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The 13 Most Overcooked Food Trends of 2013: #1 Kickstarters

As of this writing, there are nearly 300 results for "restaurant" on Kickstarter.
The world of gastronomy is as subject to the whim and whimsy of the "trend" as any industry, from fashion to music. Some foods are eternal, like pizza, and others come and go from our midst, for better or for worse.

So, we got together all of the food writers we could find and asked them what they thought the most overdone, needs to come out of the oven, stick a fork in them already food trends of 2013 were.

Since 13 is our lucky number (we like to live on the edge), that's exactly how many we came up with. Some we loved, some we hated, some we loved to hate, and others we just couldn't resist loving until we hated ourselves.

See also: The 13 Most Overcooked Food Trends of 2013: #2 Overpriced, Pretentious Wine/Beer Pairings

Here are thirteen food trends that have become ubiquitous and shed the sheen of novelty -- now they're just dull and sometimes annoying, in spite of an exciting debut.

(To keep things interesting, we've included a few food trends we hope continue into 2014 and beyond. See if you can identify which trends or innovations were welcome additions in 2013.)

Coming in at number 1...


Although giving a leg up to fledgling restaurants can mean great things for chefs and diners alike, 2013 was the year Kickstarter became fair game for just about anyone with enough time and ideas. Home cooks turning their baking chops into bakeshops, a band of enterprising dumpster-divers planning a "freeman" cafe -- all found themselves but a few keystrokes away from no-strings-attached financing. Sure, many (many) Kickstarter campaigns failed, but some succeeded: to the tune of $180,000 above the goal amount in the case of Travail Kitchen in Minneapolis. In just under six hours, Travail's loyal fans blew the initial $75,000 fundraising goal out of the water, emptying their wallets with an enthusiasm to make any struggling nonprofit squirm. It turns out diners will throw down boatloads of money for cool kickbacks like line-skipping privileges and private dinners for contributors. And the awards only got cooler, and weirder, from there: Travail offered up a "2014 Travail Sexy Chef" calendar for backers of $50 or more; Commonwealth in Cambridge, Massachusetts, promised a rooftop pig roast for contributors in the $10,000 range; and a SoCal cereal restaurant advertised that, for $2,500, contributors would get "a mural of a cheetah with a unicorn horn, a cereal party for 20, and a live music performance." If dropping $2,500 on a cereal restaurant seems silly to you, welcome to the wild world of Kickstarter. Still, we'll take it, if it means more talented chefs in the kitchen and more good food on the table -- but we reserve the right to roll our eyes at the rest. -- Hannah Sayle

You can contact Rebecca Dittmar, Arts & Culture Editor/Food Blog Editor at [email protected].

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Rebecca McBane is the arts and culture/food editor for New Times Broward-Palm Beach. She began her journalism career at the Sun Sentinel's community newspaper offshoot, Forum Publishing Group, where she worked as the editorial assistant and wrote monthly features as well as the weekly library and literature column, "Shelf Life." After a brief stint bumming around London's East End (for no conceivable reason, according to her poor mother), she returned to real life and South Florida to start at New Times as the editorial assistant in 2009. A native Floridian, Rebecca avoids the sun and beach at all costs and can most often be found in a well-air-conditioned space with the glow of a laptop on her face.
Contact: Rebecca McBane

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