What F&B trends do you think we will see in 2019?
Hutchinson: I expect to see a rise in chefs offering intimate dining experiences, where smaller groups of people will have direct access to the talent creating for them. I think we will continue to see an emphasis on farm-to-table experiences and fermentation processes being more widely used.
Miller: I think the use of flavored or enhanced oils and CBD cocktails will continue to rise in popularity. Recently, my team submitted a cocktail to the Tito’s Farmers Market Team Competition that placed second out of 10. This Southwest apple pie-inspired martini featured a lemon-infused olive oil to balance an apple shrub. CBD is riding the wave of normalization and legalization sweeping the nation and hemisphere. Its new legality, neutral flavor, purported medicinal effects and novelty contribute to its rise in popularity.
What’s the most underrated ingredient in everyone’s pantry?
Hutchinson: Thyme. It’s a classic for a reason and adds a burst of flavor to almost any dish.
Miller: Agave syrup. It has a low glycemic index, which means it does not produce as severe an insulin response as sugar or simple syrup. Health? Check. But to me it tastes better, with hints of baking spices like vanilla in its flavor profile.
What’s the best thing about creating F&B for large groups?
Hutchinson: The higher pressure and stakes of creating a larger-scale experience ignites an energy in me every time. I especially love plated functions because that’s when it’s most apparent how many people your art will reach.
Miller: The best thing about it is first creating an awesome drink and then figuring out how to scale it for rapid production. I enjoy the math and techniques often created on the spot to counter logistics of weather, melting ice and other challenges.