The global dining landscape is fluid and ever changing. In 2017 the trend is for organic ingredients, a larger vegetarian/vegan share of the menu, and a simpler more honest style of dining. Comfort or bistro style food made dishes are the fine dining today. It’s the likes of Joel Robuchon who have taken this form of culinary to the highest level.
Story By Laurence Civil and Cr.
As we gaze into our culinary crystal ball here are the trends that we are predicting for 2017.
Artisanal Butchers Shops attached to Restaurants
This is the meaties backlash against the the Vegetarian movement by those who have an uncompromising love of meat. The butcher –to – table concept allows carnivore customer to look on in awe as the favourite piece of meat from grilled steak to charcuterie is prepared and then to enjoy in the adjacent restaurant
Pasta…again and again
Mario Batali and his partners have transformed noodles into a luxury food item, complimented by the silkiest most ingenious sauces served in the casual setting of neighbour hood restauarants. Mafaldine – curly edged lasagne embellished with a pink pepper corn sauce; pork filled tortellini served with chicken bardo – an Italian soup stock, with a splash of Lambrusco and classic Emilia Romagna; Ragu alla Naploetana – soppresta (dried Italian salami meat balls with a tomato sauce.
The Re-emergance of Proudly French restaurants
This is coming in the form of precision engineered takes on bistro fare such a s a lighter version of the Escoffier classic Sole Veronique Dover sole poached in white wine served in a cream sauce topped with chilled grapes for a texture and temperature. One of the leading masters of this style of cooking is Joel Robuchon with this combination of culinary excellence, quality ingredients and simplicity of service. Old school fine dining is officially dead.
Vegetarian Comfort Food
There is a notable growth in the amount of vegetables finding their way onto the dinner plate. This means that we are likely to see more people ordering mashed cauliflower to replace rice or pasta. There is a noticeable growth in healthy eating options and the food industry is showing more respect to vegetarian and vegan diets and pickling vegetables is clearly on the rise. This is going to lead to restaurants offering more allergen aware dishes alongside healthy choices.
Chawanmushi the Vessel for Showcasing Lux Ingredients
A Japanese savoury egg custard set with dashi rather than milk or cream. Its elemental purity makes highly adaptable and chefs beyond the Japanese kitchen are choosing it to showboat top quality ingredients. Anita Lo at her Manhatten Amisa restaurant steams umi and morel in the fragrant custard. While Sung Ahn at his 18 seat hideaway Mosu near San Francisco’s Japantown combines trout roe, crab, okra and radish that glisten together like crown jewels.
While technically not a food but coffee is a key element of the dining experience Coldbrew is a dominant trend in the way modern coffee is made It’s a process of steeping coffee ground in water that’s between room temperature to cold for 12 hours or longer as its extracts a bolder flavour.
The Re-emergance of Crab Rangoon
A simple dish of seasoned crab and cream cheese wrapped in a wonton sheet. The dish is believed to have been created in the 1950’s by Victor Bergeron the founder of Trader Vic’s renowned for its exotic sounding dishes with questionable authenticity. He claimed the recipe was Burmese but the reality is far more likely to be that it was just a part of his culinary theatre. Despite its dubious origins some have had kale to give bulk and colour or as a spring roll. Some of the more creative have rejiggered the recipe at serve it as crab dip with wanton chips. The best innovative example we found was at Peterboro in Detroit where Brion Wong folds his crab Rangoon into lotus flower shapes and the distinctive taste of scallion cuts through the rich, gushing filling.
Bowls replacing Hand Held
Dish that were previous eaten hand held are now being served in bowls similar to Korean Bibimae. It’s faster to assemble the upscale entrée, moreover physically holding a bowl is more comforting. The diner feels fuller more quickly and this service style allows the all the flavours and textures with each bite.
Breakfast is Changing
Tradition smooth foods such as scrambled eggs are out of favour with a preference being shown for dishes with a more crunch texture. This has led to the emergence of dish such as fried chicken, crispy chorizo and coarse cereal with ruffage. There is a growing demand for stronger flavours such as Cheddar Cheese, pico de gallo, and chorizo. Often accompanied with International dishes such as taco
A Spice Surge
Continuing with the theme of stronger bolder flavours experts are predicting the Middle Eastern and global spices such as corriander, cumin and fennel are expected to pop up on the breakfast menu and beyond. The use of cayenne pepper, caraway seeds, saffron, lemongrass, ginger, cumin and cinnamon are said to be on the increase. Other powerful flavours said to be on the rise are Persian minestrone ash-Erechtheum serve with beans, herbs, turmeric and flat noodles. Shakshuka delicious combination of fried egg and tomato. Possibly the most radical is strawberries served with a pepper cream.
An Hawaian speciality pronounced ‘po-kay’ is cubes or raw seafood usually tuna or octopus with soy sauce, green onions and seasame oil served over rice This is in keeping with the trend authentic ethnic cuisines and sustainable seafood. Menu trends are shifting from being ingredients based to theme based ideas.
Chicken – Protein Meat
Consumer craving for healthier high protein meat is leading to the growth in the popularity of chicken providing its organic, antibiotic –free and hormone feed. No longer seen as the cheap vodka of the butchers counter. The today’s savvy dinner is concerned for the welfare of livestock that’s raised for meat production. Their expectation is that it should raised in accordance Global Annual Partnership for Broiler Chicken that requires they are raised in a cage free environment with no gates of crowding used on the farm. The birds shouldn’t be physically altered such as beak trimming, de-spurring or toe trimming. The educated consumer is now more aware of what goes into their bodies and those of their children.
Credit Leading Image from The Black Tie Service