Just as we predicted in our food trends report, flavours from the far east are finding their way onto menus of completely unrelated cuisines in imaginative and exciting ways. Whether it's seaweed-spiked gnocchi, crisp tacos filled with sushi grade tuna or miso-tinged BBQ sauce, Japanese ingredients and techniques are turning up in the most unexpected places. For a simple way to add something different to your menu, why not consider adding a savoury dish using miso, wasabi or mirin, for desserts think matcha or yuzu.
As more consumers look to cut down their meat consumption, many still want to find a more ethical, sustainable or healthy protein source. It's thought in 2020 alone 300k people moved to a pescatarian diet (eating only fish and seafood) taking the total in the UK to 2.5 million. Not only were there a number of fish-focused vendors at Taste like Hook and Raw, but many other menus contained at least one seafood option. Clearly the recent Netflix documentary 'Seaspiracy' has done little to dampen consumers appetite for fruits de mer.
Combining different cuisines has never been more commonplace on restaurant menus, and there are loads of fantastic exciting dishes being borne out of the mix between different cultures and ingredients. At Taste we tried some which worked better than others, it pays to not try and combine too many different influences. Seaweed gnocchi and sashimi tacos worked beautifully, but a BBQ sauce with chipotle and miso didn't really bring out the best of an otherwise tasty beef brisket bao.
At the last event in 2019 it felt like tequila was everywhere but, whilst Mexican artisanal producers Patron had a tent, this time around the focus seemed more on slightly less inebriating elixirs. We sampled light and 'sessionable' apres ski fruit beers by Jubel and Berczy hard seltzers, both 4% offerings that are a little different and would make a great addition to any menu.