2018 is shaping up to be a pretty lucrative year for restaurant owners, chefs and managers alike. The economy is healthier than it’s been in a while, and there’s a very active foodie culture driving restaurants through some of the best business they’ve had in years.
For up-and-coming chefs and culinary professionals alike, there are a few trends to keep your eyes on. If you’re looking to revamp your restaurant’s menu, land a new cooking gig, or simply hone your skills, implementing some of these popular trends may very well push you to the top of the list:
1. Induction Seduction
If you aren’t already familiar with induction cooking, it’s time you get on board. This new wave of cooking conducts an even heat source using magnetic fields and is the go-to option for many professional chefs.
In order to take advantage of this technique, you’ll need an induction stove and induction cookware, since regular cookware won’t always work. While the initial expense seems high, induction cooking is the best way to create all those delicious gourmet meals your family loves so much.
2. Southeast Asian Cuisine
Foods that once could only be found at food trucks in the city are now finding their way onto menus in top restaurants all over the world. Southeast Asian options such as kaffir, laksa, and bagoong are featuring heavily on menus in 2018.
3. Meatless Options
Many chefs are turning to meatless dishes these days, refining their skills and knowledge of fruits and vegetables as main courses. This popular trend could change the way culinary schools teach budding chefs, as they will need to be creative and versatile in an age where vegan and vegetarian meals are becoming more commonplace.
4. Reduced Food Waste
Food waste is a real problem that many chefs hope to rectify with better food preparation tactics. For example, instead of serving broccoli florets and throwing the stems away, chefs are now serving the whole vegetable or repurposing the stems for stews and soups. This reuse-and-repurpose mentality saves restaurants thousands of dollars each year and cuts down on the amount of food that ends up in landfill. It’s a safe bet that this trend will continue for a long time with chefs constantly inventing new ways to cut down on food waste.
5. Floral Arrangements
In a world where Instagram rules and food is the subject of many a pic, chefs are looking for new and unique ways to jazz up their presentations. One option is to add more color with flowers of vibrant hues.
Hibiscus, lavender, roses, and elderflowers in shades of bright yellows, pinks, oranges, and stunning whites are trending right now, with some arrangements being edible along with the meal and others being removed once the initial presentation is over.
6. Casual-Fine Dining
It sounds contradictory, but it’s a thing these days. Think of your favorite counter-type establishment, then add that to the atmosphere and service of a fine dining restaurant. That’s casual-fine dining. Patrons of a casual-fine dining restaurant order their food at a counter from a menu, then find a table to sit at. A waiter then brings drinks, appetizers and the like while the customers’ food is cooking.
Whether you’re a culinary student or a master chef, knowing the current trends in the restaurant industry will help you further your career and better your cooking. Make sure to take note of the going trends above, as they’ll be around for many years to come.