The food industry is a fast moving one.
Adopting a new style or trend could be the difference between gaining or losing a new customer.
Although there are a million and one fads that pop up throughout the course of a year, ignoring them could be a bad choice. They range from the most trivial (we’re looking at you ‘Chips in Buckets’) to the truly inventive, which could well be a step too far for your usual clientele.
Last year was a dramatic one in the Food business. Still recovering from the Great Gourmet Burger Uprising of 2010, new restaurants have been forced to open with different approaches. Although modern spins on Soul food is still doing well, in a world of ever increasing homogenisation, it really does pay to be a little different.
These are the new Food Trends that I’m itching to incorporate into my food at the pub:
Asian Spins On Classics
The people of Britain have come along way in the last 30 years. When I was a kid, my parents idea of ‘Asian Food’ was a pre-made Black Bean Sauce from Sharwoods, limp noodles and a bag of prawn crackers – no wonder they didn’t think much of it!
Thanks to the internet and globalisation, we’ve become much more comfortable with concepts that are somewhat alien to us. Not only are we embracing fermented foods such as kimchi and miso, we’re now looking for ways that we can incorporate these techniques into our own British Classics.
Artisanal Butchery & Meat
There might well be more Vegans living amongst us than ever before, (not to mention the success of the Veganuary campaign) but that doesn’t mean that Britain doesn’t still love eating animals.
Meat is still very much a part of the British diet, however now there’s more of a focus on traditional butchering methods and truly grass-fed animals. Meat-eaters are happy to eat chicken, beef and pork when they know that the animal has been treated with respect from the farm all the way to the plate. The proof, as always, is in the taste!
Devious Compound Butters
Although there are probably a few seasoned chefs who will be rolling their eyes at this ‘new’ idea – it doesn’t mean that its not becoming one of the fastest growing trends in restaurants today and one that I’d like to get in on.
Whereas some restaurants are going the whole hog and culturing their butter in-house, others are taking the easier option and simply combining herbs with their current stock to create fresh, fragrant alternatives to the usual plain stuff.
Citrus and Tarragon. Garlic and Rosemary. Smoked Paprika and Jalapeno. These are tried and tested flavour combinations moulded into a winning product.
Wholesome Buddha Bowls
Regardless of how us Meat Lovers try and deny it, vegetarian and plant-based meals are getting more and more popular each year.
Rather than work against the grain, I’m looking to embrace more of these cooking Vegan cooking styles – chief of them being the Buddha Bowl.
Featuring healthy grains, wholesome roots and colourful super-foods, these easy to prepare dishes are a chef’s dream. Cheap to source, quick to prep and drop-dead gorgeous.
With an ever increasing interest in alternative foods, I’m hoping to design a couple of Buddha Bowls for our Summer menu, a fresh alternative to the usual pub lunch.
Turmeric In Everything
There’s always one core ingredient that both the industry (and consumers) become infatuated with over the course of a year. A few years ago it was kale, then quinoa had its time.
Now it looks like the next component to take a turn in the spotlight will be an old favourite that we’re all familiar with, just not in this form. Powdered Turmeric has been used for hundreds of years in Asian cooking to add colour and warmth to curries.
Chefs everywhere from Brooklyn to London are now embracing the ingredient in its purest form: the root. Punchier in flavour than its powdered cousin, this root has crept its way into juice bars around the world and now its finding its way into the restaurants.