While there is no denying the quality and enjoyment one gets from the classics, any industry needs some excitement and innovation. Regardless of whether new trends are introduced in a way that is refined and subtle or whether they are over the top, resulting in a new craze, they can’t be ignored if you want to stay on top of your game.
Dining at the classic French bistro, Cabotte, this week, I enjoyed the traditional combinations and excellent cooking techniques combined with a few trendy twists and ingredients. Looking at what is forecasted for 2019 though, chefs have their work cut out for them and I am really looking forward to how they will incorporate the latest culinary preferences.
Digestive Health – Health is a very important trend and it seems that the relentless attack on carbs will be playing second fiddle to something that has been lurking in the shadows for a while, gut health. Cooking shows have introduced us to naturally fermented products like kimchi, kefir, kombucha, etc. and they will continue their popularity. While probiotics, prebiotics and fibre-rich ingredients are no strangers to our culinary reference, they will move from the health section to the mainstream shelves and convenience stores to be included in pantry staples such as granola, oatmeal, nut butters, soups and nutrition bars. (Read more)
Marijuana – Staying with the trend for natural health remedies, marijuana’s health benefits have moved it from the dungeon to the mainstream. As it gets legalised, the trend is increasingly to add marijuana to food and drink. If you don’t know the abbreviations yet, you soon will. CBD or Cannabidiol (other than THC) is an extract from the cannabis plant that is non-psychoactive and it is progressing from oils and creams to bakeries, restaurant menus and designer cocktails. (Click here to learn about the different uses for CBD and THC).
Excluding – Removing or reducing elements from food and drink to improve health has been a trend in 2018 and it will stay with us in 2019 as product development gets better. Expect a wider selection of products with less or no preservatives, gluten, calories and alcohol.
Plant-based – The trend to exclude extends to meat and it is much bigger than meat-free Mondays! Plant-based diets are the talk of the town and meat-free options have a wider variety and better taste than the traditional vegetarian sausages. As the social and environmental questions about animal-derived products have become top of mind, choosing plant-based food is about more than just excluding meat. Lab-grown or “motherless” meat is another trend to watch in the new year.
Poke, Paleo and Pomegranates – Riding the poke bowl wave introduced by the trend for Hawaiian cuisine, bowl food stays popular. Although there is always a new diet fad, the Paleo diet has seen a revival especially in weight-loss circles. While the Mediterranean diet is still considered to be a healthy and sustainable way of life, there is a growing interest in food from the Middle East.
Trendy Tastes – Probably because of the trend for fermented products, sour tastes are forecasted to dominate in 2019. Expect vinegar-based recipes for marinades and sauces, acidic fruit such as rhubarb, oranges and tamarind and kimchi in macaroni and cheese or ice cream… (Read more) Building on the popularity of Asian flavours, expect the intensity of dried shrimp, cuttlefish and shrimp paste as well as the sweetness of vibrant tropical fruits such as guava, dragon fruit and passionfruit. (Read more)
Local chefs – From craft whiskey to fearless palates, affordable fine-dining and heritage cuisine, click here for the trends South African chefs hope to see in 2019. Finding the stories of South African cuisine and sharing them with guests in a way that is modern, Chef Eric Bulpitt of Pierneef à La Motte Restaurant realises the importance of both tradition and trend. While the kitchen has been busy with all types of fermentation this year, it is his quest to find umami that will be the focus for 2019.
Featured image: Chef Eric with some Bokkoms, dried fish from the South African West Coast that not only contribute to the coveted umami flavour, but also support the trends for heritage, fusion and Asian flavours.