Suck the juice out of 2014
The year is fresh and ready to be plucked, peeled and roasted.
I can just tell, it’s going to be a cracker in SA. The food industry is so ripe, it’s about to go, POP!
I’ll dive right into the marrow and chat about the food trends that you are likely to come across in 2014.
1. Back to basics
– Fine dining is paring things down with a move away from silver
service and pretentiousness and embracing a more casual, but
exceptional, level of food quality.
2. Vegetables – Fresh, sustainably sourced vegetables and greens are
becoming the star of many a dish. Often served as babies and with their
roots on, they not only make a pretty picture, but the simplicity of
them stays in line with the back to basics trend.
3. Cooking over fire
– Many chefs are not discussing the latest sous-vide machines, but
instead, their favourite wood and charring techniques. Fire and smoke is
the new movement and simple ingredients are being smoked, charred and
blackened. Bertus Basson from Overture is way ahead of everyone here and has been cooking over open fire for ages.
4. Artisanal breads and bakery
– This will still be a big trend and flavoured butters will remain on
the tables this year, accompanied by flavoured and interesting salt and
pepper. Visit Jason Bakery, Olympia Cafe in Cape Town, Ile de Pain in Knysna, The Lucky Bread Company in Pretoria and the Glenwood Bakery in Durban.
– On the same kind of trend as gourmet cupcakes, in comes gourmet
popcorn. New York has loads of little gourmet popcorn shops popping up
(did you see what I did right there?) and the flavours are outrageous.
Think porcini mushroom, miso seaweed, za’atar, white truffle cheddar and
margarita *wow*. Try the organic Pop Karma if you’re there and let’s hold thumbs it gets to SA soonest.
– Or ‘little plates’ of food that can be easily shared. A lot of
restaurants are adding this style of eating to their menus for a more
casual and shared dining experience. Try Pot Luck Club and Bistro Sixteen82 in Cape Town, The Grazing Room and The Foundry in Jozi and Two Olives in PE.
7. Cured meat
– When I was in London at the end of last year, this was simply
everywhere. Legs of cured piggy are on almost every bistro counter and
butchers over here in SA are also doing charcuterie themselves now. Make
your own biltong from home – I got my biltong maker from yuppiechef – it’s super easy to make and really addictive.
8. American-style classics
– Pulled pork sarmies are cropping up near and far and they’re simply
delicious. Often served with a tangy coleslaw, this American institution
is becoming/will become a feature in many a cool, hip joint around SA. The Tap Room
in Woodstock has the best one I’ve ever tasted (like, ever) but please
do let me know where yours is. It’s also pretty prohibitive to have one
without your fave craft beer. Gourmet hotdogs and hamburgers are going
to hold fast as well.
9. Street Food – Simply massive overseas and set to hit SA in a
huge way this year. There are already so many more food trucks in both
Jozi and Cape Town in the last few months. Which one is your favourite?
10. Bacon – As big as it was last year! Perhaps even bigger? Try the Bacon of the Month Club for an artisanal month of bacon that’s different each month. I had the Xmas bacon for December and it was ridiculously good.
There are more but I’ll let you chew on these for a little while. Isn’t it all just ridiculously exciting?
Hang on to your hats darlings, 2014 is going to be colossal.