damame noodles, pea pasta and beetroot rice are 2017’s answer to courgetti, according to Sainsbury’s, which says these carb alternatives are flying out of its stores.
Fresh turmeric root
No flat whites for the wellness brigade, who get their kicks instead from “golden milk” lattes made with turmeric, a member of the ginger family celebrated for its purported anti-inflammatory properties. “Turmeric’s alleged health benefits are well documented, which has certainly contributed to our sales of fresh turmeric root being up 45 per cent year on year,” says Susi Richards, the head of product development at Sainsbury’s. The chef Bill Granger uses it in vinaigrettes and chicken dishes at his Granger & Co restaurants. “It’s now much easier to get hold of the fresh root, rather than simply using the dried powder,” he says.
Hawaii’s answer to sushi – a bowl of cubed raw fish, often marinated, on rice – is already a favourite in the capital and will be found further afield next year. Look out for poké in Pret a Manger, and a cookbook, due out in the summer, from the street-food stall Eat Poké. “The must-eat snack of 2017,” says Waitrose’s executive chef, Jonathan Moore.
With gut health still a wide concern, fermented drinks such as kombucha, a raw, fermented tea, are no longer niche. Several restaurants make their own, including Rawduck in London and Silo in Brighton, while Jarr, in Hackney, claims to be “Europe’s first kombucha tap room”. Their drinks are available from Harrods and Planet Organic, or try Thorncroft’s kombucha cordial from ocado.com.
Look out for…
Expect to see more broccoli, aubergine and cauliflower, among others, replacing meat as mains. “The world’s most prestigious chef competition, The Bocuse D’Or, has announced its 2017 theme as “100% VEGETAL”, says Nicola Lando, the director of the online food store, Souschef.co.uk. “It will inspire chefs around the world to do similar things in their restaurants.”
Many of next year’s cookbooks will major on vegetables, while we’ll also see developments in “plant butchery”, which uses soy, pea and other proteins to create realistic-looking, and tasting, meat alternatives.
Cooking over fire
Fuelled by last year’s fascination with flame, fire pits and grills are popping up faster than you can rub two sticks together. Look out for a new Barbecoa from Jamie Oliver, a wood-fired grill at Stevie Parle’s hotly anticipated opening, Palatino, and duck cooked over fire at Bastien. Try the trend in London now at the ecstatically reviewed Temper (where chef Neil Rankin and his team cook in an open kitchen with wood-fired grill) and Fucina, where guests in the private dining room have a floor-to-ceiling view of the fire pit.
This Japanese fermenting ingredient is “one of the defining flavours of Japanese food; the culture can be found in everything fermented in Japan, such as soy sauce, miso and sake,” says Souschef’s Nicola Lando. “With US chefs like David Chang experimenting with making miso out of chickpeas, British chefs are wanting to do similar here. You’ll start to hear more about koji in 2017.”
The Cook For Syria charity initiative, organised by Instagrammer Clerkenwell Boy and Suitcase magazine for Unicef, put Syrian ingredients in the spotlight in 2016. Their cookbook, with recipes from Syrian families, Jamie Oliver, Yotam Ottolenghi and others, is already an Amazon bestseller. Another tome, Syria: Recipes from Home, is due out in May. “In the face of tragedy a desire has grown outside Syria to know this war-torn country and its people more intimately,” says the book’s co-author, Itab Azzam, “and what brings people closer to one another than sharing food?”
The interiors trend for marble is creeping into food, too. Expect to see marbled icing, meringues and macaroons all over Instagram, made by bakers such as the Meringue Girls, aka Alex Hoffler and Stacey O’Gorman. “It is deceptively simple to do,” they say. “For marbled macaroons, mix icing sugar and lemon juice to create a runny consistency. Dot the surface with natural food colourings, then swirl to create a gorgeous pattern”.
Exciting restaurant openings in late 2016 and early 2017 will steer Italian cuisine away from chain-restaurant territory. At Luca, the Clove Club team does Italian with British ingredients, while the pizza joint Radio Alice is run by a young team from Calabria. Many places have a regional focus, such as Veneta from the Salt Yard team and Parle’s Rome-influenced Palatino, opening in February. Look out for the Trullo cookbook in June, from Tim Siadatan of Trullo and Padella.
A clutch of credible new openings in London (Breddos Tacos, Corazón and the Hart brothers’ El Pastór) make tacos big news for early 2017. Look out for imaginative takes on the Mexican staple: blow-torched mackerel with citrus, avocado and bottarga at Temper in Soho; chilli-chocolate ice-cream tacos at Xiringuito in Liverpool.
The snowball cocktail “is back’”, said Waitrose in its annual food and drink report. It’s not the only Seventies-inspired treat having a revival. On the menu: avocado vol-au-vents at Ottolenghi, blackcurrant Battenberg cake at Dandelyon’s Seventies-inspired afternoon tea, and Black Forest coupes at Grain Store. Yotam Ottolenghi thinks this nostalgia-fest may be down to head chefs who grew up in the Seventies: “These chefs were nine or 10 at the time, watching their parents hosting parties, serving exotic things like vol-au-vents.”
Farewell strawberry, hello beetroot. “A trend we’ve seen booming stateside is the rise of vegetable yogurts. Anticipated to hit this side of the Atlantic early next year, natural yogurt is infused using flavours of carrot, beetroot, sweet potato or tomato,” says Waitrose’s executive chef, Jonathan Moore.
The new booze
This elixir of fermented honey and water is enjoying renewed interest among young drinkers in the US, having cast off its Hobbity associations. Over here, look out for bottles by exciting new producers: Crowded Hive, in Surrey and Gosnells in London.
Waitrose sold out of this Italian sparkler last month, which has a richer flavour and more depth than its ubiquitous fizzy cousin prosecco.
An aromatic liqueur made with mastiha tree resin on the Greek island of Chios (and sometimes called mastic). Try it in London in cheesecake at Suvlaki and ice cream at Yosma, or drink it at the Cocktail Shack in Brighton.
Forget Bristol Cream; the cocktails at El Gato Negro in Manchester and at Merchants Tavern and 45 Jermyn Street in London focus on dry styles. “Sherry adds an unusual, dry edge to a cocktail,” says 45 Jermyn Street’s head barman, Patrick Coyle.