As the year comes to an end we decided to take a look back at the FDL food trend predications we made at the end of 2016, a list of topics, techniques and tastes that we expected to take centre stage throughout the last year.
We put our hat in the ring on seven food trend predictions and some were way off the mark, while others seem to have gained traction.
There were three main trends predictions that came to roost.
We predicated in December 2016 that Nikkei was “sure to gain more traction in 2017” and for this one we were more than correct.
Mitsuharu Tsumura from the Maido restaurant in Peru, widely recognised as one of the world’s leading Nikkei chefs, topped Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants list and catapulted the Nikkei brand of cuisine onto the world stage. Expect more from this exciting, young cuisine in 2018.
Tableside Service was also a good call, we’ve seen a continued rise of the old once again becoming the new with lobster presses, duck presses, fish filleting and all manner of tableside service popping up throughout the year. More of that in 2018? We’re going to say this one continues - perhaps with even more opulence creeping in.
Another fairly accurate call was the prediction that restaurants would begin to offer more choices, and that even those with tasting menus would either scale back or offer up choices within their tastings. This has been a continuing trend throughout the year with less and less tasting-only restaurants now opening.
Close But Not Close Enough
2017 wasn’t quite the year for many of our predictions but here’s a few we still believe will come to fruition, eventually.
There are examples of this happening but perhaps we would have been smarter to note the merging of culinary ideas with educational establishments before we predicted that the worlds of food and medicine would collaborate. We do still back this prediction that chefs and food professionals will begin to work alongside those in the medical field, and we also think it will be pushed further by conscious consumers searching for functional foods, it’s just not really started on a grand scale yet.
We had ideas of large groups of people taking to planting their own foods, herbs, vegetables and fruits, all with the help of a host of new technologies but this doesn’t seem to have taken off with any real momentum. We’re holding onto to this one, people will continue to take back control of some of their food supply with the help of new tech - we’re starting to fear that this might only take off when consumers are faced wit scarcity or high prices.
This was the idea that The Spiznall (a simple and cheap centrifuge machine) coupled with the rising demand for mixology and cocktails would create a shoe new line of interesting liquid flavours. It is happening but this remains a trends in very high-end, high-cost places - we still expect this to catch on further as more bars start to invest and use centrifuge to create liquid flavours as crazy as blue cheese.
Way Off The Mark
They say you should always have something wacky when making predictions - just in case you’re right. We tried this but we were totally off the mark with our wacky suggestion of Rancidity: predicting that new research from the Nordic Food Lab would help to push the idea of rancidity as a type of flavouring for food and that chefs would start to incorporate it more in their repertoire. You can encounter this idea in some kitchens but it didn’t take off on any major level in 2017, a read through our report on the research does mention on just how difficult it will be to introduce rancidity to the Western palate.
The Glaring Miss?
You might be wondering how we totally missed the rise of the physical and psychological wellbeing movement which has permeated kitchen culture across the world in 2017. Better working conditions, better holiday options, better support and more transparency around the issues of mental health. The welfare of the chef really became a talking point throughout 2017 - a much needed debate.
Did we miss it? Again, sometimes with trends you catch them a little too early - in our 2016 food trend predictions we highlighted something we called ‘The Sustainability of The Chef’.
This has been one of the most exciting, drastic and impactful trends of 2017 and long may it continue into 2018.