I can say with 100 per cent certainty that fresh produce is no longer the support act. Truly, you are in the coolschool now. Here are some of the trends that are capturing the imagination across the pond:
Chefs no longer see fresh produce as a side and instead are embracing a new ‘veg-centric’, way of cooking. Vegetables are increasingly at the heart of dishes and menus, with meat used as a flavour addition.
Also known as Jerusalem artichokes, ‘sunchokes’ are being heralded as the next big thing along with Maitake mushrooms.
Hummus is no longer confined to its chickpea heritage. In the US, chefs are experimenting with anything from legumes, green veg and beetroot as the base for this fashion-forward dip.
Described as “exploding” onto menus across the US, watermelon radishes add a colourful splash of taste into salads, pickled as a complimentary side or added into main meals.
One New York restaurant has launched a new mega sandwich known as ‘The Forager’, which features apple, mushroom, radish and blue cheese among other veggie items.
Using the entire vegetable is increasingly being seen as a way of keeping restaurant costs down and reducing waste, leading to things like radish tops being used as garnishes or in salads.
Kale continues to star on menus, with new innovations such as crispy kale as a topping to dishes, while avocado is also appearing in new formats such as the deluxe ‘avocado confit’.