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Chefs predict the next big trend is healthy, fast-casual restaurants

At a recent restaurant development conference in Buckhead, several chefs were asked to predict the next big food trend. The consensus? Healthy, fast-casual, and superfood-focused restaurants.

Trend: healthy, fast-casual, transparent, and superfood-focused restaurants

At a recent restaurant development conference in Buckhead, a number of chefs were asked for their predictions on the next big food trend. The consensus? Healthy, fast-casual, and superfood-focused restaurants. That may make sense given the popularity of kale this year, but then again, bacon is held in pretty high esteem these days, too.

Charitable kitchens give back to the community

Last year, Atlanta's restaurant community attracted national attention for the story of Ryan Hidinger and the Giving Kitchen. An up-and-coming chef with a popular supper club, Hidinger had dreams of opening his own restaurant when he was diagnosed with Stage IV gall bladder cancer. Local restaurants and chefs banded together to stage dinners and fundraisers for Ryan and his wife, Jen, who eventually started the Giving Kitchen, a nonprofit initiative to help restaurant workers in need. Ryan passed away in January, but his restaurant, Staplehouse, could be opening later this year.

Ratio Bakeshop looks to transition to retail in 2014

Chris Flores, once a baker at West Egg and Bakeshop and executive pastry chef at Nikolai’s Roof, has been busy seeding his pastries around the city. Proprietor and pastry chef at the four-month-old Ratio Bakeshop, Flores makes everything from scones and macaroons to brownies and cheesecakes.

MetroFresh in the Garden in full bloom at its new Atlanta Botanical Garden location

MetroFresh owner/chef Mitchell Anderson concedes that he's become an 11 Alive Wizometer Weather junkie in recent months. After a successful five years with his original healthy, hand-crafted casual dining MetroFresh concept at Midtown Promenade on Monroe Drive, Anderson debuts a sibling shop, MetroFresh in the Garden at the Atlanta Botanical Garden this month.

Second MetroFresh location set to bloom in January

Midtown Promenade's MetroFresh restaurant chef/owner Mitchell Anderson has some big news to share with customers Sunday at the eatery's 5th anniversary party.

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