Here are 9 of the most exciting trends and influencers in the food world globally.
The new food TV – happening mostly online. Netflix is home to Chef’s Table which everyone is raving about.
Coffee and tonic – Koppi, a coffee shop and roastery in Helsingborg, Sweden, stumbled on it a few years ago and it’s become the shop’s bestselling cold brew. Now spreading across the globe.
Alain Passard – the godfather of the vegetable, is cited by Momofuku’s David Chang as “the most important chef ever” and by David Kinch of California’s Manresa as “the only chef I’ve ever met that I can unequivocally call a true artist.” Passard says: “I have had two lives, fifteen years mostly cooking with meat and 15 years with vegetables.”
Read more below on restaurant theater, guest cheffing, and the new wave of women bakers. Big thanks to the UK’s Guardian for their roundup of 50 things they love about the food world.
The Fat Duck’s mechanical sweet shop (in Bray, UK)
Previously at the Fat Duck, the meal would end with a simple bag of sweets. Now, Heston Blumenthal has pushed this idea to an actual sweet shop. When the tasting menu draws to a close, a trolley arrives bearing a doll’s house that resembles the Fat Duck itself. This dazzling contrivance cost £150,000 to build. The reason for the elaborate finale? “I wanted to amplify the interactive involvement that guests experience throughout their time at the Fat Duck,” says Chef/Owner Hester Blumenthal. “It’s all based on the metaphor of feeling like a kid in a sweet shop, which I want everyone leaving the restaurant to feel.”
Crepe Suzette at the Ritz
One of the grandest set pieces of restaurant theater in one of London’s grandest rooms. An elegant trolley, vessels of orange juice, citrus rind in syrup, a bottle of Grand Marnier. Then whoosh! The spirit and room lights with stuttering purple flame.
Guest Chefs – There is a lot of guest cheffing around, it is officially A Thing.
Professional Barista Apprenticeship – The goal is to take a young unemployed person who may know nothing about coffee on day one, and within a year make them one of the highly trained baristas in the country. The free, government-funded program – the first of its kind in the UK – is run by Ben Szobody and the charity wing of Brighton-based baptist One Church, in conjunction with a nearby secondary school.
The new wave of women bakers – Sarah Lemke and her all-female team of bakers at De Superette in the Belgian city of Ghent are known for making magnificent bread. And like Laura Hart of Hart’s Bakery in Bristol, Bridget Hugo at London’s Bread Bread, and Carol Choi of Mirabelle in Copenhagen, they’re quietly proving that women can master more than cakes. “Half of my bread team is female,” confirms Chad Robertson, co-owner of San Francisco’s Tartine bakery. “They are all amazingly talented, any of them are capable of leading.”
More and more women are approaching Laura Hart at her booming bakery, looking to make bread for a living. “Perhaps the shift from mass production to smaller artisan bakeries is more appealing to women,” she says.
Kombucha – In Chinese, Korean and Russian the word for kombucha translates as “tea fungus.’ It’s thought to date back to 220BC but since the 1990s it has been made commercially. The global market for kombucha is estimated to be $1.8bn by 2020.