Detail image of Damaris for January 2023 In the Kitchen story.

While she’s no fan of fad diets, our local Food Network Star Damaris Phillips graciously gives us a heads up and her expert insights on the food and nutrition trends we’ll be hearing about this year.

By Damaris Phillips | Photographed by Kylene White

Our down-to-earth chef and entertaining expert is anything but obsessively trendy and don’t even ask her about “New Year, New You” diet plans. But part of the gig of being a global food expert is keeping up with current flavors and tastes and looking for the bright spots in a sea of crazy food fads. 

So, before your friends and favorite restaurants start surprising you with new ingredients you’ve never heard of, Damaris shares her short list of what’s about to be hot in cuisine. She even throws in a recipe with a soon-to-be-trendy ingredient that also happens to be a personal favorite.

Detail stock image for January 2023 In the Kitchen story.



  1. Fonio: Bye, bye farro. See you later quinoa. 2023’s hottest cereal grain is fonio. Fonio is a West African seeded grass that is part of the millet species of cereal crops. It’s nutrient dense, gluten-free and easy to cook. This ancient grain has a nutty flavor and texture similar to couscous when cooked.  
  2. Texture: “Chewy” is going to become more and more popular in 2023. For too long, crispy and crunchy have monopolized the conversation about texture, but this year foodies will be talking about chewiness. It’s a common component in east and southeast Asian cuisines, so if you’re looking to try some chewy dishes I recommend udon pasta, mochi, or steamed dumplings.  
  3. Sweet Heat: AKA “swicy,” 2023’s flavor combo is gonna be all about the mash up of sweet and heat. Hot, BBQ, and Cajun flavors are all increasing in popularity and 2023 promises to pair sweet elements like fruits, honey, maple and brown sugar with them.  
  4. Dates: They are called nature’s candy for a reason and these syrupy sweet treats are just divine. In addition to seeing more varieties popping up in grocery stores, other forms of this natural sweetener will be available. Date syrup and date sugar are fast becoming a staple in my baking pantry.  
  5. Affordable Vegan: Vegan and vegetarian diets have been gaining popularity for decades and the last five years have seen a boom in vegan and plant-based convenience and prepared foods. With the growing popularity, this year you’ll see more store brands and generic brands getting into the arena and making vegan eating more affordable than ever. My favorite has been the plant-based line at Aldi. 


Detail image of Walnut Date Cheesecake for January 2023 In the Kitchen story.


For the crust:

  • 1 cup raw walnuts
  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil

For the filling:

  • 16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature  
  • 2/3 cup cane sugar 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

To garnish:

  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds 
  • 10 golden berries, sliced 
  • 6 pitted dates, sliced 
  • 2 tablespoons toasted walnuts 
  • 3 tablespoons date syrup


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.  
  2. To a food processor, add the dates, walnuts, oats and coconut oil and pulse until ingredients are chopped and roughly the size of couscous. They will start to stick together. Don’t over mix or the ingredients will become a paste.  
  3. Press into the bottom of a 7-inch springform pan. (A pie pan will work if you don’t have a spring-form pan.) Set aside as you make the filling.  
  4. Using a hand or stand mixer, combine the cream cheese and sugar. Mix on medium until smooth, about 2-4 minutes. Add the eggs 1 at a time, mixing after each to make sure everything is evenly combined. Add the vanilla and mix once more. Pour into the prepared crust and bake until the edges are just golden, and the center is soft but set, about 55-65 minutes.  
  5. Turn off the oven, open the door and cool for 30 minutes. Then transfer to the refrigerator for 3-4 hours to cool completely.  
  6. When you are ready to serve, drizzle the date syrup on the top and garnish with sliced dates, pomegranates, golden berries, and walnuts.


Feeling nostalgic? Check out Damaris’s favorite Holiday recipes.