#1: NORDIC IS TOPS
I am seeing more Nordic influences on menus and not just in the States, London is going gaga for Nordic as well.
- 2018 is high on rye (bread), thanks to the imminent opening of chef Pip Lacey’s Hicce, a British-Scandi-Japanese restaurant where rye bread will be made in-house.
- Then there’s Ekte Nordic Kitchen opening in Bloomberg Arcade, serving super Scandi open sandwich smørrebrød topped with dill salmon and mustard-marinated herring.
- And Snaps + Rye with its mini smørrebrød canapés.
- Expect to see more Nordic food influences, featuring fresh and colorful ingredients like carrots, cabbage and beets, and the embrace of alternative berries including juniper and lingonberries. From beet-cured salmon with dill cream cheese, cucumber, shaved fennel and pickled mustard seeds to pan-seared arctic char, Nordic flavors and techniques will be in full swing in 2018.
See below for 3 more trends as well as info on what’s out.
#2: FLAVORS OF THE YEAR: FIG LEADS THE PACK??
Big shout out to Firmenich for putting figs on our radar when nobody, and I mean nobody, was highlighting them as an upcoming trend.
Firmenich’s case for figs:
- Fig flavored products grew 80% between 2012 and 2016
- Figs are seen as both “authentic” and “artisanal” with a “timeless” connection to the past – all of which make the fig very on trend.
Sadly, every time I go to Whole Foods to buy figs, they are nowhere to be found. Hey, Whole Foods read this Food & Wine article and get some figs in the store.
- Burnt caramel, blood orange and elderflower (Source: Synergy Flavors)
- Pepper and ginger for their aromatics and mix of warm and biting sensations (Source: Mane)
- Bananas with a twist: banana dulce de leche, coffee banana, caramelized banana, banana maple, cinnamon banana, berry banana (Source: Gold Coast Ingredients)
#3: VEGAN AND PLANT-BASED MEALS (Source: Live Kindly)
Chefs have spoken. Plant-based food will be a top restaurant trend in 2018. Expect to see more menus featuring meat-free options.
- Top UK vegan chef James Kenney recently announced his belief that chefs have the same responsibility as doctors when it comes to keeping us healthy.
- Kenney observed, “A world that largely thrives on plants, that at least becomes plant-centric, is a better world, a happier world, a healthier place, and it is a world changed. I firmly believe that chefs have the ability to do this. They are the ones buying, cooking, and serving the food, and creating choices for people.”
Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants made a similar announcement in their fourth annual ‘Culinary and Cocktail Trends Forecast’ report.
- The trend has been labeled ‘Meatless is Going Mainstream’ and their chefs from around the globe believe it will be in the top six food trends for 2018.
#4: CANNABIS CUISINE
Not a fan but it’s definitely happening and has a lot of support.
- Modern and artisan THC- and CBD-enhanced cuisine goes beyond brownies in 2018 thanks to “potrepreneurs” at all levels. (Source: CCD Innovation)
#5: Fresh Juice Places – dropping like flies.