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Setting the Table for Millennials

Each year, as children grow into adults, they experience the wider world around them and expand their palates, the world of foods found in markets, on menus, and in our refrigerators changes with them. In the blink of an eye, spinach salads give way to microgreens, antipasti becomes tapas, and fast food is nixed in favor of wholesome foods cooked at home.

As each generation discovers their own tastes and expands on the previous generations food fare to accommodate new cooking techniques, lifestyles, and food trends, the food world itself expands, giving rise to new standards for what constitutes a really good meal.

For millennials, the generation that grew up welcoming new technologies into their lives on a near-daily basis, being open to change is expected and part of engaging with the larger world around them. When people in the past wanted to explore the foods and tastes of other cultures, they generally had to make their way around the world, sampling items and gathering ingredients for their long journey home. Even in the late 20th century, when America’s stores and cities were flooded with exotic foods, people had to discover which cultural recipes they wanted to try, discover the ingredients needed to make the recipe, and learn where to go to find those ingredients all before they could create something new.

Once the internet age came, it gave rise to a massive exchange of images, recipes, and food preparation techniques like never before. Coupled with easily accessible and inexpensive international shipping of goods, for the first time in history, people all around the world have the means to prepare any dish they desire with just a few clicks. This rapid expansion of cultural foods throughout the world has given rise to a generation unlike any other as well; a generation that has been exposed to a myriad of food options and is excited to share their food journey with the world.

With millennials helping to change the way the rest of us approach food, we are fast becoming more involved with the food itself, opting for non-GMO, locally-sourced, vegetarian-fed, grain-free, and organically produced fruits, vegetables, and meats. Our new-found passion for food meeting environmentally conscious standards has led to massive changes in the food industry, especially in the restaurant and personal chef communities.

Restaurants live and die by their ability to keep up with food trends, and this often means serving their patrons the hottest food trends before they quickly go out of style. Thankfully, personal chefs like myself have the ability to change their cooking styles and menu plans every day if necessary to meet our clients’ needs. We create meals specifically designed to reflect the dietary restrictions, lifestyles, and personal tastes of our clientele.

Millennials are already being called the foodie generation and have been labeled “food obsessed,” taking their food experience well beyond the eating of it. For them, food should be a full-fledged adventure from start to finish, complete with action shots that will be shared far and wide on photo sharing sites like Instagram.

For those who prepare the food, this means that not only does the food have to be impressive in its taste and utilize in vogue cooking methods, but it also has to look good while doing so. As it is often said, we eat with our eyes, so presenting a culinary creation to the world that allows for full involvement – a photo, a description of the food itself, and the unique taste experience of the person eating it – is pivotal to making food worthy of millennial tastes.

For a personal chef, preparing meals for millennials is a fantastic cooking challenge. Many people who call upon the skills of a personal chef know exactly what they want to eat. Typically, these are classic meals with specific dietary twists. Millennial clients, however, are open to eating a very wide variety of foods from nearly every food culture around the world. This means that I get to explore exotic palates and use spices and flavors, a true treat for any chef. This makes for exciting meals which are loaded with intriguing flavors, created with locally-sourced ingredients, and served camera-ready.