Local, local and local rounded out the three top spots in the National Restaurant Association’s What’s Hot in 2011 survey of chefs.

Locally grown produce dropped two spots to No. 3 this year, behind locally sourced meat and locally sourced seafood.

The Washington, D.C.-based NRA surveyed more than 1,500 chefs from the American Culinary Federation to identify trends by category. More results are available at www.restaurant.org/foodtrends.

Local, organic lead hot produce themes for 2011

National Restaurant Association

Local produce ranked No. 3 by chefs surveyed for the National Restaurant Association's "What's Hot in 2011" survey. For more results, visit www.restaurant.org/foodtrends.

“Locally sourced food and a focus on sustainability is not just popular among certain segments of consumers anymore,” said Michael Ty, American Culinary Federation national president, in a news release. “It has become more mainstream. Diners are requesting to know where their food comes from, and are concerned with how their choices affect the world around us.”

Chefs took local another step further in the survey, citing “hyper local” fruits and vegetables grown on-site at a restaurant as a growing trend, as well as nutritional items for children’s dishes.

Organic produce also made the top 20, as did fruit/vegetable children’s side dishes and nutrition as a culinary theme.
In the produce category, the top five hottest themes:

  • locally grown produce;
  • organic produce;
  • superfruits such as acai and goji berries, mangosteens and purslane;
  • heirloom beans; and
  • Exotic fruit such as durian, passion fruit, dragon fruit, paw paw and guava.