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Chef Picks: The Hottest Ingredients of 2014

If you’re sick of seeing pig, from ears to belly to feet, on restaurant menus, relax. Nose-to-tail pork is so 2013. The new year is here, and with it brings a whole different set of trendy elements and dishes. But what should you expect? Read on to find out what renowned chefs are picking as the hottest ingredient of 2014

“The hottest ingredients for 2014 are beans. We have collaborated with RDV vineyards and farmer Zach Lester (of Tree and Leaf Farm) to create our own small farm in which we are researching and testing new ideas and growing a few ingredients. Right now we are focusing on different varieties of beans like dragon tongue and some Spanish varieties like tolosa, garrafo, and mongetes catalana. I love the beans when they are still green so it is more of a vegetable than a legume. In Spain, when a bean is not fully ripe and green we call it a pocha and they are astonishing. These beans are perfect to make a winter stew.” -- José Andrés, Chef of The Bazaar and Culinary Director of SLS Hotel (South Beach and Los Angeles)

"For me, the 2014 ingredient is Peruvian cacao. In the culinary world, cooks are always looking for quality products, products with new flavors and, at times, products coming from in hospitable places. Peruvian cacao has all these components and has just been recently recognized internationally." -- Rafael Casin, chef of Hawa Restaurant at Tambo del Inka, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Resort & Spa, Sacred Valley, Cusco, Peru

“At HG Restaurant, the ingredients of 2014 will be: organic rice of a local variety called Formosa that I got from the producer a little while ago and I like a lot for its quality and its capacity to conduct flavor. Another ingredient is the zapallito de tronco, a pumpkin that is originally from Argentina and I use as my fetish vegetable. In fish, we’ll work with river fishes (as well as the usual sea ones): surubí, lisa and pacú, all local that, little by little, are getting to the market and you can get them fresh.”-- Hernán Gipponi, Executive Chef of HG Restaurant at Hotel Fierro, Buenos Aires, Argentina

“The top ingredient of 2014 will be quinoa, the Andean grain that’s considered a super food because of high content or nutrients. It is a delicious versatile ingredient to use in different preparations like salads, stews, soups, breads and [even] a wok.” -- Diego Oka, Chef of La Mar by Gaston Acurio, Mandarin Oriental, Miami

Next, what will be the hottest ingredient of the year? Chefs predict...

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