What Industry Experts Are Saying About Culinary Trends For 2024

Food & Drink

Now that 2024 is here, chefs, bartenders and culinary experts are sharing insights regarding where they believe the industry is headed this year, and what we can expect to eat, drink and experience this new year.

Culinary Trends for 2024

Official 2024 Flavor of the Year: Ube

California-based T. Hasegawa has developed custom flavors for the world’s top food and beverage brands for more than a century, and according to their 2024 Food and Beverage Flavor Trends Report, Ube, or purple yam, will be the flavor of the year.

“Studying and predicting upcoming consumer flavor trends is foundational to our industry and T. Hasegawa’s R&D team is uniquely positioned to share these findings because we work with many of the world’s leading food and beverage brands,” said Doug Resh, director of commercial marketing at T. Hasegawa USA.

“Understanding where consumer trends are headed is the first step in the process of flavor development, which blends expertise and novel technologies to create better-tasting food and beverage products.”

A bright purple tuber hailing from the Philippines, Ube has gained international recognition for its vivid violet-purple to bright lavender color and distinctive earthy, nutty and sweet flavor profile. Ube offers a multitude of applications ranging from savory dishes such as purple mashed potatoes, gnocchi and sauces to infusing a twist into desserts, baked goods and even beverages.

Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants also released their annual Culinary + Cocktail Trend Forecast, sharing what’s trending across the food and beverage industry for the year ahead.

“Our annual trend forecast creates inspiration and excitement amongst our talented restaurant and bar teams as they invent creative ways to incorporate these trends into their own creations,” says Scott Gingerich, Vice President of Restaurants, Bars + Events, Luxury & Lifestyle Americas, IHG Hotels & Resorts.

“As versatile vegetables like cabbage bring a fresh and flavorful addition to plates and umami flavors make their way into cocktails, Kimpton’s culinary and beverage program will continue to evolve and delight guests around the world.”

The forecast includes sustainable dining practices, more vegetables on the menu, unique natural sugars, ancient wines, natural dynamic colors, house-made fermented mixers and Vietnamese café culture, among others.

Kimpton culinary experts also anticipate more chefs will be open to integrating AI tools to optimize processes, reduce food waste and help make food more accessible, providing a new solution to operate as sustainably as possible. And restaurants will continue to emphasize responsible stewardship, from zero waste efforts and regenerative agriculture, to water conservation.

Here are other insights from the Kimpton report:

Salt With a Story

While salt is one of the most common ingredients in cooking, expect to see a noticeable shift to unrefined salts (Black Hawaiian Salt, Kala Namak, Persian Blue Salt, Celtic Salt, Fleur de Sel) as consumers move away from table salt staples in search of something far more unique to add to their favorite dishes. Sourcing will also be a priority for many chefs, working with global salt producers to identify salts from around the world and understand their history and use cases.

Tinned Fish and Seacuterie Boards

In the last year, luxury tinned fish sales have soared as people embraced seafood’s diverse range of flavors and sustainable practices. Expect to see more unique conservas on charcuterie boards as well as dedicated ‘seacuterie’ boards including luxury canned fish like Spanish sardines in olive oil, habanero smoked oysters, and Maine eel smoked in alderwood and packed in California olive oil.

Cabbage Takes Cauliflower’s Crown

Cabbage will take over plates as culinary professionals and consumers alike turn to the cruciferous vegetable for its versatility, taste and texture. Both well-known varieties such as napa, savoy and red cabbage and the more coveted caraflex or conehead cabbage will be showcased in a multitude of ways on menus including charred, fermented, roasted, braised, and even caramelized.

Creative Dry Aging

The technique of dry aging has grown in popularity and is increasingly sought after by consumers, as it provides enhanced control of texture, adds depth of flavor and complexity to elevate any dish. With dry aging, chefs can push beyond beef into more interesting dishes with duck, lamb and fish. Vegetables like beets and carrots are being dry aged with koji to create a charcuterie-like texture and flavor. Even spirits like bourbon and gin are being treated with dry aging techniques to take cocktails to the next level.

Pastry is Back

Kimpton is particularly seeing a rise in Asian and French influences for dessert courses. Guests can expect to see more sweet and savory combinations, such as carrot mochi and chocolate smoked salt croissants, with alternate sugars like date-based sugar, beet sugar and coconut sugar growing more prominent.

Luxury Ingredients

“More chefs are using caviar and black caviar in their dishes,” says Alain Verzeroli, Culinary Director of Le Jardinier. “Nowadays, sturgeon farms are producing much higher quality products than they used to. And black truffles with great aromatic qualities are also more widely produced – and they tend to be closer to the high-quality French and European ones.”

2024 Dining Trends

Multisensory Dining

According to Kimpton, consumers will continue to look for culinary experiences that take them beyond taste and texture, and provide a holistic experience filled with more extravagance and novelty. Restaurants and bars will be paying even more attention to presentation and glassware, background music and smells to engage all the senses during a culinary journey.

More Approachable Dining

“Guests are looking for places where they can enjoy themselves for all occasions,” says Andrew Ayala, Executive Chef of Le Jardinier. Fine dining has changed from a few years ago – I see more approachable One, or even Two, Michelin Star establishments in the future. People are also looking for unique dishes – something that showcases the culinary expertise and originality of the chefs.”

Straying From Reservations

Anna Altieri, Executive Culinary Director of Spiegelworld, is hoping for and anticipating the resurgence of the “Walk-In” reservation. “Restaurants are realizing that while packing your books full months in advance could be more predictable, it removes the whimsical nature of dining,” she says. “I am loving the new restaurants that opt to leave a percentage of their tables open for the folks that just don’t know they need spicy rigatoni 90 days ahead of time.”

Return of Fine Dining

“My expectation is that New York City will be looking more for fine-dining experiences, with everything from the white tablecloths to the elegant, old-school service,” says Alex Teisanu, CEO of Monte Carlo Hospitality Group. “Guests were confined to outdoor dining during the pandemic and are now eager to get back to dining inside, for which I think we’ll see more of a need.”

2024 Cocktail/Beverage Trends

Textured Cocktails for the Senses

According to the Kimpton report, rose and pistachio dust, dragon fruit crisp and edible helium bubble clouds are some of the sensory ingredients that diners will soon find on bar menus to add texture and visual appeal to the liquid base.

A New Wave of Umami

Kimpton bar leaders predict more experimentation with different types of fat washing as a new way to create smooth, creamy and velvety undercurrents in spirits rather than more traditional sweet syrups. Expect to find creations like a salmon martini or beverages using unique washing ingredients such as duck confit and spam.

Pantry Ingredients Featured in Cocktails

Bars will incorporate ingredients from the kitchen in cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages, including Brazilian biquinho peppers, Mexican salsa macha, soy sauce, fish sauce, whole cacao, black tahini, lion’s mane and sweetened condensed milk as an alternative to more traditional cocktail infusions.

Over-The-Top Garnishes

From snap peas to using 3D printers, garnishes will evolve to elaborate flourishes that completely transform a cocktail from salty and savory to citrusy and bright in an instant.

Cinnamon Revisited

The versatility of cinnamon will offer dynamic flavor pairings as a popular additive and bridge to trans-seasonal beverages and dishes, like cinnamon and smoked salt coffee and chicha morada.

Unique Latin American Spirits

While tequila, gin and bourbon continue to shine on menus, 2024 will see the rise of Latin American spirits and liquors such as Aguardiente, Singani and Cocuy, served within craft cocktails or enjoyed on the rocks.

Vincent Bolognini, Head Bartender at Due West, agrees. “As far as liquor goes, tequila has had a meteoric rise, and I don’t really see that changing at all this year. I hope that we will see some interesting spirits that use local farms, but pricing and logistics always seem to be an issue.”

Bolognini also highlights a few more trends to rise behind the bar:

Emphasis on Locally Sourced Ingredients and Sustainability

“I do think more attention will be given to bars and restaurants that incorporate local ingredients and highlight the cultural surroundings. These establishments that are focused on the environment and sustainability will be more attractive and garner more interest from guests.”

Move Over Espresso Martini, It’s Tea’s Turn

“Non-alcoholic drinks are growing in popularity and are a necessity on any menu. I do think that there will be a rise in using coffees and especially teas; whether it be a traditional black or green tea to leaves, herbs, or spices. They bring a beautiful depth to any drink and a lovely bitter note that makes you want to take another sip.”

The Summer of the Dry Spritz

“Spritzes in the summer have always been an easy go-to drink for most people and with the rise in popularity for drier cocktails with less ABV, that is here to stay. I hope that spritz menus will highlight local ingredients, whether it be a farm or a distillery.”

Articles You May Like

A Classic Italian Easter Cake With A Modern Twist
Electric air transport is set to take off with taxis, ambulances, cargo deliveries by end of this decade
Coldplay, then Taylor Swift: Concert economics are driving a tourism boom in Singapore 
Fresh Take: Will Gen-Z Have Enough Farmers To Feed The U.S.?
Norwegian Cruise Line reports first profitable year since 2019

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *