Top trends touted

If you're resolved to stay on top of food trends this year, wow, are you in luck!

The Food Channel:

• A new generation of home chefs more food-savvy than their parents, thanks to a dim economy compelling them to stay home and cook.

• Growth of virtual and non-virtual food communities.

• Eating locally and seasonally, both at home and in restaurants.

• The verdict will come in about whether calorie counts on menus are bad business or a boon to health.

• A boom in food philanthropy to address world hunger.

• Tighter controls on food safety.

Bon Appetit magazine

• Breakfast as the new restaurant meal.

• Hot new cuisine? New Southern (think brioche-breaded fish instead of fried chicken).

• Dish of the year: Anything with an egg on top.

J. Walter Thompson trendspotters

•Sous vide cooking at home, an exacting method in which food is vacuum-packed and cooked at precise temperatures.

• Gluten-free foods.

• Less dieting, more nutrition.

• Fish certified by the Marine Stewardship Council to combat overfishing.

• Home cooking -- and an accompanying bump in cooking classes.

• Precise sourcing, with food labels carrying online codes that supply details about the grower or producer.

• Hot new cocktail: The Pisco Sour, Peru's national cocktail made with Pisco (a type of brandy), lemon juice, egg whites, simple syrup and bitters.

Trendspotter Marian Salzman

• The emergence of the Female Economy will help get the world back on its feet, led by those in the Cusper Generation (born 1955 to 1964) taking on new leadership roles.

• Hot new place: Chicago, hometown of Barack Obama. Get used to Chicago-style hot dogs: all-beef hot dog on a poppyseed bun topped with mustard, onion, sweet pickle relish, a dill pickle spear, tomato slices or wedges, pickled sport peppers, and a dash of celery salt -- but never ketchup.

KIM ODE