Here Are The Food Trends That Will Shake Things Up This Summer Season
The quick summary
- The culinary world’s evolving – so it’s vital you stay on top of latest trends
- Seacuterie is making a big impression on chefs and foodies
- Street food is about the flavours, not the presentation
- Diners are hungry for slick alternatives to stuffy salads
- Summer burger trend is to get back to basics
The culinary world is as changeable as the Irish weather. It evolves all the time and shifts with the seasons, so it’s vital to keep pace with the latest buzzworthy trends.
But it’s not always easy to know which foodie trends are worth following – and which are foolish fads.
We’re here to help with our whistle-stop tour of this summer’s hotly tipped new trends. Every one is endorsed by Sysco development chefs. These guys are at the heart of the industry – and fully in the know about what Irish diners will be spending their money on when the sun shines.
1. Go with the Seacuterie flow
One trend that has risen to the surface – and is making a big impression on chefs and foodies – is seacuterie. It follows all the same salting, smoking and curing processes you see on a charcuterie board, but meat swaps places with seafood.
What really makes seacuterie special is how fun and playful it is. It’s light and healthy too – and makes an amazing summer sharing plate.
Sysco development chef Patrick Clement is a super-fan. Not least because it gives chefs an opportunity to offer an alternative to the humdrum smoked salmon you see on menus everywhere!
The secret of great seacuterie is to marry sensational seafood with all kinds of appealing and surprising spices. Patrick’s own favourite recipes include a two-stage cured fillet of salmon that soaks up spices and black treacle.
According to Patrick, this summer is the perfect moment to ride the seacuterie wave. It’s still “in its infancy in Ireland” and offers chefs a great new hook.
Serve it on a shared plate accompanied with a crisp white wine. Combine it with salads, or offer it up instead of a starter at a glitzy function. The world really is your oyster – or scallop, tuna or octopus!
2. Capture the street food culture
No trip to Asia is ever complete without sampling the local street food. And that trend – for convenient, simple and fun food on the fly – has caught the wind here too.
According to Sysco development chef Simon Hudson, “Street food has been trendy for quite a while now. It’s a sharing thing – it’s not about the presentation, it’s more about the flavours.”
In other words, substance beats style. It’s fine to be messy – as long as your dishes are pumped with flavour. One of Simon’s favourite street food recipes is messy wedges.
He says it’s a dish that “embraces the messiness, embraces the flavour. It’s designed to be fun, it’s a great thing to share, and I can vouch for my kids at home, they would share a bowl of that no problem.”
Ribs are another sure-fire street food hit. But it’s a bone of contention among chefs how to get ribs right. For Simon’s own recipe, it’s all about locking in strong flavours and using meat that melts.
“I think you need a bit of a pow with the ribs,” he says. “You need something to really take that by the horns and give it some really impacting flavour and the stickiness and the sweetness of it really works really well.”
Simon recommends putting your own stamp on this ever-popular dish. “You could slow cook some BBQ brisket and then pull that over the top. And be inventive about your own special spice mixes to make your menu stand out.”
3. Bye bye boring salads
Hankies at the ready. Yes, today, we are finally laying the chicken caesar salad to rest. Because this summer is all about doing salads differently.
According to chef Patrick, duck can be the magic, modern and nutritious ingredient to make your summer salads sing.
Why duck? Well, Patrick says it’s nutritious, delicious and versatile. If you thought duck was ‘fatty’ – not so. In Patrick’s own summer duck salad recipe, he starts by roasting the duck, which renders a lot of the fat in the skin away.
What you’re left with is beautiful flavour from the crispy skin and flesh. Fat and calories in the duck are comparable to a skinless chicken or turkey breast. So great for your waist.
When it comes to dressing your duck salad, it’s all about finding the right balance for you – and your customers. “Everybody has their different level of sweetness or acidity, so taste it and get it how you want it,” says Patrick.
This is a trend not to duck from. After all, duck’s a meat that can be eaten all year round. All you have to do is mix and match your salad ingredients to fit the season.
Patrick’s summer duck salad recipe can be found right here.
4. The return of the simple burger
Burgers do great business every summer. But today’s buzz is around stripping burgers back – and focusing on getting the basics bang on.
Whether you opt for chicken or beef (or another alternative), the meat you choose must be on point. Spices should be balanced and toppings should never steal the show from the culinary protagonist – your juicy burger.
The line between sizzling success and flaming failure is a thin one. If you’re making patties from beef, Sysco development chef Colin Greensmith has this advice:
“Chuck and brisket are fantastic – and the reason they suit so well is because the fat content in those two cuts is perfect for a burger.”
Whether you add spice – and the level you go for – is a matter of taste. “Burgers are very personal things, but I like something that’s a little bit plainer, where you can taste the meat, and the other ingredients come through in the flavours then,” says Colin.
When it comes to chicken, he sticks to the same strict rules. His own recipe takes the humble chicken burger and transforms it into ostentatious gastropub fare.
“I use a whole muscle breaded chicken burger, served in a beetroot bun, with pickled slaw, and some Hegarty’s cheddar,” he says. “The chicken is marinated in buttermilk, before it’s breaded, so you get a really rich, sweet flavour from it.”
The big trick, says Colin, is to find ways to elevate your burger, so it’s a little bit different and a little bit better!
So the tables are turning for 2019. It’s sure to be another rollercoaster summer for food trends. If you follow our advice, you’ll stand out from the crowd and have a summer season to remember.
Colin’s chicken burger recipe can be found by clicking here, and his delicious chuck and brisket burger can be found here.