On your plates in 2017

The Asian Age.  | julie sam

Life, Food

With the New Year upon us, we ask chefs to share food trends that will find a place on the dining table.

Small meals and small plates will be a norm when dining at home as well as dining out. (Photo: Pixabay)

Ranveer Brar, celebrity chef, and founder of TAG Kitchen, says:
As we look forward to 2017, I feel Izikayas (informal Japanese gastropub) and after-work drink and dine bars are here to leave a mark. Vegetarianism is being celebrated as a choice rather than a compulsion, and this is reflecting in, both, more choices for vegetarians and more vegetarian spaces opening up. Small meals and small plates will be a norm when dining at home as well as dining out.

Another aspect that will make a difference in our lives will be the stress on unprocessed and preservative-free ingredients in our diet. The future of organic food is chemical-free, and we will be looking to incorporate non-treated, chemical-free ingredients in our diet.

While we continue to look inwards, we will also look out for the not-so-far Eastern cuisines like Burmese. It’s sad, but looking at the rise in vegetarian options, I don’t think we will see South American cuisines fly this year as well.

Lastly, after a year of being served in miniature trolleys, chopping boards, mini-trucks, even birdcages, Bring Back the Plate as a movement will catch-up and thankfully we will go back to food being served in plates and platters as it was supposed to be.

Vicky Ratnani, TV host and chef at The Korner House, says:
People are increasingly getting health conscious and understand that you are what you eat. The Internet, too, is fuelling the clean eating movement that’s urging people to eat healthy. Hence, a lot of light, lean and healthy foods will be served and experimented upon by chefs. Apart from this, I think the focus on artisanal pickles and sauces will be a big deal. I also think buckwheat and black rice will get increasingly popular. On the Indian plate, I also think a lot of cuisines from North East will find takers.

Mohit Khilnani, Co-owner of Cocoatease, says:
While 2016 saw a lot of Indian fusions in desserts, 2017 will see a lot of classics like tea cakes like almond cake, rustic apple crumble, sugar-free spiced chocolate cake. These are healthier, delicious and can be served with a side of ice cream or seasonal fruit to suit the occasion.

Fresh produce in the form of fruits is coming back in a big way. We see a lot of people asking for fresh fruit in place of jellies and compotes in their dessert. The Indian audience is now aware of the fact that too much sweet could kill the dessert and your palate; a balance of flavours is very important. Salted caramel came in a big way this year and I believe that the trend is here to stay.

Tea in desserts is a territory that the Indian market has always been familiar with but not accustomed to. Infusing different strains of tea in our cakes and desserts without making them bitter or basic will certainly be a challenge.

Rakhee Vaswani, celebrity chef and author of Picky Eaters, says:
While Mumbai has seen almost four to five restaurants, bars or clubs launching on a daily basis, I also see home-cooks becoming the new chefs. They may not be professionally trained, but have a plethora of regional and authentic flavours to offer. Best out of waste will get big this year across Indian kitchens. It’s is also an interesting medium for chefs to innovate with leftovers.

Traditional Indian grains are finally getting their due credit, since they are now termed as superfoods. I am expecting grains like amaranth, barley, red rice and buckwheat to become popular.