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A bunch of stuff nobody saw coming

New York

We beeped a bunch of notable food and drink honchos around town, and then they called us back and told us what they thought the biggest surprises of 2012 were, from the fact that kale is cool to the popularity of Brooklyn. Actually, those are kind of similar

John McNulty, Co-owner of Swine
"Sandy. That’s probably a generic answer. It snuck up on us, we were just starting to get our stride, and hitting our momentum, but it hasn’t come back. Also I’m always a little surprised by how adventurous our guests are. We sell a good amount of chicken liver mousse, head cheese, etc. Maybe it’s a sign of some of the other items we can put on the menu in the future.

Luis Bollo, Executive Chef at Salinas
"The popularity of Americanized Asian casual eateries like Mission Chinese Food, Red Farm, and Danji. Many Asian-American chefs want to pay homage to their bi-cultural traditions and their way of cooking is well-rooted in reality -- just like the Korean taco phenomenon that was drawn from Korean store owners in California mixing their lunch with that of their Mexican employees.

Toby Maloney, Partner at Pouring Ribbons
"Empellon Cocina is so absolutely amazing. The clarity of flavor that Chef Stupak achieves is wondrous. The flavors are tangled together like earbuds at the bottom of your bag, but you can still taste each despite the complexity.

Mary Giuliani, caterer and event planner to the stars named things like Matt Damon and the Rolling Stones
"That eating kale is cool!

Manuel Trevino, Executive Chef at Marble Lane at Dream Downtown
"The number of restaurants outside of Manhattan that got reviewed by the Times. Lots of Brooklyn spots.

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