1. Vegetable-forward cuisinePlant-based food seems slated to be the hottest culinary trend of 2018, across several food trend lists. While we’ve seen food trends reflecting changing attitudes towards health and wellness in the last year, it seems 2018 is set to be a year of even more exciting veggie-centric cuisine. Plant-based food tops several food trends lists from Whole Foods to the BBC. In the coming year, we will see more vegetable carb substitutes like cauliflower rice and zucchini spaghetti, as well as plant-based proteins like tofu, tempeh and quinoa even as chefs start to treat vegetable produce with as much respect as proteins.
2. Mindful food choicesIt’s good news for the environment in 2018 as consumers are predicted to become more mindful in their food choices in terms of sustainability, ethical issues and transparency in product labeling. More people will become interested and involved in the provenance of their food, with trends like hyper-localism rising to the fore. The demand for transparency is getting stronger, fanned by the plethora of information available at the slide of a smartphone, turning the focus on ingredients, processes and origin stories.
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3. Authentic ethnic flavoursThe fine dining scene continues to diversify as chefs lead the charge in bringing authentic ethnic cuisines to the table. We see three Michelin-starred Gaon and La Yeon doing this for Korean gastronomy and newly-minted two-star Gaggan taking Indian cuisine to the next level. Meanwhile, Whole Foods says Middle Eastern cuisine will truly hit the mainstream in 2018, and also predicts we’ll be using more ethnic spices with lots of health benefits like harissa, cardamom, peri peri, shimichi and za’atar, and eating more ethnic-inspired breakfast dishes like chorizo scramble and shakshouka.
4. New cuts of meatIn its annual What’s Hot survey, the National Restaurant Association polled members of the American Culinary Federation to find out what industry experts felt were going to be hot trends in 2018. Topping the list again is unusual cuts of meat such as Vegas Strip steak, Merlot cut, oyster blade and shoulder tender. Branching out to secondary cuts is also a good move for the environment, cutting down on food wastage.
5. Non-alcoholic drinksThis year is going to be a great year for teetotalers and those mindful of the negative effects of excessive alcohol consumption. Fine dining restaurants are paying more attention to drink pairings beyond wines and spirits, and curating careful juice programmes or extensive tea menus. If you’re craving something more flavourful than tonic water or club soda during cocktail hour, Seedlip has created the world’s first non-alcoholic distilled spirit while mocktail mixology has become as much a craft as its spirit-based counterpart. Sweet, mass-consumed soft drinks are also making way for flavoured sparkling waters like the trendy LaCroix and artisanal sodas in fancy flavours like pear and fig or burdock and anise root beer.
This story first appeared on MICHELIN Guide Singapore. Click here to read the original feature.