of an ongoing culinary evolution.
Thai curries for no worries
With labor crunches happening throughout the year, a Thai coconut curry sauce is the answer: All you need is Thai curry paste (choose red, yellow or green) simmered with cans of coconut milk, rice and a protein. No worries!
Focus on food waste
From banana peels and coffee grounds to fish skins and leftover brioche, Compass Group chefs get creative with some very non-traditional ingredients that would otherwise hit the waste bins.