It was also the year that vegetables and supergrains found their way into the kitchens of practically every restaurant on the planet.
But every new year brings new trends, and what better way to grab a glimpse of what's to come than to chat with some of the world's hottest chefs who share their food forecasts.
Community is coming before individual, he says, a radical departure from the rise of the celebrity chef.
A wave of social responsibility is on the cards in 2017.
"I see a culinary world where chefs become leaders in their communities, not only promoting healthy food but making more of that food accessible to more people."
, Via Stella, 22, Modena, Italy; +39 059 223912
No more boring dinners: Namae Shinobu
As many chefs are all doing the same things, the year ahead is all about originality, according to Namae Shinobu
, Japan's leading proponent of French cuisine.
Street food, or casual local food, will have a makeover -- including ramen, gyoza or even hot dogs by Michelin-starred chefs.
"Diners are also getting fed up with these boring dinners with an expensive price," says Shinobu.
2 Chome-26-4 Nishiazabu,
Tokyo; +81 3-5766-9500
An end to waste: Joan Roca
The humanitarian role of the chef is key, says Spain's Joan Roca, 2016's best restaurant winner
Chefs will be committed to addressing social issues including food waste, and sharing food with those in need.
One good example of this already happening: Roca and his brothers have been appointed as Goodwill Ambassadors by the United Nations Development Programme
for the #FoodAfrica program, in order to help fight hunger.
El Celler de Can Roca
, Carrer de Can Sunyer, 48, Girona, Spain; +34 972 22 21 57
Sustainability: Ben Shewry
Again, social responsibility is the buzz word, according to Ben Shewry of Melbourne's award-winning Attica restaurant.
He says chefs will be focused on the environment.
Chefs can no longer turn a blind eye to food sustainability and its impact on the planet.
"Many young chefs and home cooks are looking to chefs for inspiration, and if we have a menu with a bunch of unsustainable ingredients on it, we are contributing to the problem," admits Shewry.
, 74 Glen Eira Road, Ripponlea, Melbourne; +61 3 9530 0111
More adventure: Margarita Fores
Diversity is essential for life, and food, says chef Margarita Fores, named 2016's best female chef in Asia
With more people traveling and tasting different foods, chefs are including a variety of ingredients and produce in their mix.
Fores, who heads Manila restaurant Cibo, cites sea urchins from Hokkaido, oysters from Ireland, and mangoes from the Philippines as ingredients that may pop up globally.
A vibrant food scene means farmers and producers are more creative and adventurous than ever as they try to grow and create new things wherever they are, says Fores.
, Ayala Center, Makati City, Manila; +63 903 6327
Bread and butter: Gaggan Anand
Who doesn't love a bit of comfort food?
The future is in the basics, things like bread and butter, says Gaggan Anand, regularly feted as the world's best Indian chef
"Diners are getting tired of jellies and foams, and the fine dining market is saturated with chefs who forage, pickle and ferment," he says.
, 68/1 Soi Langsuan, Ploenchit Road, Lumpini, Bangkok; +662 652 1700
Happier meat: Dan Barber
Changes in farming habits will lead to delicious tasting meats, predicts Dan Barber, of Blue Hill in Manhattan and Blue Hill at Stone Barns.
"Deeply delicious" veal will come from calves who roam freely and are raised on mother's milk.
It's nothing like the "anemic, formula-fed stuff" associated with veal, says Barber.
Another upside? Veal will provide a new economy for struggling dairy farmers.
Blue Hill in Manhattan,
75 Washington Place, New York City; +1212 539 1776
Glamorous offal: Paul Pairet
A modern take on the past, including a farm-to-table approach and "glamorous offals and other forgotten oddities," is what's in store for 2017, according to Paul Pairet of Shangai's Ultraviolet
and Mor & Mrs Bund.
"Expect open-fire, black-scorched roots, burnt fat, untechnicalities, home cooked style," said Pairet.
Zero food wastage, and peasant food for city boys and girls -- think whole animals on a spit fire -- are trends this year, forecasts Pairet.
, Waitan, Huangpu, Shanghai; +86 021 6323 9898
Stories on a plate: Virgilio Martinez
Diners will seek out simple produce so that they can experience the culture, history and taste of a cuisine in one bite, predicts Virgilio Martinez
of Peru's Central Restaurant.
"Single origin produce with a story and tradition will come back with more value to express quality and emotion," said Martinez.
Examples of this: a roasted lamb in the Patagonia, a plate full of potatoes from the Andes, a whole grilled fish in Galicia, or fruits from the Amazon.
, Santa Isabel 376, Lima, Peru; +5112428515
Homecomings: Andre Chiang
Many great young Asian chefs trained in top restaurants in Europe and the US will return home to start their own cuisine, says Andre Chiang of Singapore's two Michelin-starred Restaurant Andre
They'll bring with them a "European soul" to a new Asian flavor which will use local ingredients.
This Europe-meets-Asia trend will spread all over Asia -- including Japan, China, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and the Philippines, according to Chiang.
, 41 Bukit Pasoh Road, Singapore; +65 6534 8880
Hospitality: Daniel Humm
Hospitality is king for 2017, says chef Daniel Humm of Eleven Madison Park, a regular best restaurant of the year heavy hitter.
Now more than ever, Humm says people want genuine hospitality when they go out for a meal.
"Whether that comes at a fine dining restaurant, or counter-service spot, it's still relevant, because it's what makes the experience special," he said, adding that he's excited to see chefs and restauranteurs take on the challenge.
Eleven Madison Park
, 11 Madison Ave, New York; +1 212 889 0905