What can we expect in 2016

January is always a time to look ahead and put the previous year behind you and with that in mind this week’s piece is a look at potential food trends in 2016. I have asked fellow food writers and chefs to share with me what they believe will be the food trends that we can look forward to in the coming year.

Personally I think we will see less complex cooking techniques and more processes suc as pickling, curing and smoking coming to the fore. There will be a continued rise in ethical dining and restaurants – think Silo as an example of this – with others following this model.

For better or worse the burger trend will remain for a little while longer. Brighton will have a new restaurant – “Stock Burger” – opening in January 2016 that will continue the movement pairing craft beer and burgers.

I for one am particularly excited about the news that The Watchmakers Arms in Hove will soon be brewing their own beer on site in collaboration with local brewer Jack Tavare.

unspecifiedDan LepardDan Lepard – Food writer and chefwww.twitter.com/dan_lepard www.instagram.com/danlepard

Meaty matters. Steaks, burgers, ribs and all things meaty have probably reached saturation and will lose their place in the frontline for chefs. Their popularity grew as a backlash against sophistication on menus until they became, well, another kind of posturing. Expect to see meat playing a smaller role on the plate, much in the way it was in simpler times: bulked out with pulses, root vegetables, breads and vegetables.

You will eat your vegetables, and you will like them. Brighton has long been an edgy community when it comes to promoting vegetarian food. But through 2016 we’ll continue embracing leafy, rooty ingredients as we grow out of our culinary teenage years. Over the past 5 years or so we’ve become less frightened of meals that don’t include meat, and more accepting of the health benefits of eating a bigger variety of vegetables.

Forget the seasons. As idyllic as the idea of seasonal eating is in Britain, the reality shackles us to a fairly narrow selection of produce here in Britain. So there will be less barking about food-miles and wondering what’s in season, and more getting on with eating food we can afford and that suits our individual diet.

Organic, how we missed you! We’ll read the packet more and wonder what’s in the food we eat, and how ingredients are grown and processed. Concerns once dismissed as cranky are now being properly evaluated and in turn accepted by more of us.

More than just wheat. Though we’ll still wonder what drives all the talk about gluten-free cooking, it will bring to the menu all those other grains and starches available. I think we’ll start to see more non-wheat grains playing a bigger part in what we eat.

How much food will we get served? We’re entering the year of the side-dish. Those mean little “sharing plates” will grow slightly into more substantial portions. So rather than 8 tiny spoonfuls of complex ideas we’ll see simplified dishes that could either be considered a small-sized main or a side dish for two people.

Foodie Eshe PhotographerEshe Brown – Brighton Food blogger – www.foodieeshe.com

“Persian cooking started to trend this year but in 2016 it’s really going to take off. In terms of food that means spiced stews, succulent lamb or chicken kebabs, fresh salads and rice studded with nuts and berries.

Vegetarian and vegan diets are also going to become more mainstream thanks to films like Cowspiracy, which are making more people aware of the destructive environmental impact animal agriculture is having on the planet; and as we become more health-conscious.

People may not be ready to give up meat completely, but they will look to lower their intake in a conscience move to reduce their environmental footprint and lower cholesterol.

The restaurants that do well next year will cater for these diet choices, just as carefully as they do their meat-loving customers.”

Eshe recommends

1847 Brighton – specialising in veggie, vegan and gluten-free fine-dining. The fennel, ricotta, apple and raisin salad here is divine, with layers of flavour.

Purezza – Italian-inspired vegan dishes as well as many gluten-free options – takeaway or eat in. The Pesto pizza here is delicious and the Chef makes his own vegan-friendly pesto from scratch.

V Bites Cafe – Vegan food & drinks to eat in or takeaway. I recommend this spot for those that are used to meat-centric diet. The hoisin ‘duck’ pancakes and ‘fish’ finger sandwiches are a must and you can hardly notice they are meat and fish free!

Steven EdwardsSteve Edwards – Chef Director – Etch. Food www.etchfood.co.uk

“I believe in 2016 we will move towards less sugared foods and desserts, old cooking techniques like clay pot cooking and unusual British vegetables will make a comeback like skirret and strawberry spinach.

The i360 is due to open in the summer and I will be creating dishes around produce that can be seen from the tower 29 miles across the South Downs and Brighton coastline.”

Happy 2016 to all my readers.

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