Food Trends for 2020

As leading suppliers of wholesale meat South Africa, N1 know how important it is to always stay current with industry trends which is why every January we look at what leading experts see trending for the next 12 months. Last week we looked at Whole Foods and their Top 10 predictions, and this week we turn to Food & Wine who asked celebrated chefs and industry experts for their predictions – of the 22, here are our Top 10:

1. Smoke

‘I think smoking is going to be very big in 2020. In addition to its dramatic appearance at the table, smoking provides certain umami needed in an increasingly plant-based food space.’ — Thomas Chen, chef at Tuome in New York

2. An even bigger emphasis on the environment

‘I think that you’re going to see a continued emphasis on sustainability. Sourcing locally and seasonally isn’t good enough anymore, and I believe moving forward we will continue to push towards a heightened knowledge and awareness of our consumption of our most finite resources.’ — Brady Williams, chef of Canlis in Seattle

3. More hyper-regional cooking

‘Regional food will be broken into micro-regions. Southern will break up into Appalachian, Lowland, Creole, etc. Mexican restaurants will be Veracruz, Oaxaca, Yucatan, etc. It's a great way to learn about the food of other cultures.’ — Josh Habiger, chef at Bastion in Nashville

4. Sherry

‘Sherry will become the new thing to sip on, on the heels of the amari trend.’ — Chad Williams, chef and owner of Friday Saturday Sunday in Philadelphia

5. Grandparent food
‘I think tradition will be very important in 2020, the food of our grandparents. Foods that represent personal and shared histories, without fuss.’ — Josh Kulp, chef at Honey Butter Fried Chicken in Chicago

6. Simpler plating

‘A trend I’ve been enjoying and looking forward to is necessities in plating. Why garnish everything with sorrel or flowers if they don’t add to the dish? Or spending 12 hours to make a lemon ash that only adds colour? I’m excited to see simple clean plating so the food speaks louder.’ — Meagan Stout, executive chef at Noelle in Nashville

7. Even higher quality meat
‘There has been an increase in demand for high-quality, hormone-free meat options that I believe will continue to advance in 2020. Not only in steakhouses, but also in other restaurant models where people are looking for top choice, unprocessed proteins. Red meat was once looked down upon or seen as unhealthy because of the fat content, but as more research is conducted and new diets like paleo, keto and high protein diets become more popular, unprocessed beef is becoming a go-to option.’ — Michael Lomonaco, chef and partner at Porter House Bar and Grill, Center Bar and Hudson Yards Grill in New York

8. Open hearth cooking

‘Live fire/wood fire cooking will be a big 2020 trend. We have been seeing it more often and diners love the idea of getting to interact with and watch their meals being prepared. Everyone knows about a wood fire oven for pizza, but the open hearth gives you more options. It’s an old style of cooking brought back that gives the food more flavor and also doubles as a live show for diners while they wait to eat.’ — Antimo DiMeo, Chef and Owner at Bardea Food & Drink in Wilmington, Delaware

9. Healthier kitchens
‘As a young cook/sous chef working in the age of 'bad boy' chefs, I think the newer chefs are more focused on health, mindful eating, sustainable foods and lifestyles, and fitness. Thus, cooking with that mindset. Food to fuel the mind body and spirit.’ — Cassidee Dabney, chef of Blackberry Farm in Tennessee

10. Family-style dining, still

‘More family-style offerings: I think most restaurants will start offering this, even in fine dining. The act of sharing a plate with someone is so ancestral. It not only encourages conversation but makes dining a more communal act and team sport.’ — Kwame Onwuachi, executive chef of Kith/Kin in Washington, D.C.