18 top chefs predict the food trends we’ll see in 2018

From the continuing rise of vegan food to a greater range of Latin American cuisine - 18 of the UK's top chefs predict the food trends they reckon we are likely to see in 2018

Published 29th Dec 2017
Updated 29 th Dec 2017

After asking chefs to reveal their food predictions for 2017, we saw several key trends take off across the UK – from more taco joints to the Nordic movement.

So which new foodie fashions do the UK’s top chefs think we’ll see across restaurants in 2018?

From the rise of vegan food and quality casual dining to more Japanese, Korean, Portuguese and lesser-known Mexican cuisine, here’s what diners can look forward to over the next 12 months.

The food trends we’ll see in 2018

Japanese Izakaya style dining


“I think that Japanese cuisine will continue in its ascendancy, with more emphasis in particular on the yakitori style of cooking and the food found in the izakayas across Japan – especially ‘after hours’ Tokyo.

“There are so many elements and so much variety to Japanese cuisine it is very difficult to put it under one banner.

“Sushi has been popular in the UK for years, but there’s so much scope for growth with the lesser known elements of the cuisine.

“I think the izakaya style will go down particularly well in London, where I also believe Korean food is about to erupt.”

Gary Foulkes is Executive Chef at Michelin starred restaurant Angler in London

Nose to tail and root to shoot

Andre Garrett from Cliveden House thinks we’ll see more movement away from food waste in 2018. Picture: Network London PR

“I think we will see more and more movement away from food waste and as a result, an increase in ‘nose to tail’ cooking or ‘root to shoot’, using every part of a vegetable.”

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André Garrett is executive chef at André Garrett Restaurant at Cliveden House in Berkshire

Less sugar, and more healthy breakfasts


“2018 is going to carry on where 2017 food trends left off, with the interest in vegan food, plant based recipes and general healthy eating.

“The old expression ‘everything is good for you in moderation’ is going to be truer than ever before.

“Breakfast will continue to become the new lunch as people’s hectic work schedules dictate how long they can spend having a lunch break.

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“There are so many places serving great breakfasts on the go, and with healthy options available. These venues are becoming part of our daily life.

“The development of a healthy breakfast is going to be something to watch in 2018.

“Eating less refined sugar is something as a nation we are more aware of, and food manufactures will be under stricter rules to adhere to this in 2018, with the introduction of higher sugar tax on drinks in April 2018.”

Theo Randall runs award-winning restaurant Theo Randall at the InterContinental Park Lane, London

Simple, short menus

Adam Reid at The French believes we’ll see a movement towards simple, short menus in 2018 Picture: Network London PR

“I’m really looking forward seeing a movement towards simple, short menus in 2018 and not just in casual dining but the higher end as well.

“At The French, my focus is more and more on accommodating and offering an option for the ‘time-strapped’ diner who wants something great but only wants it as a part of their evening, rather than the old three hour tasting menu.”

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Adam Reid is Head Chef at Adam Reid at The French, based at The Midland Hotel, Manchester

Less protein, and more farm-to-table


“I think we’ll see less and less protein on the plate but this protein will be better sourced, where protein is used almost as a condiment rather than a main ingredient.

“It doesn’t make it vegetarian, but the dishes become more vegetable-driven.

“Chefs are being more and more conscious about wastage – Dan Barber illustrated it well with his pop-up restaurant Wasted at Selfridges.

“More and more talented chefs will move to countryside or get a parcel of land to grow their own produce for the restaurant. This way they can use seasonal ingredients, all fresh, straight from a farm-to-table.”

Greg Marchand is Executive Chef and owner of Frenchie Covent Garden

Homemade kombucha


“I see the shift into more casual fine dining gathering speed, it seems to be what the guests are after. So less formality, but still with amazing standards of food, wine, and service.

“As far as food goes, I believe it will be more focused on local produce, even more so than before. So homemade butters, vinegars, and I am hearing more and more about homemade kombucha.

“Kombucha is a sweetened fermented tea drink, and its origins are a little unknown. It is said to be between 200 to 2000 years old, and chefs are becoming more adventurous with it and making their own.

“The ranges of tastes and umami found within it are incredible when used correctly, and it can be used in marinades, dressings, bread, and even as a replacement for the sweet and sour element in cocktails.”

Mark Greenaway is the chef and owner of Restaurant Mark Greenaway in Edinburgh

The rise of vegan food

Ben Marks from Perilla believes vegan food will become far more common in 2018 Picture: Network London PR

“I think vegan food will become far more common and accessible as people become more conscious about the environment and their health.

“I think we’ll see top chefs having to embrace the movement. Dietaries have massively increased since I started cooking, and it’s difficult to ignore the issues that are arising with our environment.”

Ben Marks is chef and co-founder of Perilla in London

More offal

Ross Shonhan, founder of Bone Daddies, hopes we will see more of unsung heroes of gastronomy like offal in 2018 Picture: Alex Maguire

“I think we will see restaurant prices increase as food inflation continues, and this will give rise to some of the unsung heroes of gastronomy, like offal, using more or every part of the animals we raise for food.

“This will encourage chefs to get more creative with the ‘bits and bobs’ and hopefully encourage customers to eat more of them.”

Ross Shonhan is the founder of Bone Daddies, Shackfuyu and Flesh & Buns in London

High quality in an informal setting


“Something I’ve been noticing for a while now isn’t necessarily a new ‘food trend’ but a ‘food style’. It’s not about what you eat, it’s about how you eat it.

“The boom in the restaurant industry means we’ve become accustomed to high quality ingredients and dishes in informal settings, and I think this is going to become more evident in 2018.

“Two years ago, you’d struggle to find that kind of quality outside of a fine-dining restaurant with starched tablecloths.

“Now, with the increase in quality restaurants, more and more people are going to be looking for that level of cooking in more casual atmosphere.”

Adam Handling runs Frog by Adam Handling in Covent Garden, The Frog E1 in Shoreditch, and Bean & Wheat in Spitalfields

Seaweed, Portugese and new Mexican cuisine


“There’s been a massive surge in the popularity of wild food and foraging over the past couple of years, but I think there’ll be a lot of noise about seaweeds in 2018.

“People are starting to recognise their health benefits and sustainability. Picking seaweed is relatively risk-free as they are mostly edible, just as long as you don’t go foraging near a port where the water is likely to be dirty.

“Portuguese food is everywhere at the moment but Londrino, Leo Carreira’s new opening, will take things to the next level. The former Viajante chef blew us away when he joined Carousel in 2015, so a permanent place of his own is very exciting news.

“Now that Mexican is well and truly established in the capital, the logical next step will be the appearance of lesser-known ingredients and regional delicacies on menus. Things like huitlacoche (corn smut), prized by Mexicans but not so well known over here.

“Now that chefs over here have got the hang of the basics, they’ll become more adventurous in 2018.”

Ollie Templeton is Head Chef at Carousel in London

Pasta to make a comeback


“Pasta is making a comeback. For the last couple of years it was laying low because the portions were getting bigger and people were concerned about the calories.

“But one can only go so long without pasta. There is nothing better than an honest plate of beef ragu linguini.

“While working with Ferrari, we gained every Italian mother’s recipe, and we are now seeing a pasta revolution where more and more pasta restaurants pop up around London, like Padella at Borough Market and at-your-door pasta like the Pasta Evangelists.”

Caroline Hall is co-founder of Rocket Food, London’s leading catering company

Turning away from chains

Tom Aikens believes customers are turning away from mass volume restaurants and chains, Picture: David Griffen Photography

“There will be a continued trend towards really healthy eating, and diners will be looking for veggie and vegan options more than ever before.

“Trendy fast casual spaces will continue to open, as the incredible popularity of eating in this way is not showing any signs of waning.

“That said, there is still the continued requirement for fine dining restaurants in the capital, with guests still wanting to pay top dollar to entertain guests and clients.

“The casual dining sector however, with the likes of some well-known burger, pizza and Italian groups, will continue to drop further as customers are turning away from mass volume restaurants and chains.”

Tom Aikens is founder of Tom’s Kitchen with restaurants in London and Birmingham

More Latin American cuisine


“I believe that Latin American food, and especially Mexican, is going to get a lot more attention in the UK in 2018.

“Mexico has a very sensual and beautiful cuisine that people find irresistible, and with its many unique ingredients, powerful flavours, and ancient stories, I believe that there is still so much for people outside of Mexico to learn and love about the food of my homeland.”

Martha Ortiz is Chef Patron of Ella Canta on Park Lane

A focus on fish


“We’ve seen a continued interest in the food we eat for optimum health and well-being in 2017, and that looks set to continue. Cooking from scratch with fresh, nutrient rich ingredients has become a focus for home cooks.

“Food can have a significant impact on how we feel inside and out, meaning more people are recognising the benefits of lighter, fresher meals packed with nutrients, such as whole grains, mineral rich vegetables, protein and omega-3 rich ingredients like fresh seafood and shellfish.

“With more people adopting meat-free diets, or those with busy lifestyles who don’t have a lot of time to cook, fish is a great, versatile, fast food option that is packed full with protein and nutrients.

“It’s also a lot more affordable than many people realise, making it ideal for those cooking on a budget in 2018.”

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More British produce


“I think value and sustainability will be big, and also a large increase in the use of British produce.

“I can also see Mayfair and West London becoming culinary cool again.”

Mark Jarvis is the chef owner of Anglo Restaurant and founder of Neo Bistro in London

Food and fashion collaborations

Francesco Mazzei believes we will see more food and fashion collaborations in 2018 Picture: Sauce Communications

“The ongoing interest in staying healthy and looking after ourselves will continue to evolve, and I think we will see a rising trend in food and fashion collaborations.

“People in the fashion world want to eat healthily and people in the food world want to look fashionable – we like to look good when we eat out and we like our food to look good too, so the two go hand in hand.

“I’m particularly excited to collaborate with my good friend Ozwald Boateng in the New Year to bring together our passions and shared mutual belief in the use of sustainable products in our work.

“I’m a firm believer that you need to feel good on the inside to look good on the outside, and eating healthy, nourishing food is the best way to achieve this.”

Francesco Mazzei is Chef Patron of Sartoria, Radici and the recently-opened Fiume at Battersea Power Station

Quality, discreet dining

Untitled’s Head Chef Rob Roy Cameron thinks we’ll see a shift towards quality dining in relaxed environments in 2018 Picture: Untitled

“I am confident we will see a shift in favour towards quality, discreet dining. Experienced chefs and teams will provide high quality service and knowledge of product in friendly, relaxed and accessible environments.

“As we move into the next generation of chefs, we will see a move away from what was once the classic blueprint of a fine dining experience – often very formal and ‘luxury’ – to simple, quality places that can be enjoyed by anyone.”

Rob Roy Cameron is Head Chef at Untitled Bar & Restaurant in London

Better working conditions for chefs

Toby Burrowes hopes better working conditions will ease a possible chef shortage that may face us in the future Picture: Network London PR

Toby Burrowes hopes better working conditions will ease a possible chef shortage that may face us in the future (Photo: Network London PR)

“I am maybe being optimistic in predicting that the future may hold better working conditions than have been prevalent in the past for some of the top end restaurants, but I do think it’s come a long way already.

“Top chefs such as Claude Bosi (Bibendum), Sat Bains (Sat Bains), Adam Byatt (Trinity) and Phil Howard (Elystan Street) have taken steps to improve staff morale with shorter work weeks, effectively making the hospitality industry more attractive to budding young chefs.

“This will hopefully help ease a possible chef shortage that may face us some time in the future.”

• This article originally appeared on our sister site the inews

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