Food and drink trends for 2014
Who wants a burger party?
American culture has been influencing us for a long time, but over the past couple of years it really has exploded onto our culinary experience. Far from the greasy burgers of Maccy D’s, high end and heavily influential burger joints are popping up all over the gaff. From London to Belfast, Japanese inspired, Greek inspired, you-name-it-they-make-it places are up and coming, and be warned this trend isn’t slowing down. Ramen Burgers and Big Apple Hot Dogs aren’t the only brave soldiers breaking free from the gastronomic normality of the restaurant scene. In 2014 expect to be graced by big-name chefs from here and there as they dabble in this huge new trend overtaking our eating experiences. Exciting, fun, fresh and damn cool, you know you’re excited. Expect to see a lot more where this came from – including the opening of Brooklyn Bowl London, 17th January – and who knows where it will take us next.
Meat, meat and more meat. 2013 was the year of “guy grub”. From new-style steaks such as the Vegas Strip to a whole lot of chicken, the meat trend is definitely on the rise. Expect to see a lot of alternative cooking methods, preserving techniques and even truly original brand name meats greeting your menu choices. Watch out for Q Grill opening in Camden this month.
Whole Food health
With the birth of the American Whole Foods brand into the UK over the past couple of years, offering Britons gourmet and quality food on a large scale, this trend was sure to make it into our culinary experience in restaurants too. Expect to see more and more restaurants focused on seeds, raw options and gluten-free, just like the supper club at Whole Foods Market, Kensington. Protein-rich breakfast options in high-end cafés and coffee shops are beginning to pop up, as well as snacks and breakfast options on-the-go that are convenient and nutritious.
Chilli mania will boom in 2014 in a whole different way. New Latin American sauces such as Chamoy Sauce will become popular alternatives to plain old ketchup. With the build-up to the Rio Olympics in 2016, expect to see many more influences in the hot hot hot and tasty form, obviously Brazilian but also flying in all the way from Peru and Korea. Lima of Fitzrovia proved its Latin credentials by being the first Peruvian restaurant in Europe to be awarded a Michelin star in September 2013.
Give me coffee
So we loved coffee in 2013 and for a couple of hundred years before this, but in 2014 our tastes will definitely get more refined. The brewing of coffee will be treated much more like tea – watch out for speciality coffee shop-cum-restaurants offering interesting menu combinations of food and coffee, like Exmouth Market’s Caravan, as well as onsite milled coffee blends on almost every street corner.
Not only has the bar snack become something of a major entity, with mixologists and bartenders creating speciality combinations to please the palate, but they have also shown an interest in combining the two. A far cry from the pint of Fosters and a bag of pork scratchings, there will be a massive boom of gastro-cocktails in 2014 from everything from an eggs-and-bacon martini to perhaps a peppercorn steak caipirinha. And get your soda stream back out from under the stairs – bubbles are back. Expect to see classic cocktails fizzed up to the max which will see a new style of cool on the cocktail circuit. Fizzy iced tea anyone?
Beer, the great Brtish staple, has just become a hell of a lot more refined. Expect to see a lot more of this is 2014 with microbreweries popping up all over the shop. Beer has definitely become the thing to drink, with even the supermarkets getting in on the action. With 37 artisan beers on draught, head to the Craft Beer Co, Clerkenwell to experience this beer revolution for yourself.
Ice ice baby
As we move into a more experimental 2014, probably the most exciting and universally creative will be the flavoured ice cube. One simple idea can transform any drink. Easy to make but ingenious to deliver, a cranberry margarita with lemon and lime ice cubes will be a winner every time.