Chef Kristin Kish suggests the Flavor Forecast is heating up for home cooks


Are you on trend with the Flavor Forecast? Chef Kristin Kish believes that the home cook is ready, willing and able to embrace these food trends.

Foodies know Chef Kristin Kish from both her winning season on Top Chef and her highly acclaimed Austin restaurant, Arlo Grey. Recently, Kish has partnered with McCormick regarding its annual Flavor Forecast. While food trends ebb and flow, flavor seekers are always looking for the next culinary adventure.

For 20 years, McCormick has been a leader in predicting the next flavors, trends and foods that people will want to explore. As food embraces its global community, more and more people find flavor propels food curiosity. What might initially seem unusual or exotic often has similar ties to the classics, favorites and similar old school dishes.

As part of the Flavor Forecast for this year, Kish discussed the first announced trend, the “Need for Seeds”. While seeds might sound like something for the garden, seeds offer a bursting flavor and textural component to many dishes.

Recently, I had the opportunity to chat with Chef Kristin Kish. During our conservation, she provided some wonderful insight on food trends, the “need for seeds” and how the home cook can incorporate these food trends.

Since Kish became known to foodies through her time on Top Chef, we chatted about accessible foods and food knowledge. Chefs and cooking videos bring foods and flavors into people’s lives. From introducing people to something new to having them re-think classics, the desire to appreciate, learn and explore is constantly expanding.

– New York, NY – 03/26/2019 – McCormick`s Flavor Forecast teases its latest flavor trend with tastings in New York City, hosted by lifestyle guru, Lo Bosworth and Top Chef season 10 winner, Kristen Kish. photo provided by McCormick

-PICTURED: Lo Bosworth,Kristen Kish

-PHOTO by: Michael Simon/

While there is expansive amount of information, Kish mentioned that the home cook shouldn’t become overwhelmed. By focusing on the basics, anyone, even the most novice cook, can gain an appreciation and knowledge about all types of food.

Kish specifically mentioned that she was and still is curious about food. Whether it was finding connections from her mother’s dishes during her childhood to experimenting with flavors in her own kitchen, there is always a willingness to explore.

Part of the curiosity lead to an understanding that some foods and flavors have similarities between very different cultures. For example, growing up her mother would make Hungarian dishes, like goulash. Later in life, she would find similarities to her Korean roots with kimchi. While both dishes are very different, the ideas of using fermented and pickled flavors cross between both cultures, albeit in different ways.

As for the need for seeds, Kish explored that idea in a creative dessert recipe. While many people use tahini in savory dishes, Kish uses the ingredient in a caramel for dessert. This type of recipe exploration shows that ingredients shouldn’t be pigeonholed in one area. The versatility, especially with seeds, is tremendous.

In a way, food trends often have people thinking back to basics. Getting to the root of the how, why and what if can create that adventure in food. If a flavor or texture is enhanced in one version, how can that ingredient work in a different application? Creativity in the kitchen can be invigorating.

Still, sometimes the home cook can be a little intimated by the vastness of the grocery store shelves or specifically foods aisle. Kish recommended a simple, yet doable approach. Just pick one item. Yes, it can be really that simple.

During the next grocery store shop, pick one item that you may not know, haven’t used before or are just curious to try. The entire meal doesn’t have to focus on that food or ingredient. But, find a way to incorporate that flavor or taste.

Look at curry. Almost every culture has a version of curry, but each one is very different. Those differences can from changing the base or the spice just slightly. A willingness to try created something new.

For example, maybe you love chia seeds in your overnight oats or in a smoothie. Find some other seeds that could offer a different flavor. There are no shortage of seeds in the culinary world. See how the different flavors, textures and even nutrients can benefit a dish.

Just because you try something new doesn’t mean that this food will become your absolute favorite thing to eat. Still, trying something new can spark creativity in the kitchen. That imaginative process can only help the home cook with future dishes.

Throughout the year, Chef Kristin Kish, McCormick and the Flavor Forecast will explore new foods and flavors. While the “Need for Seed” was the first trend of the year, other flavor explorations await.

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Are you ready to step outside of your flavor comfort zone? Embrace that sense of curiosity and see where flavors may take you.