Zimmern has hope for local restaurant scene
Andrew Zimmern gets out his crystal ball in the September issue of MSPMag, predicting a silver lining to the downtrodden local restaurant scene. He compares what's happening now with the economic downturn in the late 80s and the culinary creativity that grew out of it. The innovation inspired by, well, desperation, led to a shift in mindset about the purpose and function of restaurants, he says, focused less on opulence and more on being what he describes as just plain "fun places to hang out." We like where he's going with this.
I think the next 12 to 18 months will show some unbridled creativity, often in small restaurants owned by young chefs who will realize new opportunities in a new economic climate. It will be easier to take risks, and creative solutions and bold ideas will be easier to execute. I'm confident that if eating were a stock, now would be the time to buy.
It makes us think of the French "bistronomy" movement discussed last week on MPR's Midmorning show by Slate's Mike Steinberger: young, rising chefs eschewing the ladder toward Michelin stardom in favor of opening cafes in lesser-known Parisian neighborhoods and sticking with affordable fare for ordinary people.
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