An army of delegates marches on its stomach. At least, we’re pretty sure that’s how the saying goes.
Richard Gynn, executive head chef, and Euan Peach, development chef, at Blue Strawberry and Table Talk give their top food tips for 2019.
1) The thoughtful approach
"We have seen a massive increase in demand for health-conscious, vegetarian and vegan offerings in 2018," says Gynn.
"A more ethical, zero-waste approach has become the norm and, wherever possible, we utilise the entirety of the ingredients we purchase - we love to make unusual stocks or fruit vinegars for intensifying flavours. One such example of using the whole vegetable is our Tandoori butternut squash dish which features an incredible bhaji created from the skin of the squash."
2) Virgin cocktails
"The interplay between food and drink items directly affects our perception of flavour," says Gynn. "Young adults are showing lots of interest in non-alcoholic beverages. Our mixologists have been exploring dynamic virgin cocktail recipes featuring unusual infusions, enhancing aromas and craft tea blending – all of which add an exciting depth of flavour."
3) Flavour shift
"The popularity of bitter drinks such as Aperol Spritz and artisan gins last year opened up our collective palate," explains Peach.
"This is great nutritionally, as bitter foods tend to be good for the gut, and it makes more space for chefs to create an interesting balance of flavours. We’ve seen a lot of kimchi, kefir and kombucha going into dishes this year and I’ve been experimenting with fermentation. The results are really flavoursome.
"Citrus is brilliant for bringing brightness and acidity to dishes, but 2019 will see fresh kaffir limes and pomelos making a big splash, joining already popular yuzu and calamansi."
4) Fire cooked
"We’ve noticed a really exciting trend for dishes being cooked over a naked flame," says Peach. "This approach results in big bold flavours, which can be difficult to replicate at events – however I will be exploring ways to do just that."
5) Inspired ice cream
"Ice cream is making a huge comeback in 2019 food trends. I’m working with lots of unusual flavours including Sake, roasted almond and black sesame," says Peach.
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