Meal has a new meaning

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Meal has a new meaning

Friday, 01 January 2021 | Team Viva

Meal has a new meaning

From unique experiential dining at home to mindful and healthy eating, food trends of 2021 will change our epicurean grammar. Here’s a list

Never before in the recent history of mankind was the advent of a new year as anticipated and welcome as 2021. The faith-laden year will, no doubt, continue to influence all aspects of our lives for many years to come, and the food segment is no exception to this. Right from unique experiential dining at home to mindful and healthy eating to sustainable cooking and reduced human interaction, food trends of 2021 will take a leap ahead of what 2020 has shown us. Here’s a list:

Unique experiential dining at home

Year 2021 is all prepped up to witness the new food trends. Says Avantika Sinha Bahl, owner at Kampai, “If the lockdown has taught people anything, it’s the value of spending time at home with loved ones. While people were forced to be at home, a lot of them took to the kitchen and used the time to sharpen their cooking skills. Restaurants, hotels and cloud kitchens were forced to re-strategise and come up with unique and creative ways of providing experiential dining at home for people who were finding it hard to step out. Customers now appreciate interesting experiences at home. Brands will need to continue innovating in this area.”

Sagar Bajaj, Culinary head, First Fiddle Restaurants and founder, Salsa Kitchen says, “Our focus will return on comfort and simplicity — home style cooking that reflects a heritage experience will give us a sense of normalcy, which we all had been looking forward too.”

Glocal is the new wave

This year will focus on fresh, clean lean dishes. Farm to table concepts and locally procured ingredients are going to be the trend. Zorawar Kalra, founder and director, Massive Restaurants says, “Glocal (globally local) is the new wave. The times to come will witness use of many international ingredients in Indian dishes and many Indian spices/ingredients in international favourites, not just within the culinary boundary of India, but overseas as well. This trend is a result of diners becoming more adventurous; while there is a segment that still prefers the traditional cuisine, the newer generation is ready to experiment in order to find newer and finer flavours. Regional good will yet again reign supreme.”

Sagar says, “The use of local and seasonal will be predominant this season. One can expect lot of fusion foods from across countries with a blend of local ingredients and taste. Local produce is far healthier, cheaper and safer considering the current times.”

Mindful and healthier eating

As people around the world are getting more conscious of their diet and health, this trend will continue to grow in 2021. Avantika says, “Cleaner and immunity boosting ingredients will play an important role. Mindful eating will be embraced. The another trends of sustainable cooking is here to stay — waist free cooking, sustainable use of ingredients, proper disposals and so on will continue to grow in importance. There is a growth in plant based foods and veganism as well.” Adding to it, Chef Anas Qureshi, Head chef, Molecule says, “More proactive approach to nourishing mind and soul will be the ruling trend. The desire to influence health and wellness through foods and beverages is creating new opportunities for nutrient-dense products with functional health benefits aimed at supporting immune systems, enhancing mood and sustaining energy.”

COVID has affected our perceptions of health. Hence, Sagar believes that immunity boosting recipes enriched with super foods and nutritionally dense products and ingredients will be a rage.

Chef Harangad Singh, founder, Parat, Cloud Kitchen says, “‘Hemp’ will create a mark in global culinary markets as plant based alternatives. Gourmet will be re-discovered for home dinings. Blast chillers will be in trend, more than ever. People will be more nutrition conscious. Vegan food will see a different boom, as more people are moving towards healthy eating.  Chefs will be very creative with additions of vegan dishes in the menu.”

Nisha Agarwal, Co-founder, Oishii Wok says that even before COVID-19, customers were showing interest in innovative, healthy cuisine. “Last year, menu trends embraced plant-based dishes, bioactive ingredients like mushrooms, and probiotic rich fermented foods. With the pandemic still present in our communities, we can expect to see a rise in menus that focus on “food as wellness,” adds she.

One can not forget the new norm of reduced human interaction which will be the continued trend of 2021. “There will be lesser human interaction due to safety. Buffets, sharing platters, etc may take a back seat. Pouring your own wine, serving your own food, maintaining distance between tables and so on may continue,” adds Avantika.

People are eating healthier for that matter even the choice of beverage is shifting towards the healthier choices. Says Zorawar, “Immunity boosting ingredients like turmeric are the go to ingredient this year and kitchens and bars are making some very innovative dishes with the same.”

Food delivery services and packaging trends

Restaurant industry has undergone a lot of changes and transformations in the last few months and one such major change is the way we look at delivery of food. Chef Harangad says, “In 2021, food delivery services will be in demand. Both fresh and frozen will be relished at home.”

Amit Bagga, Co-founder and CEO of Daryaganj Restaurant says, “Breaking the monotony of usual packaging, the unique packaging trends will emerge as the pivotal players in 2021.”

Bring back the nostalgia

An integral part of every culture, diversity & region, food has its own unique language. Deeply rooted in the traditions, lifestyles, religions, climates and agricultural conditions of a place, they tend to evolve and shift a few inches with every generation. Vikrant Batra, Owner, Cafe Delhi Heights says, “We are a country of strong regional preferences, despite a widening palate when it comes to food. Indians have historically valued pure, freshly cooked and homemade meals, thus borrowing the eating out trends from the west. Therefore, dishes that are cooked from scratch with an origin of its own is trending today. Back to basics Indian Food will be the key trend.”

Classic and original recipes from the past are likely to bring back nostalgia. Our generation has unique fondness for original secret recipes, which take them back in time and make them experience the taste of another era. Hence, Amit says that this will be a major trend. “We at Daryaganj have done the same by recreating the secret original recipes of 1947 of late Kundan Lal Jaggi, the inventor of Butter chicken and Dal Makhani,” adds he.

One pot meal is going to be the rage

Nisha says, “It’s going to be in trend because it’s a wholesome meal, easy to cook and provides all nutritional values. Immune boosting ingredients high in Vitamin C, E, and Zinc etc must be included in your diet.”

Baking trends

This year will be an opportunity to implement and complete what was missed during 2020. Chef Amit Kumar, L’opera says, “Thus, the new year will see the continuation of trends observed over the last decade which are shaping our eating habits, namely search for quality and healthy products combined with a continuing globalisation of eating habits. This trend will mean more natural and less sweet products, a return to more traditional recipes which by definition used less processed ingredients, more aesthetics and a newcomer, home baking. Consumers will continue to become more health conscious and look for more natural products containing less refined sugar and more of products such as honey, fruit sirups, etc.

As for breads, the healthier alternatives containing cereals and whole wheat will continue their ascent. Consumers will look for more traditional recipes such as the lemon tart, Paris-Brest, Mille Feuille, Chocolate and Coffee Éclair. These products may possibly become lighter whilst maintain their taste. Aesthetics will continue to be of major importance with new geometric and simple forms experimented, keeping in mind that the products are only one click away from the Instagram pages of the patrons. And obviously, customers who spent months in some form of confinement at home and discovered home baking will continue to pursue their newly discovered passion for baking and will perfect their new skills in 2021.”

Vikrant adds that as people are becoming more conscious, healthy bakes will be the most preferred choice of 2021.

Transparency is the king

Chef Amit Singh, Ophelia, says, “To meet consumer demand, it will be more important than ever for brands to up their transparency from clean label ingredient to ethical and responsible ingredient sourcing.”

Hence, the year will turn out a blend of need and taste both.

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