Trends are obviously very important in the food industry. In fact, I remember when the new trend would be something as simple as a new dish from overseas, a new chef, new crockery or even a coat of paint. Of course, there was also the advent of ‘Nouvelle Cuisine’, which got a few of us rather excited – but, as I’m sure you realise, didn’t last long.
Nowadays, of course, it’s big business and much effort is put into coming up with the new ‘trend’ whether it be from your competitors here or overseas.
So, what do restaurateurs and chefs think is the next ‘big new thing’? Certainly, wastage is high on the agenda – and it is very interesting that subjects such as this also become important in the home, particularly taking into account the price of raw ingredients. But, above all, whether it be in a restaurant or at home, those funny little packets that we used to find at the back of the fridge are on the agenda.
Leftovers make you feel good twice. The first time is when you save them: “Hey, I’m saving food”. The second time is when you throw them away: “Hey, I’m saving my life.”
And, interestingly, on my YouTube channel, I have a Waste Not, Want Not section, whose recipes are amongst the most watched. But, while this may make us ‘feel gooey’, is it going to win customers (although it will save us money at home)?
Next trend – more vegan and vegetarian on the menu. Smith & Daughters, a restaurant in Melbourne, served 700 portions of ‘fake’ fried chicken in one day – tofu dredged in a mix of soy and vinegar. I find it weird that non-meat eaters want imitations of meat. In the States ,they are developing an Impossible Burger – a vegan burger made from wheat, coconut oil and potatoes, which bleeds when cut! One of the investors in this project is Bill Gates.
The next trend, which we have already discussed, is businessmen taking over the restaurants from the owner operators, or celebrity chefs raising big bucks in the City and attempting to run chains. As we’ve already spoken about this, we won’t mention the troubles with the chains fronted by Neil Perry or Jamie Oliver (whose chain has gone bust owing hundred and thousands of pounds). Enough said – but I can’t see a future in such operations.
Next, nothing to do with restaurants – apartments are being sold off the plan for above the odds when they have amenities like a vegie garden and communal beehives on the roof. What a wonderful idea, as long as there is someone to co-ordinate same.
Chefs moving to the bush is next – once again, financed by billionaire businessmen. Some of the country’s best chefs are being lured to these country restaurants with multi-million dollar fit-outs and another hot trend – large kitchen gardens, chook yards, cattle, sheep and all the things that go along with same. But, I wonder how long they will last, as it seems to me it takes a very particular person to run such an operation. Obviously you would know about this, taking into account your experience.
And, last but not least, silly things – the Californian bakery that came up with the Cruffin (croissant and muffin) has a new creation – CROISSUSHI, which is a croissant stuffed with a piece of nori-wrapped smoked salmon with a side of soy. Apparently, it sells like hot cakes. OH PLEASE!
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A LEEK & CHEESE B&B PUD (for 2)
Put 2 good dollops of butter and a good splash of water in a pan. Add 2 cleaned, finely sliced leeks and gently cook until tender.
Combine 1 cup grated tasty cheese, 2 large beaten eggs, 1/8th cup cream and seasonings.
Butter sliced leftover bread on both sides. Lay some to cover base of a dish, then top with leeks. Cover with more bread, then carefully pour over egg-cheese mix. Bake until golden and bubbling.
Serve with green salad on the side.
Who Is Iain “Huey” Hewitson
Born 4 October 1948 (age 69)
Otaki, New Zealand
Iain “Huey” Hewitson (born 4 October 1948 in Otaki), is a New Zealand-born chef, restaurateur, author, and television personality who moved to Australia in 1972. He is best known for his television involvement with Network Ten. He was also the face of supermarket chain BI-LO.
image for illustration only.