Food Trends and Tastemakers

Published in Gourmet Live 09.05.12
We're trading in our aprons for Armani in this week's salute to style, with profiles of model turned cookbook author Sophie Dahl and food stylist Paul Grimes, plus stunning spots for museum meals from Brooklyn to London
Food Trends and Tastemakers

Sophie Dahl

It hasn't always been the case, but food is as fashionable now as mock croc and peplum waists. Restaurateurs are modeling for J. Crew, stylish glossies are putting out food issues, restaurant openings get as much publicity as resort collections, and chefs are even hipper than rock stars—they are the new DJs (Hugh Acheson, Hubert Keller, everybody at Roberta's in Brooklyn, we're looking at you). This week's issue celebrates the buzzy intersection where food meets fashion and the kitchen meets the catwalk.

Sophie Dahl is walking proof, if any were needed, that being a jaw-droppingly beautiful former model is far from a handicap in the kitchen: While your chin's on the floor, she'll gently tuck a spoonful of something delicious into your mouth and help you to a comfortable seat. We quizzed the novelist, cookbook author, and BBC cooking show host about how she set the stage for her successful second act in the food world. Here Dahl shares funny food stories from her upbringing in a famous family (she's the granddaughter of Roald Dahl and Patricia Neal), plus three creative, cool recipes from her cookbook Very Fond of Food.

We turn from a life spent in front of the camera to a legend behind the scenes in our profile of food stylist Paul Grimes. Just as fashion shoots styled by Carine Roitfeld and Edward Enninful sell magazines, if it's a cookbook or food publication that's meant to seduce, Grimes is your man to get the recipes ready for their close-up. First trained as a painter before undertaking a French culinary education, Grimes brings his singular aesthetic sensibility to every plate he prepares for the camera, including numerous shoots for Gourmet Live and years' worth of work for our print predecessor. Grimes dishes on the trends he's seen come and go in recent decades, from the fanned-out food arrangements of the '80s to the bites-missing burgers of the aughts. Turns out food trends can be just as hilarious in hindsight as fashion trends (ahem, prairie skirts).

Since anyone following the latest currents in food ends up in Brooklyn these days, we asked Better Borough–based contributors to the mega blog network BlogHer to list the tables that locals will gladly wait in line for, from farmhouse-chic Italian in Carroll Gardens to glitzed-up Russian classics in Brighton Beach.

But despite what you may have read in half a million trendwatch pieces, Brooklyn isn't the only place on Earth where great design and great food go hand in hand. Our roundup of museum restaurants worth visiting spans the globe from St. Petersburg to Tokyo—see which dining spots hold their own amid artistic masterworks.

Armani, Batali, Versace, Bastianich, Cavalli, Casella…sense a trend here? Italy's deeply felt influence on modern design and cuisine makes the Gourmet Italian cookbook, a collection of editors' favorites now available on, a suitably delicious statement of style. Creamy White Polenta with Mushrooms and Mascarpone is a Veneto-inspired feast for the eyes and palate, and Chicken Marsala never goes out of fashion.

Can't get enough gorgeous temptations? Don't miss our Web-exclusive slideshow, Fashionable Food, featuring 18 recipes that taste as terrific as they look. The Caviar and Salmon Blini Tortes would make chic finger food for a Fashion Week cocktail gathering, or how about nibbling a nasturtium-topped knockout, Baby Greens with Roasted Beets and Potatoes, while catching a live-streamed runway show on our sibling site

Are you as obsessed with fashion as you are with food? Dish with us via Twitter or Facebook, drop us a line, or post a comment on our blog. For more tasty bites, sign up for our weekly newsletter to get convenient access to our most-read blog posts, editors' favorite recipes, and exclusive reader offers.

Stylishly yours,

The editors of Gourmet Live

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