A New Haven chef studies the Instagram feed of a Los Angeles chef she admires, emulating his plating style. A Stamford diner owner keeps a notebook of ideas for his indulgent menu, sometimes pulling his car over to jot things down. A restaurateur with several Asian eateries turned trendy birria tacos into a ramen dish when he realized the dishes had common components.
Food trends often originate in larger restaurant cities like New York and Los Angeles. But social media, travel and word of mouth help push new emerging items, culinary techniques and flavors to Connecticut restaurants as local chefs keep their eyes open and their creativity flowing to keep menus fresh and exciting.