Top Food Trends of 2022: Locally Sourced, Clean Food, Shorter Menu

Top Food Trends of 2022: Locally Sourced, Clean Food, Shorter Menu
Basically, what suits our body, our health in itself is a trend.

By Nusra , Editor

11 Feb 2022 | 18 min read

We have seen people aping celebrities and influencers online. From copying their fashion ideas to considering them as a nutritionist in deciding what to eat and whatnot, this is something that has become a social media trend and a mega-hit for the younger crowd. But we all have forgotten the basics of eating healthy, ethical, and right. Basically, what suits our body, our health in itself is a trend. One person may eat biryani very frequently and he is too fit and healthy to digest the same because that’s what has become his lifestyle eating habit but many people still rely on fruits and nuts to keep them healthy and fit. So, food trend, food habit, and how we consume it is totally dependent on how we have been eating food at home and have grown to eat the same.

Local/ Seasonal is the New Game

“We have to understand the ingredient that is good for us. If you can’t take ingredients that are helpful for your body and you keep pumping commercial foods into your body then you know the result. In the last year what we have seen is that none of us were prepared health-wise. We were prepared tech, delivery, packaging wise but we weren’t prepared health-wise," shared Chef Saby who has always focused on going back to roots and innovating recipes out of it.

For him, it’s high time now and we all should talk about eating clean, honest and sincere, sustainable foods as it also makes the world a sustainable place.  For chefs and experts, it is also important to eat what is available locally and seasonally. Veganism and plant-based food may take the internet by storm but what is available naturally like eating different kinds of meat and dairy is also important for him. 

“It’s about being conscious about what one is putting in his mouth, understanding what is good for the body,” he added by pointing out that one should not look at any trend that is promoted on social platforms but understand what is good for their own body and be respectful about the source of the food, ingredient.

Experts were also of the opinion that local sourcing is not just helpful for our body as well as it’s our responsibility. “We have a brand that serves Asian, other international foods also. Wherever there is a need to have imported ingredients and it can’t be substituted with a local ingredient, we try to do that but first, we try to source it locally. For eg: we have a brand called Youmee wherein we started sourcing sushi rice locally from UP and we serve it in our restaurant. It’s an excellent quality sushi rice and goes well with our rolls,” added Chef Vineet Manocha, VP- Culinary, Lite Bite Foods by adding that they plan the menu in such a way that 70 percent of their menu is standard across cities and 30 percent of the menu has local flavors.

Innovation v\s Old School

“I personally feel that if you are grounded in your techniques, basics you can innovate it successfully and you can’t do it just for the sake of innovating,” shared Sandeep Pande, Executive Chef, JW Marriott Aerocity Delhi by adding that as far as menu trend is concerned what he foresees and is practicing especially at Marriott is smaller and niche menus. Gone are the days when you have restaurants selling Indian, Chinese, North Indian, etc on the same menu.

“We wouldn’t like to have everything on one menu but something that is very nice, unique, and will not be available anywhere else,” added Pande whose menus are well designed, hyper-locally sourced, and caters to consumer who is well-traveled and is ready to accept the change.

Commenting on the same Manocha added, “Whatever recipes we use are completely old school, traditional recipes where we play a lot with the presentation.”

He also added that as a chef he is very responsible for the customer because whatever customer pays and eats is responsible for the customer’s health. “We use top-notch ingredients but the innovation is done on how the food looks, presentation and how the food combination is made and that’s what we do at LBF,” he pointed out by adding that the pricing doesn’t change even if there is innovation in the menu on account of how some restaurants have started charging high just because there is some innovation involved.

Also, one can only do innovation when they have the techniques and basics right otherwise it will become something like a khichdi.  “You have to understand the ingredient, respect produces, understand the prominence of the produce and the seasonality of the produce,” added Saby by adding that unless you have not done your homework right, you will start throwing ingredients like truffles in everything that new-age restaurants have done recently to make it a social sensation.

It is also important to understand the biodiversity, where we come from, and whatever we have grown up eating. It’s only in the last 15 years that we have somehow left the track and started aping various things because people have not understood their food following the trends that are all making waves online.

“It’s important to know what you eat, what’s important for your body, what your ancestors were eating especially when they were growing up,” added chef Saby by pointing out that as a chef we should take an oath and be the torchbearer to tell everyone to eat healthily, eat right and forget all these lifestyle trends.

Relying on Third-Party Suppliers

“We don’t have third-party vendors for our dishes but local players. And, we know where our cardamom, coffee, pepper-corns come from. And, we exactly know the source of our ingredients and have visited those places. It’s not a virtual audit that we have done but something that we have tested, felt, and smelled and those kinds of people are purveyors we would like to work with,” added Pande.

Similarly, Lite Bite Foods is present in various verticals of the restaurant business, running QSR, casual dining, fine dine as well as catering but don’t outsource anything. “Outsourcing happens from our own kitchen, central kitchen. But there also we ensure that it is scratched from the piece and we daily make fresh food. So, that’s one important thing that we are following. Also, all of our premium restaurants have completely scratch kitchens and they are not even dependent on the central kitchen,” added chef Manocha.

Commenting on the same Anooj Wadhawan of Ah! So Yum, a pan-Asian cloud-venture in Delhi, pointed, “I completely agree that the third party is not for us but everyone does business for profits. If we outsource our stuff, we can’t do the quality check and it will not be cost-effective to us. Third-party is best for FMCG who play in masses.”

He is also of the opinion that for niche restaurant and delivery brands, the audience is handpicked who comes to them with the belief that they will make fresh, specially made for them and will make it perfect. Travel is also important and unless and until you don’t travel you will only be limited to the stuff available in your local market.

What’s Cooking in Restaurants' Kitchens in 2022

Sandeep Pande, Executive Chef, JW Marriott, Aerocity Delhi - “Real ingredients, cooked with passion, fit for gods and that’s what I feel has always ruled and will always rule a restaurant kitchen.”

Anooj Wadhawan, Chef Partner, Ah! So Yum – “Health is the key. If you follow a balanced healthy lifestyle I don’t think you need to follow any trend. And, slow food is obviously going to be a hit in restaurant kitchens.”

Vineet Manocha, VP- Culinary, Lite Bite Foods - “The top trend would be going back to the roots. Going back to grandma cooking and doing what’s best for health. We did a promotion called ‘Naani k nuskhe’ by doing foods that is good for health.”

Chef Saby - “I think we should stop looking at social media and any trends that technology tells us. Be mindful about using resources, food, cooking, and be clean, fair, and honest. Whatever eyes feel appetizing may not be good for our stomach.”

We have seen people aping celebrities and influencers online. From copying their fashion ideas to considering them as a nutritionist in deciding what to eat and whatnot, this is something that has become a social media trend and a mega-hit for the younger crowd. But we all have forgotten the basics of eating healthy, ethical, and right. Basically, what suits our body, our health in itself is a trend. One person may eat biryani very frequently and he is too fit and healthy to digest the same because that’s what has become his lifestyle eating habit but many people still rely on fruits and nuts to keep them healthy and fit. So, food trend, food habit, and how we consume it is totally dependent on how we have been eating food at home and have grown to eat the same.

Local/ Seasonal is the New Game

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