These Food and Drink Trends will be Huge in 2018

We’ve looked back at the best and worst food and drink trends of the past year, and now it’s time to gaze into our restaurant crystal ball and take a peek at the future. What will pass our lips in 2018? We asked the JOL team to share their predictions.

WastED

Vegetable Offal and Minimal Food Waste

‘Just like animal offal has had its moment, I think ‘vegetable offal’ is about to become big. Also known by various other terms such as ‘root to shoot’, ‘root to fruit’, ‘root to stem’ and ‘stem to root’, this cooking style involves utilising the entire vegetable plant. So the roots, stems, peels, seeds and leaves are not wasted, and everything is used. For instance, carrot top pesto is everywhere at the moment; and ‘ash baking’, which uses pulverised onion skins, is a mainstay of many modern menus.

Already a major trend in the US, Dan Barber’s sold-out ‘wastED’ pop-up in Selfridges in the spring of 2017 opened many Londoners’ eyes to just how delicious and innovative this type of cooking could be; and now Skye Gyngell has introduced ‘Scratch’ menu based on this concept. As minimising food waste becomes an ever more important issue, we’ll see more chefs getting creative with potato peelings and cauliflower stems.’ — Sejal Sukhadwala, Contributor.


The Ritz

Trolleys

‘My prediction is trolleys: cheese trolleys, pudding trolleys, crepe Suzette at the table trolleys, martini trolleys and brandy trolleys. Wheels will be back in a big way in 2018.’ — Henry Jeffreys, Contributor.


 Increased Veggie and Vegan Options

‘We’ve never seen such a fuss about a veggie – just look at the wizardry of Gizzi Erskine’s Pure Filth pop up at Tate, which focused on nutritious, plant-based ‘junk’ food. See also, the fantastic work going on at Tredwell’s courtesy of the fabulous Chantelle Nicholson, where dishes like roasted cauliflower, saffron, cornichon, caper and lemon speak for themselves. One of my meals of the year was at Cub where a completely meat-free meal had never tasted so good, though the drinks pairings certainly helped matters. Perhaps if every veggie or vegan meal started with a glass of Krug, we’d all be at it.’ — Joanne Gould, Contributor. 


Sustainable Cocktails

‘Cocktail-wise I’d say more and more bars will aim to be more sustainable – so things like ‘closed loop’ cocktails (made with ingredients people would usually throw away), sustainable ingredients and ditching straws, following the likes of industry leaders like Mr Lyan (Cub, Super Lyan) Duck and Waffle and Trash Tiki.’ — Helen Glaberson, Contributor. 


Reworked Ingredients

‘I am beginning to see a huge amount of grilled octopus around taking over from squid and bone marrow used more unconventionally…..e.g. in agnolotti at The Dairy.’ — Sudi Piggott, Contributor. 

Expansions

‘I think we’re going to see a lot more expansions of existing successful restaurants, as investors get scared of true innovation closer to Brexit. Bloomberg Arcade already shows the way things are going – 2nd branches of A Wong and Koya, and another JKS (restaurant group) place. That’s not to say these restaurants won’t be worth visiting, but there’ll be fewer crazy risks taken on large scales.

Ikoyi reminded London there’s more to African food than Nandos, and I expect to see a few more restaurants popping up inspired by that part of the world. Ethiopian/Eritrean, in particular, seems due a modernising and makeover.

Also with the opening up of Burma, perhaps that country will see a few more food ambassadors in the capital. It’s a fascinating cuisine with its own unique identity, and from a purely selfish point of view, I want more (and better) places serving shan tofu and lahpet salad.’ — Chris Pople, Contributor. 


Modern West African Food

‘I think we are on the tip of an African food boom. For years we’ve seen West African food in particular represented mainly by high street takeaways and home-style cooking and while that’s all well and good, this year we will see the different regional cuisines opening up and restaurateurs exploring modern ways of presenting African flavours.

Zoe at Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen has done a great job of beginning to popularise these flavours and this year we saw the opening of I Go Chop in Camberwell – a modern take on the high street counter takeaway –  followed by Ikoyi, where two guys are presenting West African food in a modern, unique way. I’m really excited to see how this trend develops in 2018.’ — Helen Graves, Editor