Food Forecast: Five Cambridge experts talk trends
What’s on the menu for 2022? Chocolatier and writer Riadh Falvo, of Cambridge’s Bumble & Oak, asks the local experts
Bestowed with the task of honing in on and forecasting this year’s food trends, I did my research, sought out statistics. . . but in the end, I turned to the experts. Not the influencers and opinionated, but those who seek out and set the trends, and listen to their customers - some of our very own Cambridgeshire-based chefs, cafe owners and coffee roasters. I would predict from their answers that we’re in for a delicious year. Lucky us!
Founder of The Urban Shed Co. and owner of Histon Smokehouse, Simon Morrice gets sentimental:
What trends do you predict going into 2022? With more people working from home, there will be more focus on designer breakfasts and brunches. The flexitarian movement is becoming more prevalent, so I also predict more adventurous vegan and vegetarian food.
What trends would you LIKE to see in 2022? Can you give us a hint what we might see on your menu? Retro food is a personal favourite; probably because I’m getting older and feel nostalgic. So I might sneak a couple of retro dishes in? The new year will see us tweak our menu at Histon Smokehouse. Our focus on smoked food with finesse seems to be working so far. One thing I want to try making is smoked corn ribs. . .
What trends would you love to see go out with 2021? Food trucks. I think the novelty is wearing thin; everyone seems to be doing one of some kind. Don’t get me wrong: I like a food truck - Team Shed had many adventures in the Shedbulance!
Jonny Bescoby from The Brew Project isn’t *as* keen on nostalgia:
What trends do you predict going into 2022? With environmental awareness becoming more of a factor in customer purchasing, this is trickling down to cafes and coffee roasters offering more information on their sustainability, ethics and where their produce comes from.
What trends would you LIKE to see in 2022? British and Natural wines - or at least having an option on the menu.
What trends would you love to see go out with 2021? Nostalgic comfort food - old-school toasties and cakes.
Everything is looking rosy for Head Chef of the newly opened The Green Room in Sawston, Chris Lawrenson:
What trends do you predict going into 2022? Hold onto your hats: rosé is coming back! As well as rosé, I predict that non-alcoholic beverages will be big in 2022. I also think that the reduction of food waste will be high on everyone's agendas when writing menus in 2022 - maybe banana peel bacon will make a surprise appearance?
What trends would you LIKE to see in 2022? I want to see farm-to-fork cooking become more prominent on menus in the local area. I want to see chefs working more with small producers to create more seasonal and sustainable menus.
What trends would you love to see go out with 2021? Avocados. I have always been a big fan of avocados but as a child they were a treat and nowadays they have become a staple in every household and on every menu. The devastating impact on local communities where avocados are intensively farmed have rendered them unsustainable and therefore I have chosen to not use them on my menu at The Green Room. Instead you will find we have developed a delicious alternative using British-grown Hodmedods split peas - try it!
While Camila Marcias, pastry chef and dessert-maker extraordinaire at Vanderlyle, feels a little salty:
What trends do you predict going into 2022? I would love to see more love for local food - and I mean food ideally grown nearer to home. For example, farms that do produce boxes. That is a trend that lockdown started out of necessity, but I think it should stay.
What trends would you LIKE to see in 2022? Getting to know our grains. Farmers all over the region are growing and baking with heritage grains, and I would love to see that go more mainstream.
What trends would you love to see go out with 2021? Charging ridiculous amounts of money so you can post about it on social media is a trend I would like to see go out in 2022. I am not at all a fan of Salt Bae.
Founder of The Linton Kitchen and its newly opened little-sister cafe, Barbarella in Chesterton, Gemma Whiting is looking forward to celebrating more:
What trends do you predict going into 2022? More plant-based baking. Increased accessibility and quality of plant-based products, such as vegan baking blocks and cream cheese alternatives, have really allowed us to flex our creativity.
What trends would you LIKE to see in 2022? It’s been great to feel so supported by our community who have really tried to spend their pennies with us. I’m so pleased to see eating locally and shopping small becoming more mainstream and really hope this trend continues to grow post-Covid.
What trends would you love to see go out with 2021? Goodbye brownie boxes and lucky dip cake boxes, goodbye Zoom parties, hello extravagant layer cakes that are fit for sharing. I’m still holding out hopes for 2022 being much more sociable for us all than the past two years. . . So I’m looking forward to the comeback of the celebration cake!
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