Food trends 2011: Top ingredients

Sustainble fish is top of the agenda for many chefs this year

BigHospitality brings you an exclusive insight into which ingredients will be top of the agenda for some of the UK’s top chefs this year.

“Bergamot – traditionally associated with Earl Grey tea but we use it with our mackerel dish at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal,” Ashley Palmer-Watts, executive chef of Dinner by Heston Blumenthal.

“My favourite ingredient at the moment is licorice, I love using it to make ice cream and think it pairs well with fruits like blackcurrant and even orange and hope to see it used more,” Edward Kimber, winner of the BBC Great British Bake Off.

“I think there will be an even stronger emphasis this year on sustainability and restaurants that have a sense of place. Restaurants in the North West for example will have menus created mainly from the ingredients from their area and the South East likewise. What the French call ‘Terroir’,” - Shane Osborn, chef patron of Pied a Terre.


“Dab and Flounder fish is amongst the discard off British shores (at a rate of 95 per cent). Its flavour is beautiful and we are going to be putting it on our menu at Roka,” Nic Watt, group executive chef, Roka.

“Thanks to the recent ‘Fish Fight’ campaign fronted by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall on Channel Four, the industry is increasing awareness on under-utilised fish, such as Dab, Flounder, Cuttlefish, Witch, Megrim, Pout, Sand Sole, and indeed, the mighty Gurnard!” Mike Berthet, director of seafood, M&J Seafood.

“I still think sustainable fish is an important ingredient to consider. Also, higher vegetable consumption on menus; having pure vegetable-based dishes is going to be very popular,” Sat Bains, chef patron of Restaurant Sat Bains with Rooms.

“Seaweed is quite hot right now, with some fantastic suppliers like chef direct educating us chefs with daily e-mails on what’s being cultivated on the Cornish coast line, making salads and fish dishes a lot more interesting,” Robin Gill, head chef at Sauterelle.

Meat & Veg

“More use of seaweed – both fresh and dry; more mixing of fruit and spices; continuing to use cheaper cuts of meat; more smoking of food including vegetables. Seeds and pulses will also become more and more popular – especially more unusual varieties from Mexico,” Michael Wignall, executive chef of Latymer at Pennyhill Park.

“Kimichi (spicy pickled cabbage). Central American ingredients like tapioca and sweet potatoes,” Santiago Guerrero, head chef of Iberica Food and Culture.

“Quince, pomegranates and bitter greens,” Silvena Rowe, chef patron of the upcoming Quince at The May Fair Hotel.

“Everyone loves a potato chip, but other vegetables can work too out of the fryer, be a bit healthier and still provide that indulgent hit. Courgette fries and sweet potato fries are both hot this year,” Tom Byng, founder of Byron.

“Beetroot – it’s so easy to grow in the UK and tastes fantastic. Also, cheaper cuts of proteins to develop quality and appealing recipes in line with lower price points. These would be mainly themed on traditional British dishes and include beef shin and cheeks, as well as chicken thighs and pork,” John Trelfa, Creative Foods new product development manager.

“It’s not quite an ingredient but I would say their butcher. I think chefs are starting to make sure they choose the right butcher – one who sources carefully reared meat,” Henry Harris, chef patron of Racine.

Next week we'll be looking at what dining trends will become more apparent over the next year.

View more articles in our Food Trends feature here.

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