As 2013 draws to an end, it is again time to make my predictions for what will be the Food Trends of 2014. Whilst somewhat light hearted, these predictions are based on my observations of food over the past 12 months not just as ‘someone who eats’ but also as a participant in the Australian Food Industry.
Forget organic! Local is where it is at. The major retail chains have appointed local sourcing managers and their buyers are scouring their local regions for suppliers who can demonstrate to the public that the retailers are supporting local food producers. This is most prevalent in SA and WA but the other states are catching on. If you think your local supermarket can do better, this is the time to tell them.
2. Ready Meals
Ready meals have been around for ages and microwave lasagna has been a mainstay of ‘non-chefs’ for many years. Be on the look out now for ‘fancy’ dishes that can either be steamed or grilled or roasted but which are ready made from high quality ingredients. The microwave versions will still be there but they will all get makeovers too.
3. Almond and other ‘Nut Milks’
Almond milk, peanut milk, macadamia milk….Nut Milks will make a resurgence not just for those who are lactose intolerant but will be pushed as a healthy alternative to normal milk. Soy milk has been around for some time now. I tried it but in my opinion there is nothing like high quality full fat milk!
Some of the most searched recipes on Google in 2013 were for pancakes and crepes. With the current obsession for salty and sweet combinations that are sweeping hipster plates across the globe, I see gargantuan combinations of Elvis style food involving pancakes, peanut butter, bacon, maple syrup and bananas etc…
5. Healthier Kids Meals
In contrast to the ‘young adult’ craze for salty sweet gourmet junk food, parents are demanding that children’s food be actually made from recognisable ingredients and to a standard that would make parents happy to eat. Is this to do with Jamie? Maybe…maybe not. Either way, the youngsters are going to be better off.
6. Regional Chinese
Long gone are the days where Steak and Blackbean Sauce, Sweet and Sour Pork and Honey Chicken with ‘Special’ Fried Rice are all that are on offer. Think of restaurants specialising in the bold flavourful food reminiscent of Yunanese cuisine. It will be like trying Chinese food for the first time…all over again!
7. ‘Unconventional’ Fusion
Think of the kind of weird, confused but undeniably awesome cuisine of people like Roy Choi with such creations as ‘Kimchi Taco’s’, Chinese Steamed buns with Texas BBQ, all sorts of play on salty/sweet which make ‘salted caramel’ look like ‘cucumber sandwich’.
8. Vietnamese Cuisine
Last year, I said that Vietnamese cuisine would make a bold statement and the crowd at Red Lantern have certainly played their part in this phenomenon. I have started seeing Nuoc Cham served in ‘Modern Australain’ diners all over Adelaide (sometimes to great effect). I see it however happening in a more widespread manner in that Vietnamese restaurants will become more ubiquitous amongst all of Australian suburbia and Nuoc Cham will be served in households across Australia’s wide and great demographic of people.
Any food considered cool will be ‘smoked’.
10. Lebanese Cuisine
‘Lebanese’ is one of the most searched for words in Google alongside ‘Cuisine’ in 2013. Since eating it regularly as a student in the UK for many years, I have been a big fan of Lebanese cuisine for many years. Their pastries are an art form and I’ve noticed available in abundance throughout Sydney. Be on the lookout for their ascendence everywhere!!!