Top Five Culinary Trends for Summer 2011 Announced

From Italian Pinot Grigio to Spicy Korean Influences, Worldly Cuisine is Hotter than Ever

Summer is just around the corner and that means it’s almost time for outdoor soirees, family barbeques and warm-weather fare.  In anticipation of these sun-filled days, Certified Sommelier and four-time cookbook author Chef Jamie Gwen has announced her top five culinary trends for summer 2011.

Chef Jamie Gwen’s Top 5 Culinary Trends for Summer 2011

1. Italian Pinot Grigio – The “it” wine for summer          
Clean finish, crisp and food-friendly, Italian Pinot Grigio significantly enhances the flavors of a wide variety of dishes, making it the perfect complement to lighter summer cuisine and grilling, especially seafood.  Follow this summer trend by delighting your palate with a range of great Italian Pinot Grigio options, including Ecco Domani® (about $11), DaVinci® (about $12) and Maso Canali® (about $19).

2. French Macaroons – The NEW cupcake          
French macaroons are this year’s NEW cupcake.  French-style macaroons are made from almond flour or almond paste, and come in a variety of flavors like passion fruit, chocolate, coffee and orange.  Light and airy, these sweet treats are a perfect complement to a summer meal (and they taste even better filled with decadent buttercream or lemon curd).

3. Spanish Paprika (Pimenton) – The Spice Superstar          
Every year we see a “Spice Superstar” and 2011 is no different.  In past years, the flavor of chipotle has risen in popularity and Sichuan peppercorns have added their tingle, but this year, it’s all about pimenton.  Especially hot for summer grilling, this Spanish smoked paprika adds zesty flavor to grilled chicken and meat.

4. Korean Influences – Creative Fusion Cuisine          
The idea of blending cultures and ingredients when creating a dish is not at all new to the food world, but expect to see an increased melding of flavors this summer.  From food trucks to backyard barbecues, Korean influences and spicy flavors will continue to creep into our cuisine, exciting the palate and making for an even more delicious summer.  

5. Meatless Mondays – For the Global Good          
Eating lighter, especially during the summer months, is a definite trend for 2011.  In fact, the nonprofit “Meatless Monday” initiative encourages U.S. consumers to cut their meat consumption by fifteen percent.  Light, lovely salads and vegetarian dishes make for ideal warm-weather fare, perfectly aligned with the Meatless Monday trend.

In fact, a recent online survey found that culinary professionals are five times more likely to prefer Italian Pinot Grigio to domestic Pinot Grigio when pairing with a summer meal.* Italian Pinot Grigio comes from the Northeastern Tre Venezie region of Italy with a climate known for cool nights and warm days, therefore it’s more acidic, less sweet and pairs better with food, especially the lighter cuisines of summer.  

For more information about the three Italian Pinot Grigio’s suggested by Chef Jamie, please visit, and

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