It’s not easy keeping up with all the latest food trends.
From small plates to big bowls, foraging to fermentation, raw foods, sharing food, craft beer, craft food, even unicorn food, it can be a little too hard (or bitter) to swallow.
As we head into the new season we can expect some trends to grow in popularity, and others to fade out. We asked Jenny Morris, who needs little introduction, and chef Craig Paterson, from the President Hotel, for their thoughts and predictions on the latest and upcoming food trends.
What have been the most successful food trends for 2017 so far?
Craig Paterson: I definitely feel small plates, sharing plates and tapas have been the most successful food trend for 2017. It’s a great way to experience a variety of meals and has reinvented the old style of “boring” tapas. Craft food such as craft burgers has also been a big hit and is continuously growing, making food more creative and interesting.
Jenny Morris: My friend, chef Martin Kobold, and I had a discussion about the trends at the moment and we agreed it is back to basics, back to good wholesome food, with better portion control on how much of an ingredient one eats. As well as vegan eating. There is a huge demand for restaurants to add more dishes that cater for vegans.
What trends can we expect to see going into spring/summer 2017 and early 2018?
CP: I think craft meals such as burgers, pizzas, beer, gin and vodka will continue to be a big driving force into spring/summer 2017 and 2018. The same goes for tapas and small plates, as they give people variety and keep menus exciting.
We can expect more emphasis on healthier eating, with complex and interesting salads as a massive focus. People want lighter salad options, with interesting flavours and combinations that are not carb-heavy.
Vegan and raw food are becoming more common, but overall I do see more people being conscious of what they eat and where their food comes from.
JM: Healthy eating will grow even more, people are becoming more aware of the benefits of eating with the seasons.
Being in tune with the seasons means that the produce is abundant, always at its best, well priced and has no food miles on the clock. Carbs are going to find their way back on the table.
Field to fork is growing and consumers are looking for more organic and artisan produce. Consumers are going to be more accepting of ugly fruit and vegetables which normally don’t make it out into the public eye and are often wasted, so no more food waste.
What are the five foods or drinks we can expect will become more popular?
CP: For drinks, I believe we will see a rise in more innovative virgin/non-alcoholic drinks, as well as craft drinks such as beers, gin and vodka. As people become more health-conscious, I feel we can expect other alternatives for milk, such as almond milk, to continue to grow in popularity, as well green juices and vegetable-based juices.
With a continued focus on nutrition and healthy alternatives we’ll see an increase in veggie and comfort veggie meals. We have seen a slight increase in artisan butchers, and I think we will definitely see more of this in the near future.
Poké, small plates, tapas and craft will continue to grow in 2018 as restaurants and brands continue to experiment and complement the varied tastes of their customers.
JM: Craft gins and beers are here to stay, craft brandy is on the way up. Artisan produce like breads and cheeses, cordials, cured meats and fermented foods are here to stay for a very long time. Kale is taking a back seat and seaweed is the new kid on the block. It’s about time this superfood made it into the limelight.
How have 2017 food trends trends changed with people eating out or ordering food?
CP: People are more conscious of what they are consuming, their respective ingredients, cutting back on carbs, dairy and sugar. Even when eating at home and when purchasing food we look for radishes, cabbage, seeds, etc. Healthier yet “fun” and tasty alternatives.
JM: Trends are set out by the customer, and no longer by what chefs say people will eat. Customers know what they want, and demand it these days.
AUTHOR: Megan Baadjies, IOL