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#BizTrends2017: Back to our roots - eight food trends for 2017
1. Vegetables take centerstage
A few years ago, looking for a vegetarian restaurant or vegetarian option on a menu was painful to say the least. Most restaurants proudly boasted a Greek Salad as their best offer. Gone are those days! Vegetables are becoming more and more popular as main courses - from poverty to Prada one plate at a time. Think vegetable carpaccio, cauliflower steaks and mushroom ragu - even carnivores will approve.
2. Bring the butcher to your table
Remember the ever popular spitbraai from yonder years? Well, in a way it is back. Chefs are getting more and more involved in the supply chain. Stem to root and nose to tail eating is hot. Festivals and food events rally around slaughtering animals and literally cooking and serving the meat straight away. Artisan butchers are the new rock stars. This way patrons know the origin of their meat and are also introduced to the less popular cuts of meat.
Liver with Onion Gravy
3. Are pop-up restaurants and long tables the new way to dine?
Dining in museums, sheds, on the beach, in the street, bush, on yachts, or shopping malls are no longer bizarre. Diners are tired of the same old, same old, so chefs are ringing the changes and adding drama and effect to the diner’s eating experience. Private chefs are scouting for new and interesting venues, as their customers want more, better and exciting new eating venues. It is all about the drama!
4. The ingredient for 2017
Every year there is one ingredient that shines – think about kimchi and kale! This year seaweed is the star ingredient. Thanks to the trendy ramen bowls, seaweed is in demand. Seaweed chips, Salty Sweet Seaweed Butter Cookies and seaweed salad is rocking the menus these days.
Seaweed Salad - 123RF
5. Cake for breakfast?
It started with a few chocolate nibs in your smoothie and now we are eating whole portions of chocolate for breakfast. Boundaries have shifted, because studies have showed the health benefits of dark chocolate, specifically on cognitive function, so what better way to start your day than to incorporate dark chocolate into breakfast?
7. Tasty waste
One trend I am very excited about is the creative reduction of food wastes by repurposing typically tossed-out stems, skins and rinds. Cauli-rice is made from the stems of the cauliflower and watermelon skins are changed into pickles. Also, crispy potato skins – yes please!
7. Overload, loaded or extreme eating
Yes, true to human nature, we always want more. We want to go bigger and experience bigger thrills. It is true for thrill rides and it is true for food. Milkshakes are loaded, burgers are way more than a mouthful and doughnuts are no longer a ring of deep-fried dough.
8. Cocktails gone virgin again
Cocktails without alcohol, better known as mocktails, are getting a modern makeover. We have moved on from the Rock Shandies at last. Flavoured water is reincarnated and barmen are called ‘mixologists’ and their bars ‘laboratories’, where they muddle herbs and smoke their ice.
I am delighted to say that I think we are finally moving in the right direction, back to our roots, so to speak. Exciting times and trends indeed.