My top 10 food trends for 2014.

Well last year I tried to predict what I thought would be big trends in food and drinks and I am going to do it again. Well why not it is nearly new year so let’s just think .

One, everything is coming up a little chicken. Scanning the net and looking around it seems that there might be a new set of chicken restaurants popping up, or should I say hatching . Following the Nando’s wake are coming a new set of small, home grown locally sourced simple restaurants that will just do chicken or chicken and steak. Keeping it simple, fresh and very tasty. The Tramshed by Mark Hix in Shoreditch is a steak and chicken or cock and bull, Soho House have Chicken Shop in Kentiish Town and  Tooting,  Los Pollos, Wishbone in Brixton market, and my favourite so far the  Mother Clucker. All being talked about on the web all in London but  Jamies and Grillshack also have great chicken on their reduced menus so it looks like chicken is the new black.

Two, more burgers , or so called third wave burgers . New burger operators with better burgers, better provenance and the all-important  flat top grill, not char grill. Another number of names banded about are  Meatliquor , MeatMarket ,  the Burger & Lobster, HonestBurger plus a number of others .  all in and round the capital but that is how things start.My favourite name so far is Pattyand the bun.

Three, the Hot dog renaissance, forget the things out of tins that you remember form a thoiasnd hot dog stands think gourmet treatment.  Think more double-smoked blends of pork and beef, herbs and spice blends and sides and sauces that will really excite the taste buds. For this I give you Bubbleodgs, a hotdog restaurant the brain child of a former chef at the Michelin-starred restaurant chef James Knappett.

Four, the rise and rise of the Pop-Up restaurant, Street food and Food Fairs. Part of the reason why my one two and three are chicken, burgers and hotdogs is that the influence of this very set of food movments. Starting as noodle, burger, ice cream, hot dog, pizza and every other kinds of food you can think of.  All starting weekend markets, car boot sales and vans find themselves with cult followings. And that is now leading to a trend for artisan one-item restaurants. So on the back of this you will have the next trend five

Five,  A New Wave of Asian Flavours, Gochujang, shichimi togarashi, parilla, sansho, shisito peppers and okonomiyaki . All flavours from Asian Thailand, Japan, Vietnam and China. Now here I am a little sketchy in what I am thinking as I do not know if I have spelt them right let alone how to use them. But I think we will see more new things coming our way.

Six, Middle Eastern Cooking. New dishes and ingredients coming from Turkey, Morocco, Iraq and Iran. The culture and cuisine of these countries are now becoming more main stream. They predict Shakskuka a dish of eggs poached in a sauce of tomatoes, chili peppers, onions, spiced with cumin is  becoming a big breakfast trend.

Seven ,  Restaurants in Retail Stores. With Tesco buying Giraffe I think you will see more restaurants in large store. With the increase in internet shopping the big stores will have to drag you in for more than just shopping. trying before you buy on the net is one thing but making the whole shopping experience more an event than a big shop is the next thing .

Eight, Tasting-Only Menus and Off-the-Plate Dining Experiences. More and more  tasting only menus are becoming available, the perfect dining experience you can try it all. And a rise in off-the-plate dining as food becomes a multi-sensory dining experiences.

Nine, Green is the colour. Healthy, green establishments are no longer niche. The veggie, eco-friendly, gluten free all become more mainstream.  Despite how many Chefs  feel about by the rise of vegans, vegetarians, diabetics, gluten free and lactose intolerant and my favourite from the good old world of the politically correct, the weight challenged, they are a reality so deal with it. Also food miles local sourcing and your carbon foot print is a real fact. Ignore it at your peril.

Finally number Ten Beverages. Cider will be big in 2014, what have I been asleep Cider is big now , but I mean micro-brewery or should I say press cider will be big. Tea is going to be the new coffee,  Starbucks are  now opening tea bars, the trend and increase of flavoured teas is on the rise. Also the afternoon tea or tea pairings. And I am seeing  a Spanish revival , and that means Sherry.


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