2013 food trends that help make your dish taste great

Purple Grape looks at the finishing touches
that you’ll see on your plate this year. 

When putting food dishes together, our chefs, as I imagine
all chefs worth their salt, often get asked how they make the dish work – what
finishing touches they use to pull the ingredients together to go from being
something good, to something extraordinary. It’s a subtle and delicate magic
that chefs use which can sometime balance on the line of ultimate cool to just
a bit bizarre, but when used properly, can really create food that is

This year those finishing touches are becoming far more
accessible. You won’t need to save the pennies and plead to get onto the guest
list of Fat Duck to try the more avant-garde creations with more restaurants
and events catering for the adventurous and experimental tastes that we all
seem to be developing.

Take smoking! No, not those little orange, tobacco filled
sticks, but the kind where flavoured smoke is encouraged to seep and saturate a
food type. Our chefs have been providing earl grey smoked lamb for a couple of
years now and the idea is catching. You’ll find restaurants searching for
natural products to smoke (from apple to lavender) to provide a much deeper flavour
to your initial ingredient. Of course, this can be used on meat and cheese but
what about giving the same treatment to fruit and then turning this into a jam?
Or condensing the smoke into a liquid form and adding to ice-cream? The process
is a little time consuming so keep your eye out for places that provide unusual

Pickles and jams are also having a little re-vamp. Think
less afternoon tea accompaniment and more fantastic dinner garnish, although
with the fantastic varieties available you could jazz up your cream tea a
little in the process as well. This year, look out for restaurants using jams
and pickles as an ingredient to bring out the taste and accompany meaty,
savoury flavours. Its also one of the trends you can try yourself and make at
home. Impress friends over dinner by serving seasoned pork medallions with pickled
red chicory. If you need to brush up on your pickling and jam making skills,
this is also the year to do so. Check out The Allotment for
sustainable and great advice to make your own

Breads are also being knocked into shape this year, rising
to become the next best thing since, well sliced bread! In the past few years,
you’ll have noticed that more varieties are being offered with your dinner than
just the usual white and brown rolls, but chefs are also thinking of how else
breads can be flavoured. You might see bacon flavoured bread where bacon fat
rather than oil has been used to add depth to the taste. Or sourdoughs fried in
flavoured oil and then cut up as a variation of chips. Gluten free bread is
also taking a turn with restaurants realising that the demand for gluten free
options has risen and so are providing better choices than the cardboard
previously offered.

The next one might not fall under ‘finishing touches’ but
the type of meat being used in dishes is also changing. With our palettes and
craving for experimentation becoming more adventurous, restaurants are looking
at less well known meats to base their dishes around. You’ll see alligator,
venison and bison becoming more readily available this year, but for those of
you like us who want to try something sustainable and a little more closer to
home, why not try wild boar. Get it from the Forest of Dean, where the boar is
currently running amok, from places such as The Real Boar company or Natural Game.

For all you veggies shouting ‘what about us?’ you’ll be
pleased to know that the vegetarian main course has never been as sexy. You’ll
find many places in New York currently offering Meatless Monday’s to keep up
with the demand of vegetarian clients so expect to see this trend becoming
popular over in England this year as well.

As you might have guessed from all the above, this year is
about experimentation; whether it be with unusual ingredients or just trying a
dish you’d normally avoid, you’ll find food offered this year is very
adventurous. Where will the taste journey take you?

Any comments? Email sarah@mashmedia.net

ConferenceNews Guest Author

Conference News hosts great guests on its pages. Our Blog section is the collection of the best opinions in the UK and international events industry.

ConferenceNews Guest Author


ConferenceNews Guest Author

Conference News hosts great guests on its pages. Our Blog section is the collection of the best opinions in the UK and international events industry.

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