Human taste buds are constantly changing and people love to experiment with food. Some of the factors that aid this change include culture, environment, economy and society, amongst many others. Due to such varied reason the food and beverage industry is highly volatile and there is hardly any difference between fashion, which lasts for some time, and fad, which vanishes instantly. As chefs, we constantly evolving and re-discovering, and it is possible for us to make some predictions by following current trends and seeing where new food discoveries and technology can lead us. Here I’ve picked 6 of the most significant Food Trends you should look out for in 2018 -
Farm to Table– One of the recent trends which has captured the entire food and beverage industry is the concept of Farm-To-Table. This is a movement which directly promotes local restaurants and cafes to serve local food which is generally acquired from the producer. Such an incident only occurs when there is a direct relationship of the restaurant with the agricultural establishments of the local region, access to the local farmer's market and tie-ups with the local producers. Some restaurants also raise selected vegetables and herbs, and can thus celebrate home grown seasonal ingredients.
Cloud Kitchen– Establishing a restaurant and carry out its daily affairs is a very costly proposition. Many budding chefs and restaurateurs across the world do not have enough capital to fund such establishments. But with the advancement of the cloud technology, making and receiving online orders and fulfilling them through the cloud kitchens has become the most feasible solution. This is the best solution to tackle poor margins and high rentals. In a nutshell, a cloud kitchen is an establishment which has a fully functional kitchen without a dine-in facility. The kitchen receives online orders and delivers the cooked meal at the doorstep of the customer, reducing overheads and infrastructure costs, serving quick meals and increasing the possibility of expansion by reducing break even time.
Rediscovering Grains- Kamut. Amaranth. Spelt. Sorghum. Chia. Sound familiar?? These aren’t new terms, they’re ancient grains, and they’re all set to make a comeback. An overall conscious approach to our diet has resulted in more people reaching for whole grain alternatives and giving a harder look at their overall health. Wheat maybe a staple in many dishes across the world, but there are whole lot of super grains to watch out for, each with their own unique set of taste, flavour, texture and health benefits. In the past few years, we’ve developed an obsession for quinoa, which probably we’re still crazy for, and while it still holds its place on the popularity list, Chefs would be soon experimenting with a whole new range of unique, under-the-radar grains which would be out on the menus soon.
Unfamiliar Cuisines – India is a country where we are not afraid to try out new cuisines and food from across the globe. According to various surveys, Indians are more open to food from other countries as compared to the rest of the world. In the future years, Indian, Chinese and Italian cuisines will undoubtedly rule the roost but it is also expected that countries like Peru, Japan, Sri Lanka and Native America will also establish themselves on the food map. These cuisines would gradually make a place for themselves on Indian menus, with the obvious tweak to the authentic flavors to suit the Indian taste buds.
Fascinating Ingredients– Food has no boundaries and follows no restrictions. There has been an inflow of various unique ingredients such as soft shell crabs, black corn, fiddleheads, purple broccoli and roman cauliflower at selected Indian markets and 2018 is going to be a year when we not only hear of, but also get to try some of these fascinating ingredients. Chefs today are fearless and do not hesitate to introduce NEW dishes to their menus. One way of bring about change in a menu, is innovation by means of introduction of unfamiliar ingredients. Interesting!!
Contemporary Cuisine – Modern chefs are constantly looking forward to break culinary rules and coming up with new preparations which appeal not only to the taste buds of consumers, but also are a visual treat to look at. One of the characteristics of contemporary cuisine is combining the use of modern cooking techniques with science and treating the ingredient with utmost respect, thus retaining the integrity of that ingredient. Which means, ingredients that are used need to be of the highest quality, freshness is paramount. Contemporary cuisine which was introduced in India in the early 2000s has gained popularity since and this trend will continue in the coming years. Tags such as Modern Cuisine, Nouvelle Cuisine and sometimes Fusion Cuisine are generally used alongside Contemporary cuisine.