Food and Dining Trends

UPDATE, June 2012:

Other trends noted in the US this month (as featured in the National Food Association’s Show):

* Healthy alternative foods

* Premium and artisan products

* Gluten-free products

* Food trucks

* Ethnic cuisines and flavours

Read more here: Ethnic flavors, Gluten Free, Food Trucks are Hot Trends

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You only have to look back a few years to the meals you ate as a family to realise how much Australian food habits have changed. We have eclectically garnished dishes from many of our migrant cultures, simplified the way we prepare daily meals with more of an emphasis on freshness, and are more aware of sourcing local produce.

At the same time, there may be a wider gap between Australian food experiences. Many of us dine out far more than our parents, but takeaway and chain fast food outlets are flourishing.

It’s easier to look back than it is to look forward.

Elsewhere on this site, we’ve commented on some trends we see in Gold Coast dining:

Exciting things are happening in the Gold Coast food scene.  Some of the words which might define this movement are: integrity, ethnicity, origin and community. There’s an orientation back to an authentic food experience where food is freshly cooked from the best ingredients, where people meet and share the joy of eating together at a price which they can afford.’

Are these trends just a microcosm of what is happening elsewhere? We researched the trends observed by some of the world’s best chefs to find out. Here’s our summary of their key points:

1.     Sourcing of fresh, locally farmed and hyper-local food

–       Regionalism – “a sense of place”

–       Tasting menu unique to local area produce; “discovering our own voice” (Daniel Patterson)

–       “Growing and cooking with your own produce, and local or on-site market gardens.” (Matt Moran)

–       Single origin produce

2.    Provenance – an appreciation of process from grower to table – “diners need to learn to appreciate the whole process of eating the way Europeans do. For meals they come together, bond and respect the kill —- the fish, the meat —- the growing of the vegetable, and enjoy their food rather than just consume it. Eating this way will help us get rid of the processed foods that are killing our youth.” (William Bradley)

“The relationship between farmer and cook is an integral part of running a quality restaurant. By knowing the how, where and why of produce, we can better understand and appreciate our ingredients – you are less likely to destroy something you have a relationship with.” (Ben Shewry) Sustainable and ethical food practices – particularly meat and seafood.

3.    Simplicity – “simple cooking with intense flavours”; “return to basics with outstanding local ingredients the star…with technique and a delicate touch enhancing their qualities.” (Justin North)

4.     Sustainable and ethical food practices – particularly meat and seafood. (Robert Marchetti)

5.     Dietary awareness, health and education – gluten free, vegetarianism, dietary restriction awareness and experimental cuisine in these areas; creative healthier food, particularly for children.

6.     Casual dining – Quality food in a more casual atmosphere; “casual dining has not become a trend, but a staple in the food world.” An example of this is vintage-retro-industrial concepts, which are inviting and homely. “The key is offering a visual wow factor and value for money, while never compromising on food quality.” (Will Meyrick)

7.     Value – Less expensive dining; “people want to get great quality product at a reasonable price.” “Smaller portions for a smaller price.” – for example, tapas. (What’s hot in 2011) 

8.     Accessibility – Food trucks and pop-up restaurants; new-wave street food will continue to flourish as cooks seek self-expression and diners clamour for variety and entertainment. (David Tanis)

9.     Collectives and partnerships between chefs, farmers and fishermen – of like-minded people “passionate about their food sources and sharing resources and ideas.” (Christine Manfield)

10.   Reinvention of traditional cooking techniques, food combinations and recipes – Old recipes with a modern twist; heirloom varieties; Cooking techniques influenced by natural methods e.g. cooking potatoes in earth; fermentation, smoking, curing and preserving, cooking over charcoal and wood. (Christine Manfield, Teage Ezard, Peter Gilmore); ‘dude food’ – pairing of the robust flavours of the East with Western favourites – menus without borders.

11.     Some single product, single concept restaurants, e.g. restaurants excelling in gyoza or dumplings; raw food restaurants.

12.     Discovery – pushing the limits and helping redefine what gastromony is; an expansion of our limited worldwide knowledge

 Sources:

What’s hot in 2011

Top chefs dish on hot food trends, local dining, by Pam Kragen, North County Times, April 14, 2011.

Top chefs forecast trends in the restaurant world, by Michelle Rowe, The Australian, October 22, 2011.

born2eat

 

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