With a diverse population of food lovers and culinary entrepreneurs, Canada is one of the most kitchen-forward countries in the world. If there’s a food trend out there, it’s probably either bustling here or starting here. A big part of that is thanks to our dense crop of innovative, hard-working chefs.
We know you like to be ahead of the curve, so we asked a few of those very chefs what culinary trends they think will dominate 2015. So get those bowls ready, foodies because here’s the inside scoop…
“Interactivity will be a big wave for the future. It’s not enough for a restaurant to have a simple web page; they will need an interactive app or site to entertain/educate their guests; being able to scan a QR code and learn about product or listen to and watch clips of where the food comes from or how it’s made and by whom. Any information that can draw in a guest and keep them interested will be an asset.
I think traceability is going to be big. We are working on a completely traceable meat source from birth and farm to table, working closely with local farmers to build a program that I think people want to know. If they don’t know that want to know now, then in the next year it will be de rigeuer to know. That goes for all food and milk and dairy.
I also think farm to table will be bigger than it is now. The major centres all know what it is, but I think less urban areas will have more farm restaurants. Maybe inns or B&Bs in the country will grow their own food and raise their own animals similar to some parts of Italy or Europe, or even the Laurentians around Montreal. Or the Drake Devonshire in Prince Edward County. It is a very romantic notion, and one that Canadians will embrace in the next year or two.”
– Chef Danny McCallum, Jacob’s Steakhouse – Toronto
“In 2015, I think many restaurants will start to become more aware of the way they procure their ingredients. Sustainable seafood has already taken centre stage, and I expect to see a continued focus from Canadian chefs and restaurateurs on reducing their carbon footprint and developing close relationships with local farmers and purveyors.
I also anticipate that vegetables will begin to take a leading role on the plate — particularly in their peak seasons. We’re going to be seeing a lot of vegetable-forward dining in the Canadian market this year.”
– Executive Chef Alex Chen, Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar – Vancouver
“I think we will see a continued focus on the provenance of ingredients and those products being prepared more simply. That focus on ingredients and where they come from will also lead more and more chefs to prepare all items in house; smoked and cured meats & seafood, breads, preserves and more.
You’ll see a focus on “off cuts” or lesser used cuts of meats and offal. Michael Noble even named the entire bar concept of his new restaurant Off Cut. It’s a philosophy that European chefs have always employed as it is a practice ingrained in their cultures. In the US, the food revolution of the 1990s brought this philosophy to a new generation of cooks who were forced to face the reality that the choices we make every day in our kitchens have a direct impact on our environment. Put simply, the wasteful practice of eating only prime cuts of animals is a waste of our precious resources.
Another thing we’ll see a lot of are the native foods, flavours, and cuisines of the Americas. Authentic regional cuisines of Mexico specifically have captured the hearts and imagination of chefs around the world with good reason. The real cuisines of Central and South America are as rich and complex in techniques and flavours as any “noble” cuisine of the world. With chefs like Rene Redzepi and countless others exploring techniques and concepts of the region, there is no doubt in my mind the impact will be felt around the world.”
– Chef Keith Luce, Corbeaux Bakehouse – Calgary
“There will be a continued trend in mixology toward more creative takes on classic cocktails, as well as innovative combinations. Cocktails are becoming a strong part of our restaurant culture, and both the quality of execution and the excitement of patrons toward this element are going to drive talented barmen/women to continually evolve.
Another trend will be an increase in the amount of polenta being served. Polenta is healthy, gluten-free and delicious. It’s very versatile, and I think we will see one if not a couple of polenta “bars” open up.
– Chef Vittorio Colacitti, The Good Son – Toronto