Culinary Trends: Street Food Inside
2009 is if anything the year street food officially bumped tapas off the culinary top trends map. We saw and tasted copious styles and varieties of street food, from Indian chaat, and corn dogs to Chinese dan dan noodles. Chefs are tapping into their heritage or borrowing from travel destinations’ simple and crave-able snacks and adapting them to all levels of restaurant settings (fast-casual to fine dining).
Chef Stephen Sherman serves mini corndogs resting on beds of cole slaw at Union Bar and Grille in Boston; Ratha Chau of Kampuchea and Num Pang adapted Mexican grilled corn (elote) to a Cambodian-style corn (with shredded coconut and sriracha-spiced mayo) for his fast-casual sandwich shop in Manhattan. Susan Feniger in LA recently opened Street in downtown LA; the concept is based on street foods from around the globe.
Chefs are even setting up street carts inside their restaurants to bring an added dose of authenticity to their sidewalk-themed vittles (and sometimes to sidestep strict city codes for street vendors). 2008 Chicago Rising Star Kristine Subido of WAVE in Chicago and Rohini Dey and Maneet Chauhan of Vermilion in New York have carts in their restaurants