The restaurant industry is constantly changing: new products, new techniques appear, something is returning, and something is becoming a thing of the past. We asked the chefs to tell us what was fashionable in gastronomy in 2018, what guests ate restaurants and what kind of food awaits us next year.
"We are back to simplicity"
Chef Remy Kitchen Bakery
The trends of 2018 include minimal heat treatment of vegetables, raw foods and real pure tastes. In most dishes - ease of serving, a minimum of sauces, interesting spices that emphasize the real taste rather than clog it. This is including the philosophy of Remy Kitchen Bakery, but if you look at the industry as a whole, then this is a general trend.
Most kitchens have tried to get away from suvid (cooking in a vacuum bag. - Approx. ed.). True, it turned out that it is difficult and time-consuming to cook some products without vacuum, therefore they will not completely refuse this method. We are using more and more live fire: our restaurant has a josper and a wood stove. Restaurateur also moves towards our own production: we ourselves prepare sauces and desserts, bake bread, cook cheeses and ferment meat. If it were possible to grow everything on our own farm, then we would definitely do it.
In the past year, avocados and gluten-free products became leaders: pasta, bread, desserts - most likely, their fashion will not go away in the near future. This year we used a lot of mushrooms: Japanese, Russian forest mushrooms, the same truffle beat all records. Many restaurants have also focused on vegetables and fish.
What will we eat in 2019? Despite the fact that vegetarianism is in fashion - and it is obvious that this trend will continue - the guests start eating meat again. The trend of raw food consumption will intensify. Restaurants will produce more products themselves.
"Now on the rise of the tweezers"
Brand Chef Buro Tsum
Japan is now popular - next year this trend, I am sure, will continue. European cuisine mixes everywhere with Asian, in particular Japanese: yuzu, spices, peppers, some foods - the maximum mix of Europe and Asia. The hit of the year was avocado - a light, tasty superfood that can be used with anything: meat, fish, seafood, salads, vegetables. He will add zest to each product.
Until mid-2018, there were burgers on hype, and now pizza is on the rise, or rather, its Roman variety - tweezers. Technologies have appeared that allow anyone to open a small corner on some food market and, taking blanks, make tweezers in the smallest area. In addition, food delivery services are being actively developed, and pizza has always been number one among takeaway food. So it will continue to grow.
Next year we will be the same as in 2018. Plus, I think, a lot of pizzerias and pizzerias will open - multi-format, local, tiny. This is a new wave that will seriously cover us next year.
"The course on democratic food is definitely in St. Petersburg and Moscow"
Chef and co-owner of Duoband
I think that we are moving towards simplicity, but still - although I do not like this word - the simplicity of the author. Many chefs try to creatively create a menu so that guests, however, do not rack their brains, trying to figure out what the author intended. Restaurants are still open for people who go to them every day, and not for critics and fellow cooks.
At the end of the year, ramen pulled into St. Petersburg. I will not venture to speak for other cities, but there is definitely a course towards democratic food in both St. Petersburg and Moscow. I hope that next year there will be more vibrant and quality food, without a far-fetched ideology and attempts to surprise. It is impossible to play in our latitudes with the subtleties of the aroma of northern shrimp and broth from water with Altai salt ... Or what is the most fashionable salt now?
"Everyone plays with vegetables"
Fermentation, souvid, low-temperature cooking - all this is actively used in the kitchen. At the same time, there is a return to the roots: cooks are interested in taking the old and beating him in a new way. Flavors familiar from childhood, but read in completely unexpected ways, come to the fore. For example, fried potatoes, the taste of which can be caught in a dish where there is no potato itself, but there is a sauce of potato chips. Or a cream with the taste of popcorn - on associations it all falls very cool.
Another last year’s tendency has survived - to highlight one main ingredient in a dish, forcing two or three others to accompany it: products in one plate no longer compete for taste. Chefs with much greater interest combine different textures than try to combine tastes. In general, of course, each chef in his own way tries to make the taste of products brighter. Many now use Asian sauces and spices, someone focuses on acid. For example, I like to concentrate everything: I cook carrots or beets in my own juice to preserve their taste, or I try to bake them very delicately.
The main ones this year were vegetables. Seasonality and locality - the trends that have been with us for five years - are about them. Everyone is playing with vegetables now, trying to do something as personal as possible: someone grows greens on the windowsill, someone works with farmers. Again, now small establishments with 30 seats are actively developing both in our country and in the regions - such gastropubs with clear food.
"Not every meal should be a gastronomic theater"
It seems to me that in general we are moving away from difficulties. We eat three times a day, and not every meal should be a gastronomic theater. Unfortunately, we always had more gastronomic theaters and few places where you can just eat. Although, apparently, in Moscow there is an increase in fast food, food courts and markets. Finally, we abandon the molecule and everything connected with it; the main tendency is to make it tasty.
A lot of pizzerias also open, and I really like it: it's great when you can get out with your family somewhere on the weekend and eat delicious food.
"Depot on Belorusskaya will change the gastronomic map of the city
restaurant chef Insight
This year there was a boom of ramen - I think it will continue further. Sushi rolls returned to Moscow - I mean in the middle segment. Vegetables as a dish themselves, and not an addition - rather, a falling trend, there were also fish restaurants in fashion, the products of which are mainly supplied by Russian farms.
Of course, at the peak of popularity there were markets: we began to eat and buy products at Danilovsky, Central and Usachevsky. Depot on Belorusskaya will open soon - and this event will definitely change the gastronomic map of the city.
The most fashionable products and dishes of the year were ramen, avocado, burrata and everything raw. I really want the trend of next year to become responsible consumption. If we talk about gastronomic places, I think that everyone will ferment a lot: vegetables, fish and seafood - this trend will continue.
"Food waste and sustainability are the main words of the year"
chef of the Beluga restaurant
The main trend in the kitchen is to cut off the excess: to make it interesting and at the same time easy to perceive. I noticed that many chefs refuse suvid and return to the French basic techniques, where the meat is properly fried, the right rest, and it is these processes that give the very essence of taste.
Every self-respecting chef this year must have bought a book on the fermentation of the Noma laboratory: everyone is interested in how this happens, what techniques and techniques world restaurants use. It seems to me that the fashion for a variety of foams, jellies, transparent veils and so on is moving away. Everyone is striving for some kind of more natural looking and natural sounding products. Pure tastes are one of the main trends: people are trying to surprise people with compositions of tastes, and not with textures or some artificial things.
Food waste and sustainability, in my opinion, were and remain one of the most important words of this year: they were voiced many times at various gatherings, even individual events were dedicated to them. If we list the other trends, then this is, firstly, an interpretation of local and seasonal things. Secondly, there are good meat restaurants, of which there are many in Moscow - and, I think, new ones will open. The dough will also be popular and everything connected with it is the same pizza, for example. In addition, Japan will be relevant in 2019: several trends from there will necessarily migrate to Moscow restaurants.
Cover: Ksenia Kolesnikova