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Austin Dining Experts Share Headline Predictions for 2016

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What’s potentially in store for next year.

Pok Pok in Portland
Pok Pok in Portland
Pok Pok/Facebook
Nadia Chaudhury is the editor of Eater Austin covering food and pop culture, as well as a photographer, writer, and frequent panel moderator and podcast guest.

Since the end of 2015 is near, Eater asked a group of friends, industry types, and local bloggers for their takes on the past year. The annual survey spans eight questions from dining surprises, best dining neighborhoods, to restaurant grievances. All answers will be revealed as the week rolls on—cut, pasted, (mostly) unedited, and in no particular order. Readers, add your answers in the comments below. Finally, eighth up:

What are your headline predictions for 2016?

Patricia Sharpe, executive editor and food writer for Texas Monthly
The standard model for an American culinary education—classic French techniques—will gradually lose ground as Asian, South American and other diverse cuisines rise to prominence. Le Cordon Bleu (the school where Julia Child trained) announced in December that it will close its sixteen U.S. campuses, including one in Austin, by September 2017.

Brandon Watson, food editor of Austin Chronicle
Chef-driven, upscale, farm-to-table, New American concept shutters after no one attends soft opening
Chef-driven, upscale, farm-to-table, New American concept shifts focus from small plates to pizzas
Chef-driven, upscale, farm-to-table, New American concept ends long Austin run
Hospitality group opens chef-driven, upscale, farm-to-table, New American concept

Jolène M. Bouchon, critic for Austin Monthly
Less of prediction than a wish. I hope to see more diversity in the dining scene. New cuisines, from super conceptual to down-home, and atmospheres from fancy to super casual. Here also is where I insert my not-so-subtle plea for Andy Ricker to bring Pok Pok to Austin.

Katie Friel, editor of Tribeza
"Another day, another Italian restaurant opens"

Dan Gentile, staff writer at Thrillist
Aaron Franklin Won't Cook Brisket at His Food Food Food Festival
Mario Batali Tours Austin's Italian Circuit
New Zoning Ordinance Shuts Down Food Trucks
Seamless Launches in Austin, People in Their Pajamas Rejoice

Melanie Haupt, freelancer writer and contributor of Eater Austin
Chefs will take a stand on GMO foods, tapas on the rise, Paul Qui goes to Africa and starts incorporating those flavors at Qui, Austin restaurants pick up and run with the food waste reduction movement spearheaded by Dan Barber.

Jane Ko, editor of A Taste of Koko
Hopefully more authentic Asian restaurants.

Veronica Meewes, editor of Zagat Austin
I'm looking forward to both Tyson Cole and Todd Duplechan opening up their fast-casual concepts, which is something our city needs...more quick but healthy and well-priced dining options that use quality ingredients. I'm also excited to see both Bribery Bakery and Nightcap open up cocktail/dessert bars and my sweet tooth hopes others will follow suit. And I think 2016 will be the year of North Austin, with both Airport Boulevard/The Linc and Burnet Road developing at a rapid rate.

Anastacia Uriegas, contributor of Thrillist
"Guy Fieri Now at the Helm of Chili’s on 183, Austin’s Newest Hotspot"
"Enterprising Toddler Starts Line-Waiting Business at Chili’s on 183, Austin’s Newest Hotspot"
"Chili’s on 183 Begins Fermentation Project, Accidentally"
"Chili’s on 183 Slated to Close, Citing "Quesadilla Explosion Salad Scandal"

Melody Fury, freelance food writer, blogger at Gourmet Fury, and contributor of Eater Austin
This is my wishful thinking every year: Austin embraces a diverse range of top-notch Asian cooking. We don’t need another "New American" restaurant, y’all.

Tom Thornton, food and drinks editor of CultureMap Austin
A number of smart Indian-focused and/or vegetarian/veggie-based ideas in Central/South Austin. Both of these areas would draw great interest in my opinion.

Sofia Sokolove, assistant editor of Tribeza and contributor of Eater Austin
More collaborations, more chefs opening up multiple restaurants, and a buzzing North Burnet. Do we have a cutesy name for that neighborhood yet? We probably will soon. NoBu?

Nadia Chaudhury, editor of Eater Austin
Aaron Franklin’s Food Festival Sells Out Instantly
2016: The Year of Salads in Austin
Famous Out-of-State Chef Expands Popular Concept to Austin
Mind-Blowing [Indian/Thai/Vietnamese/Chinese/Middle Eastern] Restaurant From Unknown Chef Opens in Austin