Estrella Damm brought their Gastronomy Congress to Manchester in March to launch their first ever Food and Drink Trend Report. Because of work commitments I couldn’t make it, I sent Dr C in my place!
Estrella has collaborated with Michelin starred chef Joan Roca (El Celler de Can Roca) and Brand Positive to put together a detailed report predicting the next big trends in food and drinks industry. During the launch event we were treated to beer courtesy of Estrella. As well as delicious tapas style dishes cooked by fellow Michelin starred chef Paco Perez.
Incidentally Paco Perez is the chef behind the Tast Cuina Catalana venture due to open in Manchester in June 2018. Perhaps the highlight of the day was a live cooking demonstration by Joan Roca. He talked us through the creative process in designing his multi award winning menu. It was really inspirational to hear the heart and soul that goes into his dishes and how he’s continually pushing for innovation. If it weren’t for the 11 month waitlist I’d definitely be detouring to Girona on my upcoming trip to Barcelona!
So what’s going to be trending in bars and restaurants near you this year? The report suggests that as consumers what we’re looking for now is for our food to be accountable and more health conscious. What the report terms – “Hyper Local, Hyper Seasonal and Hyper Creative” and is summed up over 5 keys areas:
Foraging and Botanicals
Wild foods and foraged ingredients are appearing on UK menus more frequently than they have been in previous years. These ingredients often have limited seasonality (hyper seasonal) resulting in menus that are hyper local.
Increasingly we’ve become more interested in the miles that our food travels to end up on our plates. Cooking locally sourced foods has become key in so many restaurants and that’s something that the Estrella report predicts will continue and expand.
Food waste is a concern for both consumers and suppliers alike. Its seen the emergence of innovative “root to shoot” and “nose to tail” menus across the country. Where less glamourous cuts of meat are given the prize position in the menu. It’s a return to tradition and the way previous generations used all of the available resources and it often results in absolutely outstanding dishes.
Plant Based Foods
It’s no surprise to see a rise in popularity of plant based foods. Vegetarianism and Veganisnm have seen a surge in popularity in recent years, and even those who are confirmed carnivores do “Meat Free Mondays”. Wether it’s for health, environmental or ethical reasons plant based foods are here to stay. No longer can restaurants present a risotto or weak pasta dish as their sole veg offering on a menu.
Transparency and integrity of the food chain is something that consumers have come to expect and demand in recent years. Knowing that the meat, cheese or even vegetables you’re being served have been sourced responsibly and their production can be traced lends a sense of trust and loyalty.
I had a great day hearing about the current concepts in cooking and where top chefs expect trends to move to in the coming months. The beers was delicious and the food only served to make me very excited to hurry up and get to Barcelona to try more local Catalan food.
What do you think about the predicted food trends? Do you agree? Let me know in the comments,
P.S. Dr C was invited down to the congress as press. As ever all words, photos and opinions are here own.