Laura Huff is the often-incognito restaurant reviewer and creative force behind the Hendersonville-based blog The Carolina Epicurean, which focuses on many areas south of Asheville, including Henderson County, Tryon, Brevard, and major cities in South Carolina. She recently took time out from holiday-season appetizer-hopping to share with Bold Life her insights and forecasts regarding 2015’s regional foodie scene. Huff’s glimpse into the culinary crystal ball revealed some tasty (and mildly surprising) trends.
Bold Life: What’s in and what’s out for the new year?
Laura Huff: Now this is just my personal opinion, but I think what is going to be cooling off is the gluten-free excitement. I’m not saying that gluten-free is going away. But I think that we have reached the place where there is a deeper awareness of gluten-free. Even fast-food dining places offer gluten-free options.
So gluten-free has succeeded in making mainstream inroads?
Yes, so it’s here to stay, and I think that the buzz is going to quiet down. A big thing coming is fermenting — vinegars, pickling, and kombucha, that fermented tea beverage.
What else appears to be trending for 2015?
Three things are hot: craft cocktails, rooftop dining, and technology.
Yeah, like tabletop computer tablets for ordering or playing games at your table. Or phone apps to place your order or pay for your meal.
So what’s happening with rooftop restaurants?
Bobby and Layla Rogers are opening a restaurant in Hendersonville at 200 North Main Street, which will have rooftop dining, and it’s the talk of the town. They are keeping the menu under wraps; but whatever they do, they do right, with quality.
Any other eateries worth watching?
Postero in Hendersonville. Many people go to Asheville to eat, but I believe that Postero may hit the right creative balance to keep them in Hendersonville. [Check Bold Life next month for more about this new eatery.]
One of my favorite places that does everything right is Quotations Coffee Cafe in Brevard. Jaime’s Creole Brasserie on East Main Street in Brevard is new and hot right now, too, and in Tryon, the 10 North Trade Café Bakery is wonderful and they are really killing it. Tryon is developing the new International Equestrian Center, too, and I’m sure they’ll have great restaurants. So Tryon is really up-and-coming.
For details, visit carolinaepicurean.com.