As the end of 2016 approaches, we have decided to put our hat in the ring and offer up some predictions on the major food trends we expect to see happening next year.
This year we saw a number of exciting trends, Japanese and Korean food continued to grow, food delivery apps became the norm and the smoky flavours of fired meats and charcoal cooking came to the forefront. Below are our predictions for 7 food trends to look out for in 2017.
The sixth taste has been discovered, analysed and named – it’s Oliogastro and it refers to how people perceive fat. Understanding the use of fat as an actual flavour will push chefs to search for new ways to incorporate it into dishes. Rancidity – created as fat oxidises – is one element that could be manipulated and controlled to add new flavours and mouth feel to dishes. Change how you think about rancid food – it's more a subtle tartness, dryness or added punch.
Bartenders have been creating some amazing extractions to incorporate new flavours into their drinks – in Peru recently we drank some hardcore blue cheese liquid. One of the main techniques for creating these liquid flavours is to use a centrifuge, usually a very expensive piece of equipment. However, with the recent launch of The Spiznall, a simple centrifuge that any professional kitchen and even some hardcore home cooks can afford, we predict a new injection of interest in liquid flavours. Get ready for interesting liquid flavouring added to drinks, sprayed on plates and dropped as seasoning on specific parts of your plate.
We’re all getting more conscious of sustainability, where our food comes from, how much we waste, how we dispose. As more and more people look to take control of their food supply in 2017 we predict a rise in people growing their own herbs, fruits and vegetables at home. This already happens, we hear you shout, but 2017 will differ because of technology. New, energy efficient devices built for the home that can produce food on the kitchen counter and can be controlled by an app will bring the green fingered sensation to those who don’t even own a garden.
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Forget grabbing your own cutlery, canteen style seating plans, and the rustic approach to fine dining we’ve come to enjoy over recent years – we’re predicting a return to crisp white linen, shiny cutlery and, yes, good old fashioned tableside service. We’re talking bread carts, cake carts, lobster pressing and maybe even some steaks fired right next to your head. Trends are usually the return of something that was once cool and we think opulent and over the top tableside service will make a big comeback in 2017.
Take the best of Japanese, then take the best of Peruvian cuisine – now combine them together with dedication, respect and ultimate technique, what do you have? Nikkei. Nikkei is probably one of the globe’s youngest cuisines, but it’s one that is sure to gain more traction in 2017, as it benefits from the growing popularity of Japanese cuisine, Latin American flavours and more acclaim for well known Nikkei chefs like Mitsuharu Tsumura. Nikkei offers Japanese-style cooking with balls, big bad spicy balls, balls filled with tasty leche di tigre, bags of umami and a nice hit of spice. If you haven’t already tasted it, we suggest you do and if a restaurant hasn't already opened in your city, we predict it's coming.
The tasting menu will continue to take a hit in 2017 – chef Claude Bosi set fire to his tasting menu at the begining of 2016 and more and more restaurants seem to be stepping away from tasting only options in favour of a la carte. The big restaurants, the three star stalwarts who offer a true dining experience over many hours will continue to offer tasting menus, but we think diners will be encouraged to make choices even within these tastings.
Don’t worry, we’re not talking about food replaced by pills, in fact, it’s just the opposite. This is all about chefs offering their knowledge to the medical profession – planning hospital menus, working on food for certain dietary restrictions, creating mini foods for those who can’t digest large amounts, etc. Food meets medical is a discussion that’s been taking place throughout 2016, and a number of chefs, including Niko Romito, have already started sharing their knowledge to help impact food within medical fields.