Trends – have we gone too far?

Friday, December 2, 2016

From the latest hot ingredients to reports of who’s eating what and where, it seems the hospitality industry is fast catching up with fashion when it comes to trend watching. It’s no wonder that chefs such as Neil Rankin have argued that food is just food, and the current focus on trends is simply over-complicating everything to the point where we don’t know what to eat anymore. 

Food being cooked on a grill

Have trends really taken over from taste? Can good food and trends go hand in hand, or has the media frenzy over the latest foraging plant finally gone too far?

The media have always loved a new trend.  This is nothing new.  First we had the rise of fast food in the eighties. Then we had nouvelle cuisine, which was soon taken over by the modernist innovators. The fancy foams of the early noughties followed, and now we have foragers with their focus on all things local and seasonal.

So why the pervading feeling of cynicism? At the end of the day, food trends are fashions and fashion keeps the food industry fresh and interesting. It is a life-blood, a pulse that puts innovators at the forefront, and the industry needs innovators; chefs who are prepared to experiment with new ideas and break new ground.

To us, trends are important. Yes, perhaps the media overinflate them somewhat. And yes, food should be food and taste should always be king. But, there is no reason why timeless classics and latest fashions can’t sit comfortably side by side.