Restaurant and hospitality consulting firm Andrew Freeman & Co. recently released its eighth annual trend prediction report for 2015, with this year’s theme being “The Pleasure Principle.” According to Freeman, when it comes to food and beverage, patrons will want “instant gratification, education, and participation.” Here are some of the firm’s other top food trend predictions for 2015, along with mouthwatering images from our library for support.

Tacos

Modern Mexican food has already swept the nation. In 2015, expect chefs to hone in on traditional tacos. Alex Stupak’s Empellón al Pastor in New York City serves tacos almost exclusively, and Charleston James Beard Award winner Sean Brock opened a taqueria in his hometown called Minero.

Overhead view of two authentic street tacos by Joshua Resnick

Scrambled Eggs

The new “it” egg is scrambled, and you’ll see this trend beyond the breakfast table. Chino, a hip Asian eatery in San Francisco serves scrambled eggs with heirloom tomatoes and scallions.

Scrambled eggs with grilled tomatoes by Lesya Dolyuk

A delicious scrambled egg on toast by Foodpics

Spicy Flavors

Restaurants are bringing the heat in 2015. Sriracha is here to stay, and restaurants like Flora in Oakland, CA are serving up tequila-based cocktails with a bird’s-eye chili tincture. Will you be up for the challenge?

Herbs and spices selection by Natalia Klenova

Overhead view of ceramic bowls by racorn

Cooking ingredients, spice by Phloxii

Flavor Without Fat

Chefs are using old-world cooking techniques instead of relying on fats to bring the flavor to vegetables. Expect to see cooking with skewers, smoke, and more. These cooking methods add extra “oomph” to veggies without added fat.

Club beef steak with pepper sauce and grilled vegetables by Lisovskaya Natalia

Baked carrots on a baking sheet by Olha Afanasieva

Meat Spreads

Meat spreads are here to stay, along with a new addition to charcuterie plates called ‘nduja. This Calabrian spreadable cured meat has a delicious pork flavor along with some heat. Chef Carlo Mirarchi often includes ‘nduja-stuffed raviolo on his menu at Blanca in Brooklyn, NY.

Deer liver pate with carrot by Adina Magda

Artisanal Candy

Expect chefs to create retro artisanal candies, which will be served as a sweet closeout to a meal. For instance, The Simple Farm in Scottsdale, AZ makes goat’s milk caramels with sea salt and bourbon vanilla.

Chocolate Balls on wooden background by Tanjichica

Sweet, liquid caramel on candy by Yeko Photo Studio

Soft Serve

Soft serve is the trendy dessert of 2015 and it’s popping up on menus throughout the country. Diners will be intrigued by the seasonal flavor offerings and unique toppings. Chicago’s River Roast offers new soft-serve flavors daily, ranging from ginger-lemongrass topped with candied ginger to balsamic drizzled with quality balsamic vinegar.

Soft serve ice cream by Kei Shooting

Spanish Cuisine

Tapas and Spanish cuisine will dominate in 2015. Chef Katie Button’s popular tapas restaurant Cúrate in Asheville, NC is showcasing innovative Spanish dishes, which diners are encouraged to share.

Spanish dinner cooked and served on the table by Shebeko

Spanish and Portuguese seafood tapas by Mipstudio

Sour Flavors

Sour flavors will appear in everything to add dimension to dishes. From pickles to vinegary shrub-based cocktails, expect your mouth to literally water in 2015.

Jars with cucumbers ready for pickling by IngridHS

Savory Pancakes

Hold the syrup, because pancakes are going savory this year. Expect to see interesting pancake selections like sourdough pancakes with sauerkraut, pecorino, and ricotta from San Francisco’s State Bird Provisions.

Delicious fresh fried potato fritters made from grated potato by Stockcreations
Delicious fresh fried potato fritters made from grated potato by Stockcreations

Explore more inspiring images of 2015 food trends in our curated lightbox below »

Top image: Collection of tapas foods by tradville.