It’s that time of year again when the food world comes together and releases its view on the trends that will be the biggest for the coming year.
Perusing through the list I found a lot of things that we’ve been doing here at the restaurant for a long time. I’m very glad that they are now becoming popular trend as, to me, things like egg yolks should never go out of style.
Sterling-Rice Group (SRG) has published their top 10 cutting-edge dining trends that will help decide what appears on restaurant menus and supermarket shelves in 2014. The innovative communications firm has consulted and created foods for companies ranging from organic startups to many of the world’s largest food companies. The power of this list is quite impressive as restaurateurs around the globe will be waiting to see what is suggested to start planning their menus for next year.
In 2014, consumers will continue to seek healthy options, but with an occasional indulgent splurge. Look for these food trends to go big next year as they move from cutting-edge to mainstream:
1. Lemon Steps into the Sun: The often unmentioned brightener of dressings and sauces, lemon shines as a main ingredient in its purest freshest juice or preserved form. Lemon has always been a staple for me. I learned early that the 2 most important ingredients in food are salt and lemon. I never stray from that. But knowing that we can really let the lemons shine is very exciting to me.
2. Tea Leaves the Cup: Black, green, and other leafy brews will bring a healthy, flavorful twist to dinner, desserts, and more. Our summer menu featured a beautiful green tea mousse on the dessert menu that still haunts me as one of the best things I’ve eaten this year. You can find it again on our New Year’s Eve menu for the best dishes of 2013 at Flying Fish.
3. The Middle Eastern Mediterranean: Middle Eastern seasonings such as sumac, zahtar, and marash will expand the boundaries – and flavor profile – of traditional Mediterranean cuisine. If you have eaten the spiced fried chickpeas on my bar menu then you will be very familiar with zahtar. It’s a beautiful spice blend of thyme, sesame and sumac that brightens up food with depth and complexity.
4. Dairy Goes Nuts: Milk made from cashews, almonds, and peanuts bring dairy-free, luscious flavors to sauces, drinks, and dinners. Nuts can be a tricky subject for a lot of people with fears of allergic reactions but we will be giving some of these a try this year for sure.
5. The Year of the Yolk: The creamy, decadent, golden globe will reign – adding richness previously provided by cheese, dairy, and sauces. As I mentioned earlier, nothing makes me happier than perfect creamy egg yolks. In my upcoming salute to Truffles on November 25th I will feature an egg yolk and ricotta cheese filled ravioli made with truffle flour. The combination of truffles and egg yolk could be the best flavor pairing in the world today. To join us for our first supper club event please contact the restaurant at 373-4363.
6. Refined Classic American Eats: Move over burgers and fries – wedge salads doused in creamy Caesar and other upscale classics take center plate. Not only American classics but other traditional dishes moving upscale and refined with modernity are the entire philosophy of the food here at Flying Fish. It’s what we do every day.
7. The Return of Poaching and Steaming: Goodbye bland – wine, coffee, beer, and smoky liquids replace water for more flavorful dishes. I’ve always been a fan of these methods, having been immersed in Asian food culture for a very long time. I’m glad to see these making a comeback again.
8. Seaweed Goes Beyond Sushi: Nutritious and full of deep, salty flavor, seaweed shows up as a snack, umami-rich seasoning, and more. Currently on our menu is one of my favorite new dishes called “Sea & Food” in which seaweed serves as a sauce, a salad and a seasoning. It’s delicious and very good for you as well.
9. No Ordinary Pasta: Traditional pastas take a backseat to noodles made of alternative flours, seasoned with global spices, and formed into new shapes of all sizes. We love our pastas here at Flying Fish and will be exploring all the possibilities of this trend. However, some things don’t need to stray too far from the original to remain important to the culinary landscape.
10. The New Flavors of Farm-to-Table: Exotic meat – goat, rabbit and pigeon – raised by small-scale producers offer new feel-good protein choices. Right here on Grand Bahama goat is being farmed for meat. The same farm is also expanding into the rabbit market as well. Rabbit is my favourite protein to cook with because it requires skill throughout its preparation to do correctly. The butchery and the cooking of rabbit are very difficult and present a challenge but the delicate flavor and fantastic texture provide the reward.
This information was compiled with the expertise of SRG’s culinary council – a team of more than 100 famous chefs, restaurateurs, and foodies – and feature examples of cutting-edge restaurants and brands leading the way for each trend.
Now while this list represents what this group believes to be the trends that will lead the way next year are, there is no real way to determine what will be on restaurant menus until you go see them for yourself. I really like this list of trends but since we are already doing most of these things here, I think we will start our own trends for 2014. Starting with the foraging and resurrecting of indigenous plants that have all but disappeared from knowledge here.
We hope to also bring new ingredients to Bahamian cooking using methods that are timeless here but infusing new flavor into dishes we all know and love. Rabbit souse anyone? Sounds to me like a winner! Remember, there’s more to food than cooking and eating!