In an exclusive interview, Chef Sebastian Simon talks to Kritika Agrawal of Restaurant India about the top food trends that are disrupting the market in 2020. He talks about the trends of farm to table, food as a medicine, using veg and fruit powders, fermented food and more.
Farm to table
The farm to table has gained a lot of traction with its ethical eating, which includes nose to tail and root to shoot is complicated for restaurants and best suited to small operations. Basically it’s about eating the whole animal and an entire vegetable or fruit not just the top cuts but the other bits that are often discarded. For example, Sebastian says, in his recent AIBX 2020 taste of Australia event, he used the skin and the flesh to make the apple gel that was served with nori and rice crusted kohlrabi.
Food as medicine
“Using food as medicine has been trending for a while. It’s time to be open to trying hemp and camel milk (I make camel milk ice-cream) then eat your omega-3 in salmon, walnuts, bush honey and edible herbs,” Simon explains.
He further says that hemp milk is a healthier alternative to other non-dairy milk. It has a slightly thicker texture that blends well with coffee. Hemp milk also contains more calcium than cow’s milk and although a derivative of the marijuana plant, is completely legal.
Veg and fruit powders
Veg and fruit powders have been in my cooking style in 2019 and will surely be used in 2020. The flavour is concentrated and packs a bigger punch. I use beetroot powder to risotto and dressings including chocolate to create a whipped ganache and other dishes, says Sebastian.
A lot of restaurateurs and chefs have been working on modern cooking recipes featuring a variety of vegetables. This will change the way we farm and also open up the markets to having these unique vegetables and fruits.
“I have been following a few microagro farms that have taken the lead in India and I am confident that chefs will be thrilled to see these change.10 years ago we would have never had consistent restaurant quality foliated natives and shoots like karkalla (also known as pigface) or oyster leaves, popcorn shoots and baby coloured cauliflowers in Australia. Thanks to the few amazing farmers who have worked hard to develop these products over time,” he says.
Back to basics is an emerging trend where food is going back to its roots and authenticity. People are willing to listen to the story behind the dish or recipe and pay good money for it.
Gut friendly and fermented foods
Gut friendly and fermented foods have also been in the mix and 2020 will be big in terms of having foods that are better for you. Sebastian says that he is a big fan of natural healthy foods as a food choice and using real fats like butter and ghee have been trending a lot.
Finally pop ups
Finally pop ups and underground pop up are very hot at the moment especially as food delivery is growing to 200 billion dollar industry, people will at some point want to feel the eating experience a necessity again. That is why a lot of restaurants are collaborating with chefs and restaurants across the world and curating bespoke events for the trendy diner. “I do this a lot and I feel you will see this happen a lot in India as the spending power increases,” he says.