With 2014 almost in the books, this is the time of year that many people review the past 12 months - looking for what was the "most popular" or what "trended" over the past year.  Whole industries have been built around year-end reviews of the most-popular music, movies, and celebrities.

As the resident "foodie", I decided to look back at 2014 to determine what were some of the more-popular food trends.  From my vantage point, not a lot changed in 2014 from 2013.

So what was trendy in 2014?

  • Comfort Food.  Chalk it up to the lackluster economy and the colder temperatures we had over the past 12 months, but there was an extra emphasis places on foods that warmed us from the inside out.  If you review the most-searched and downloaded recipes from the New York Times, you'll see a lot of pasta, stews, chili's, casseroles, and cheese.
  • Farm-to-table.  The farm-to-table movement started a few years ago and really continued its growth in 2014 with venues, restaurants, celebrity chefs, and more committed to feeding both the minds and the stomachs of diners.  I expect we'll see a lot more of farm-to-table in 2015.
  • Silicone.  From my vantage point, silicone has totally taken over the kitchen world - and for good reason.  Gone are the days of using a rubber spatula only to discover that you melted it in your pan.  From cooking utensils to baking pans, baking sheets to hot pads, silicone is here to stay.
  • Brussels sprouts.  I've always loved Brussels sprouts and apparently a lot of other people have finally decided to try them.  They're best roasted in the oven with a little bit of olive oil, kosher salt, and fresh pepper - but - I noticed a plethora of recipes for coleslaw's made with the vegetable instead of cabbage.  I'm interested to see where 2015 takes this vegetable.
  • Tapas.  These "small plates" of food dominated the cocktail / bar and grill world in 2014 and look to continue their path in 2015.  Tapas are like appetizers, except they tend to include foods that would be entrees if they were served in larger portions.  From "soup shooters" to sliders - tapas are hot and trending.

So - what will the hottest food trends be in 2015?  Start cooking and eating to find out!