26th December, 2009
With the end of year drawing to a close, prophesies of new trends in foods and restaurants for 2010 start to emerge from around the world. Here are some collective trends that may or may not emerge in our region.
- Online Food. The digital era has provided a new way of purchasing food and new opportunities for the small food manufacturers and distributors. Home deliveries of all foods are now possible as well as a growing trend in organic food baskets from community gardens. Online recipes are taking over from glossy culinary magazines.
- Informality of Dining. Street dining, food markets and food vans. Some of the most authentic ethnic cuisines are available from these sources. In the USA underground restaurants are popping up illegally in houses.
- Comfort Food. Seems to be a perennial favourite that has validity in the global economic downturn. A return to the prosperous ‘sixties’ lends comfort to the baby boomers with updated iconic menu items for more flavour (Prawn Cocktails never tasted so good).
- Local Regional Foods. For reasons of freshness, minimal transportation, and supporting local communities and businesses, chefs are looking for relationships with producers, a story to tell, and a history of the regional foods on their menu. A menu that happily changes with the seasons, rather that sourcing food from afar for year round continuity.
- Conscious Food. Ethical foods, sustainable foods, free trade products, organics and bio-dynamic and free-range produce. People also want to know where their foods come from, and with Country of Origin Labelling, consumers can make valued buying decisions.
- Drinking Trends. Local produced micro-beers and spirits, artisan cocktails, relaxing drinks in place of hi-energy beverages. Savoury/culinary cocktails are becoming popular with concoctions that are more like a meal than a drink using vegetables, herbs & spices. Specialty teas and organic coffee.
- Less is More. Joining the ‘cup cake’ revolution are mini desserts, mini burgers, amuse bouché, smaller quality snack and tapas style grazing food for healthier portion size and price. Also deconstructed, simple, minimal ingredient dishes cooked well .
- Health Foods. Gluten-free/food-allergy conscious meals, anti-oxidant rich foods, away from hi-energy drinks "relaxation" beverages with herbs and other ingredients designed to actually relax you, with a resurgence of calming after dinner drinks.
- New Ethnic Direction. Cuisines of Spain, Scandinavia and South America are following on from the trends of Africa, Middle East and Korea as well as the comeback of a simple French bistro.
- Home Cooking with Flair. Expressing your inner chef. Experimenting with new and interesting ingredients. A strong trend for barbeques makes casual gourmet home dining easy and economical.