French gastronomy is enjoying a revival in the US, and Asian cuisine is being elevated to fine dining.

Those are some of the food trends predicted to define 2019, according to organisers of the France-based restaurant ranking La Liste 1000.

Launched in 2015, the ranking is based on an algorithm that aggregates scores from hundreds of guidebooks and publications from around the world. The list was created as an alternative to the influential World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards, which organisers accused of “French bashing” with its conspicuous absence of French restaurants.

For 2019, La Liste points to renewed interest in classic French cuisine in the US, with the popularity of bistros, brasseries and wine bars like Le Le Coucou (Soho, New York), Frenchette (Tribeca, New York), Bar Crenn (San Francisco), Monsieur Benjamin (San Francisco) and Dumonet (Brooklyn, New York).

There, chefs are serving traditional French classics like quenelles (a French dumpling), poireaux (leeks in a vinaigrette), sweetbreads and beef bourguignon.

Last week, French chef Dominique Crenn became the first female chef in the US to unlock her third Michelin star for her San Francisco restaurant Atelier Crenn.

The results of La Liste’s 2019 restaurant ranking also placed New York French seafood restaurant Le Bernardin at the top of the charts, along with Paris restaurant Guy Savoy.

But in an interview, La Liste president Philippe Faure stopped well short of self-congratulatory praise, warning that the standard of French cuisine has been sliding in France and using the word “lamentable” to describe the level of some of the cooking he’s encountered.

Asian fine dining

Meanwhile, citing examples like the Shangri-La hotel chain, Da Dong in New York, Guan Fu in Flushing, Korean steakhouse Cote in New York, and Eight Tables by George Chen in San Francisco, La Liste points to the growing trend of haute Asian gastronomy.

Instagram has also birthed a dual dynamic in the food world, analysts say, with some chefs placing more importance on the plating than on the food.

“Not everything that’s beautiful tastes good,” points out the report.

Here are a few more trends:

> Wellness momentum in the food world will continue to grow in 2019, with consumers turning their backs on sugar, meat, gluten, preservatives and additives.

> The disillusionment with big agro companies will inspire more people to shop at their local farmer’s markets and find local suppliers.

> Meat lovers who can’t quite give it up altogether will make meat an occasional indulgence, spurring restaurants to serve rare, high-quality, aged meats. – AFP Relaxnews