Talented chefs and knowledgeable restaurant owners seek inspiration from cuisine of different cultures and scientific discoveries in order to find new ways to satisfy the ever-growing curiosity of gourmets. New and unexpected restaurant trends appear and become loved by gourmets all over the world every year.
Only a small portion of these new trends reach Latvia, believes restaurant business expert Elena Kashina.
Masterfully-prepared vegetarian meals, khumus prepared from Turkish peas, Mexican tacos with seafood or vegetables – these dishes are available in many Latvian restaurants nowadays. Unfortunately, Latvia’s market is small and people living in the country are rather conservative. As a result, not all innovative ideas stay in Latvia for good, admits Kashina, co-owner of Aqua Luna and Doma Dārzs restaurants.
She mentions three global gastronomic trends that can be found in restaurants in Europe, but not in Latvia.
Snacks made from insects – exotic source of protein
For most Latvians, crunchy fried crickets and exquisitely prepared grasshoppers are associated with exotic Eastern cuisine. Nevertheless, dishes prepared using insects are becoming more and more popular on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. For example, insects can be tried along with other products (grated hard cheese, tortilla chips, cereals and vegetables) in different parts of Britain.
It is worth mentioning that using insects as food is not an exotic and ‘hot’ restaurant trend. It is also an option to receive a daily dose of protein in the event of food stores becoming scarce in the world. If you ever find yourself in London, visit Archipelago or Selfridges restaurant. Maybe you will find insects with ‘tender nut flavour’ to your liking.
It turns out that the way we experience the taste of drinks and food depends on the environment – tableware, sound, colours and light. Neurogastronomy is a science that aims to research these factors. Findings provide restaurants the ability to offer customers meals full of specific and individual nuances.
British Diageo alcoholic drinks producer states that certain sounds – rustling of grass and bird tweets – add a medicinal taste to malt whiskey.
There are now more and more establishments obsessed with shape and colour of food products. Chef Heston Blumenthal of The Fat Duck restaurant in Berkshire has been fascinated with neurogastronomy for a long time. The Fat Duck restaurant, which has three Michelin stars, is currently being renovated. Nevertheless, a new Fat Duck is about to open its doors in Melbourne. The Ultraviolet restaurant in Shanghai offers its clients a menu of twenty dishes to enjoy in a special multi-sensory environment.
Down to earth: restaurants acquiring their own farms and gardens
Clients often enquire about the road certain products travelled to get to the restaurant, be it meat or vegetables. This largely because of people’s care for their health and the environment. With that, more and more restaurants now create their own farms and gardens.
Everybody wins: restaurants gain the ability to prepare meals using fresh, ecologically clean products and maintain a waste-less production and visitors – enjoy relaxing walks around gardens before lunch. Small restaurants and bars that have their own farms can be found all over the world, including USA, Italy, Greece and France.