Move over cod liver, halibut liver is here to stay this season. Halibut is a large flat fish with a meaty white flesh. The oil extracted from its liver is used to prepare health supplements. Lately, the liver itself has also been gaining popularity in haute cuisine. "Just salt bake it or marinate it with salt, it has such an umami flavour, you do not need mushrooms in your dish," says Chef Prateek.
This berry used for medical and cosmetic purposes is found extensively in Europe, especially in Denmark. But not many know that the seabuckthorn also grows abundantly in Ladakh and has the potential to transform its economy owing to the berry's growing demand worldwide. Chef Prateek who has featured the berry in his menu at Masque says it has such a tremendous taste.
"Somewhere along going back to their root cuisine, people are also popularising and modernising it," says Vicky about the growing popularity of multi-ethnic cuisine. Globally, people are going beyond Italian and Chinese cuisine and back to their Peruvian, Latvian and Filipino food these days. Closer home, chefs are reinventing lesser known regional cuisines such as Bohri and Memoni thanks to home chefs who have done so much to popularise them.
Bhisham lists souping as the force that is knocking juicing off its pedestal. This trend is an adaptation on the juicing phenomenon where the pulp of the fruits and veggies were discarded. Souping is a healthier alternative where veggies and legumes can be turned into nutritious and filling soups without having to discard any of their healthful components.
India has lots to offer in terms of fresh produce, spices and food grains. Responsible figures in the culinary space have taken it upon themselves to make Indian ingredients the focus of their cooking. "Instead of truffles, why don't we talk about morels? Instead of saffron from Iran, why not saffron from Kashmir," asks Prateek. He also points out that ingredient-based cooking will be huge in the coming year.
Food waste management
Vicky believes that chefs and connoisseurs will be more conscious and conscientious about optimising ingredients in the coming years. With growing awareness about food shortages around the world, people are bound to adopt a more responsible attitude towards food wastage. Celebrity chefs like Dan Barber have also based pop up restaurants around the theme of leftovers.
Why insist on Arborio rice for risotto? Give your dish a special spin with north eastern black rice from Assam and Manipur. Once known to be accessible only to royalty, this nutrient-rich rice stacks up well against its red, brown and white variety in terms of its protein, antioxidant and fibre content. No wonder the culinary world is warming up to this superfood.
With health at the heart of most food trends, this gluten-free alternative to wheat was a favourite in 2016 and its popularity shows no signs of waning even in 2017. Buckwheat is one among the popular ancient grains (which also includes quinoa and millet) to have captured the culinary world’s fancy in the recent years. With its demand soaring, this ancient grain is definitely here for the long haul.
The Mediterranean craze is slowly fading, making way for a Nordic diet. The much-in-vogue rye, one of the staples of Nordic cuisine, is also touted as one of the healthiest foods in the world. With the culinary world falling in love with delicacies like rye bread-based sandwiches and rye flour porridge, Chef Prateek named this high-fibre superfood as the grain to watch out for this season.
Although Kunal made no bones about his dislike for health fads dictating food trends, he stated that mock meats are definitely in. With the rise of veganism and ecological awareness, meat is now being replaced by delicious and nutritious options such as jackfruit, soya chunks, seitan (the vegetarian wheat meat) and shitake mushrooms.
Which of these trends would you like to adopt? Let us know in the comments below.