2. ORIGINS: Ingredients
Looking back while looking forward hasn't just applied to techniques and recipes this year. Chefs are using, preserving, and cultivating heirloom and unheard of ingredients—from offal and herbs to produce. We're seeing ancient grains like freekeh crop up increasingly, all across the United States, from Nola's Green Goddess to Portland’s June and Park Kitchen. At this year's ICC, Paul Liebrandt explained how he asked farmers in the Midwest to cultivate an herb called "Devil's horn" to recreate a recipe he discovered in an 18th century cookbook. Meanwhile, shrines to heirloom varieties like Manresa, where dozens of varieties of heirloom tomatoes (to name just one ingredient) bring a diversity that’s rare in our veggies these days. They are showing us the possibilities of the old fogies of the produce world being hip again. All the way down in Chile, as discussed at this year's ICC, the Mapuche tribe's culinary traditions are inspiring fine dining at Rodolfo Guzman's Boragó. And Spanish Chef Ángel León is reaching back to the origins of the ocean's food chain, sowing, harvesting, and serving plankton for his menu at Aponiente.