Wondering what kind of food trends to look out for in the new year? We delve into the possibilities with Cape Town award-winning chef Paul Thinus Prinsloo.
High time for cannabis cooking
“Everyone is going on about CBD [cannabidiol] products these days and it won’t be long before it becomes a full-on food trend. As many countries have now started legalising marijuana in small quantities, CBD products will start making its way into the restaurant industry very shortly,” predicts Prinsloo.
This also applies to South Africa, with some restaurants already experimenting with this. However, the oil used does not contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the other natural compound found in cannabis plants, and therefore one would not be able to get a high from consuming such dishes.
Going green with sustainable food sources
“Global warming has become a massive thing and many people are trying to help by creating awareness. As such, a lot of chefs have taken spreading that awareness to their food and the plate by going green, using sustainable products and creating less waste by reusing and recycling,” notes Prinsloo.
In 2019, restaurant patrons applied pressure to industry to reduce, and in some cases all-together stop, the use of plastic straws. This positive energy will continue, as will chefs who aspire to serve farm-to-fork and nose-to-tail dining experiences.
Alternative options for the health-conscious
“More and more restaurants have started adding carb-free/gluten-free/lactose-free/plant-based options to their menus and some even provide nutritional charts so people can see what their intake will be. It’s a food trend that’s growing and will make its mark in 2020,” says Prinsloo.
Consumers are increasingly aware of what they feed their bodies, and so restaurants need to take cognisance of this and provide dishes accordingly. Specified diets require alternative options on menus and speciality dishes to cater to certain health concerns and needs.
Plant-based menus for vegan delight
“A lot of research has been done behind plant-based menus, which makes being vegetarian or vegan much easier,” says Prinsloo.
Plant-based foods are being noted for their super food status and are becoming increasingly visible in the restaurant industry, with meaty meals seeing a decline in favour of health and the environment.
Catering for dietaries
“A lot of people these days have dietaries that need to be taken in account when it comes to designing a menu. Food producers are trying to make it less difficult for the industry by going organic, using less of certain items or completely removing certain things to accommodate those needs,” according to Prinsloo.
Restaurants are having to adapt as dietary requirements become more varied and stringent. Menus need to cater to a variety of individuals, with options suited to all.
Chef Paul’s S.Pellegrino Award
The prestigious S.Pellegrino Young Chef Africa & Middle East 2019 competition took place in October with 10 finalists competing in a food battle which included a day-long cook-off, followed by a gala dinner and awards ceremony.
The winner of the Africa and Middle East regional competition was no other than Prinsloo, who is the chef de partie at The Restaurant at Waterkloof in Cape Town.
The S.Pellegrino Young Chef Regional Award was voted for by the regional jury and given to the chef who displayed unrivalled technical skills, genuine creativity and an exceptional, strong personal belief in gastronomy.
2020 marks the beginning of a new decade – one which foodies can look forward to with great anticipation. Prinsloo’s predicted trends are already in motion in the restaurant industry, and we can expect to see these grow from strength to strength. Which trend has you salivating?