While many restaurant industry trends are of a digital nature – with the rise of third-party delivery services and ghost kitchens – many establishments are choosing to take their guests back in time. Rustic and traditional preparation methods from all over the globe are returning to restaurants and offering guests experiential dining in addition to delicious menus. Here are some of the trends and methods we’re keeping an eye on:
1. Traditional Cooking Methods & Cookware
“There are some great opportunities to go back to the basics and serve some killer beef dishes in cast iron,” according to Certified Master Chef and Sterling Silver Chef Stephen Giunta. Guests can foster deeper relationships with their food when they learn more about historical preparations and dish origins. Restaurants can dive into this trend with more rustic methods – like open fire cooking, cast iron preparations, and more. Mentioning these traditional techniques and cookware on menus and in staff education can foster the education of their customers, and provide a more engaging dining experience.
2. Plating With Organic Materials
Unilever Food Solutions identified wood, stone, and slate plating surfaces as a presentation trend. Chefs see this as an opportunity to connect with more natural environments within their establishments, and to present a more rustic dining experience for their guests.
3. Fermenting, Canning, & Preserving
Extending the life of every ingredient is on the mind of every chef. The methods involved in fermenting, canning, and preserving date back centuries, but remain popular. Reducing and eliminating food waste is an admirable driver of this trend – with pressure from the industry and customers alike. Fermented items specifically can offer uniquely acidic and textural profiles that are hard to source elsewhere.
4. Local Sourcing & Foraging
While individual menu items are getting more modern, global treatments, guests will continue to demand local ingredients to create them. Restaurants can consider highly seasonal specials and menus to meet these consumer needs, and even forage for items in their region to offer unique flare.