What's hot in 2016?

Food industry is constantly reinventing itself to keep pace with globetrotting consumers who have started taking their food very seriously. If 2015 was about theme-based restaurants and quirky combinations and presentations, Prem K Pogakula, executive sous chef, The Imperial, tells Metrolife what lies in store for food connoisseurs in the coming year.

n Healthy and natural food: Customers are switching over to healthy and natural food (pesticide free) more than ever. They are always on the lookout for wellness and in 2016 the preference will be more for GMO-free ingredients and as I see it, things will become more intense in the coming years.

n One pot meals: As  the urban lifestyle is changing the way we eat, one pot meals are surely going to be the next big thing.  Because of time crunch and partners working in a nuclear family scenario, one pot meals are super easy, highly nutritious and have adequate protein and starch content. You can also call them ‘urban cooking’.

n Classic recipes: Food connoisseurs are always on the lookout for old, forgotten and classic global recipes as they possess simple and straight flavours. People prefer them over fusion cuisine which is somehow still a matter of confusion and needs to evolve. It can never ever replace or take over the classic cuisine.

n High on local ingredients: From 2016 onwards, it is going to be quite challenging for us (chefs) because of the new FSSAI regulations, imposing lot of restrictions on imported ingredients. Owing to that, most chefs will have to curate a menu with the locally-available ingredients because sourcing imported essentials or a brand will become increasingly difficult. We have to device a way to look out for local ingredients because they are consistently available and are tremendous in flavours too.

n Food memories:  Food memories offer a magical feeling, transporting you back in time through food. Chefs are taking this concept quite seriously now and are researching hard to bring back home mama’s flavours, for one to feel truly nostalgic. I also believe lost tribal recipes are in the process of being explored to a great extent.

n Revival of lost cooking techniques: It will be a year of revival of classic signature cooking techniques, recipes with presentation inspired from the bygone era. For instance, the cooking process in one of the tribes of Rajasthan, where they made pits in the ground and cooked their meat, was an intrinsic cooking method which is still prevalent in the state.

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