Bookatable, Europe’s largest restaurant booking platform have delved into the minds of prominent London chefs to reveal the top restaurant trends for 2017.

Seaweed has a new rival!

Seaweed has a new rival!

From discussing what the next ‘courgetti’ will be to the how plankton is due to take a starring role on restaurant menus in the new year, this is the lowdown on what to look out for on the restaurant scene in 2017.  

Plankton will be the next ‘Seaweed’

Perhaps not an obvious choice but the New Year will see Plankton, i.e. water algae being integrated into restaurant menus.  As Chef Sergio Sanz Blanco from Ametsa with Arzak Instruction explains, “Plankton is usually used in the medical industry as it is packed with nutrients such as Omega 3 and protein. As we see the trend in health – conscious food growing, this will be an interesting ingredient to look out for on restaurants menus across the country.”

‘Over the past year, we have seen a big rise in the number of guests requesting vegan and vegetarian menus. This has definitely increased compared to last year so we have now developed a tasting menu at Ametsa with Arzak Instruction to accommodate to this trend.’

2017 will be the year we start eating our greens:

Herbivores take note, 2017 is going to be the year of vegetarian and vegan options. ‘Chefs are becoming more enthusiastic about vegetarian dishes and consequently have made some really creative dishes for customers,’ comments Chef Luis, from Asia De Cuba.

This is a notion that Chef Ian Howard, from Babylon at The Roof Garden would agree with, commenting:

‘Across the industry there has been a real increase in guests looking for healthy, vegetarian and vegan options. 2016’s huge courgetti trend showed how vegetables can take the starring role in a dish, and no doubt vegetable based dishes and ingredients will continue to rise in popularity for 2017. Expect to see vegetables used in everything from yoghurts to pickles and oils on restaurant menus.’

Small dishes and on-the-go snacks will become more popular in 2017:

As our lives become increasingly more hectic, there is set to be a rise in the number of small dishes being offered at restaurants in the New Year. As Executive Chef of Inamo Jon Claro, comments: ‘To account for the ever-increasing busy schedules of people today, bowl-style grab and go cuisine, served hot is set to increase over the next year. These mini-meals are easy to eat and full of flavour. These are also a great choice for informal events that allows guests to mingle and socialise in the same way that they would at a canape reception.

‘This year in Britain alone, at least 542,000 people have been following a vegan diet compared to 10 years ago when there was only 150,000. The British Dietetic Association suggest that this number will increase further in 2017. This is something we’ve looked to cater for at Inamo by introducing a Jackfruit Stir-Fry, Poke, and a number of other vegetarian/vegan dishes to our menu, alongside more clean-eating recipes. Similarly, in 2017 souping is the new juicing! It’s already big in the US, and I suspect this new love of juice, will go one step further this year as consumers seek more texture and fibre from their fruit and veggies.’

2017 will be more savoury than sweet

2016 was the year of the sugar debate resulting in diners becoming more interested in the level of sugar in their food, meaning 2017 will certainly be more savoury than sweet. As Chef Atul Kochhar from Benares comments, ‘Savoury meals will probably out do sweet meals in the New Year but we will see more sweet dishes utilising savoury ingredients. In desserts for example sweet beetroot is a great pair with dark chocolate. We are steering more towards non-traditional flours such as corn flour and chickpea flour as replacements that are gluten free and vegan friendly. At Benares we have experimented with flours such as lentil flours and pea flours in our Naan bread and paranthas using Hodmedod’s Farm flours.’

‘Consumers are more health and environmentally conscious than ever before and so it is no surprise that they are seeking more of a vegetarian and vegan lifestyle. Similarly, with the increasing prices of meats people are looking to other sources of protein for an affordable and popular alternative. A great example of this is the Grain Store in Kings Cross from Bruno Loubet. Here, fermented, sprouting, pickled and smoked ingredients feature heavily alongside the fresh and the seasonal produce, and this is something that is set to proliferate in 2017.’

2017 will be the year of ‘home produce’

2017 is set to be the year of home produce with Head Chef, Ian Howard from Babylon at The Roof Gardens stating: ‘Over recent years we have seen our guests proactively taking a greater interest in the journey of their plate from field to plate. It’s no longer enough to simply have a few items on your menu that are locally sourced.

‘2017 will see an emphasis on ‘home grown’ ingredients. Indeed, at Babylon, being situated above The Roof Gardens gives us a wealth of inspiration. I have regular catch ups with our Head Gardener to see what herbs she’s growing and how we can incorporate the atmosphere of The Gardens into our menus. This is something that will proliferate over the next year as people naturally becoming more interested in where their food has come from.’

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