For serious gourmands, the start of the New Year means it’s time once again to address the fickle task of predicting food trends for the coming year. While everything from Filipino food to fermentation to frybread (that’s any sort of fried dough with toppings) has been predicted by culinary experts around the world as taking off in 2017, we were keen to see what Hong Kong’s top chefs and culinary tastemakers had to say about the future of food right here at home. Here’s what’s in and what’s out in 2017 according to Hong Kong’s top food authorities.
“In my opinion, in 2017 we will mostly focus on the relationship between the chef and customer. The dialogue is very important and thats why the formula of open kitchens and cooking on fire is so popular and will be even more so this year. Customers want to know what they eat and they want to see how their food is prepared. It’s a fascinating game between the chef and guest.”
What’s in: “One thing I see that’s more popular today is chefs and consumers using more sustainable seafood. With overfishing, we will not see some types of fish in the near future.”
What’s out: “One thing I hope to see fade is the consumption of animal products. Consuming meat in the quantities that we do is drastically changing the environment on a global scale.”
What’s in: “I see the idea of food as medicine becoming more mainstream. Traditions such as TCM and Ayurveda will become more widely integrated in how people eat. As part of that, more people will adopt plant-based diets. I also see 2017 as a watershed year for consumers, chefs and restaurants to tackle the issue of food waste. While certain chefs like Dan Barber have been focused, the issue is becoming more pressing and I see more people getting involved in a substantive way. Lastly, I may be biased but I see Korean flavours becoming more mainstream!”
What’s out: “Ramen burgers, cronuts, mufgels and all of those extreme mashups.”
“The importance of tea in gastronomy will increase not only as the perfect non-alcoholic option, but the tea ceremony along with the storytelling part of tea is what captivates me: the various tea families and amazing single origins that come on the market in small batches.
Sustainability and the consideration of carbon footprint that goes beyond sourcing sustainable ingredients. It’s about in-house filtered water, recycled paper, energy saving lighting, elimination of disposable plastic, etc.
Finally, more women in the kitchen. In Amber we are getting close to half a female kitchen team. Women rule the kitchen here, my number two is a lady!”
What’s in: “With Chinese cuisine, much of our flavours remain traditional and these are still well-loved by Hong Kong diners, but it is about modifying and enhancing traditional dishes whilst putting more thought into using quality seasonal produce, allowing more natural and sustainable menus to be created.”
What’s out: “Overly rich meals are out and balanced menus with more thought put into healthy, sustainable and fresh ingredients are in.”
What’s in: “More people are getting into healthy eating which means more people will be experimenting with vegetarian menus. I believe a lot of menus this year will incorporate alternative proteins besides meat products as well as bigger and better use of sustainable foods.”
What’s out: “Fine dining is out and small concentrated concepts like fermented pickled vegetables and fruit, poké and fried chicken is in.”