Eight of Europe’s best chefs share their food predictions for 2019
The food world moves with a speed that could rival Usain Bolt. Kitchens are constantly changing with new waves of cuisines and the revivals of archaic trends. And each year, it only gets more exciting for diners and chefs alike.
2019 will be no different, welcoming new and inventive flavours to our palates. Earlier this autumn, eight of InterContinental Hotels & Resorts’ top chefs revealed their favourite upcoming ingredients at an exclusive feast-filled lunch in Madrid.
Known across the world for five-star properties that exude luxury from every corner, here’s a taste of what InterContinental Hotels & Resorts’ culinary experts predicted for our plates.
1 Eddy Melo, Executive Chef of AKLA at InterContinental Lisbon
About AKLA: Think gourmet Portuguese heritage with cosmopolitan flavours. With a name derived from the word ‘meal,’ AKLA is known for being one of Lisbon’s best restaurants.
The star ingredient: Seaweed
Eddy predicts the shrubbery of the sea to be big for fine dining. “Used in Asian cuisines for centuries, seaweed is a healthy making its way into kitchens across Europe. A taste like no other, it’s not an easy to mimic with other condiments.”
He continued: “This simple but flavourful ingredient is going to be an important ingredient in the world of gastronomy in 2019 – and we are surrounded by it.”
2 Miguel Laffan, Creative Chef of Atlántico, InterContinental Estoril
About Atlántico: Contemporary and cool, this new eatery overlooks the Atlantic ocean.
The star ingredient: Olive oil
Miguel thinks the simple but crucial ingredient of olive oil will be the next big thing. He told us: “Olive oil has been constant on the culinary calendar for decades and will continue to be for years to come.”
Why? It’s simple, but mighty. “Depending on the variety and ripeness of the fruit, and the cultivars of the olive, the flavour can be so different and used in so many different recipes. Just a drop can change the essence of a dish.”
3 Sophie de Bernardi, Pastry Chef of Café de la Paix, Intercontinental Paris Le Grand
About Café de la Paix: A Parisian institution dating back to Napolean III’s rule, this lavish restaurant has welcomed everyone from famous writers to politicians in glamorous style.
The star ingredient: Kasha
Flexible flavours – Sophia champions the Russian gold dust of Kasha. “Given so many people are now opting for gluten-free options, new products like kasha (originally from Russia) are becoming increasingly popular as a substitute to wheat.
Kasha is full of nutrients and antioxidants and has become very fashionable in kitchens across Europe. Though not as a true cereal but as a fruit, kasha seeds are often used in a similar way to rice or quinoa, usually as a side dish.”
She also champions its versatility: “It can be served cooked or raw, in porridge, as a main course with vegetables or in a dessert. I use kasha to make a shortbread served with chocolate as it has a lovely, crunchy texture.”
4 Martha Ortiz, Chef Patron of Ella Canta, InterContinental London Park Lane
About Ella Canta: This chic restaurant blends ancient cooking traditions with contemporary style.
The star ingredients: Amaranth, Chia, Cacao and Chilli
Martha’s Mexican heritage lends itself to her hero ingredients. “I believe that ingredients that promote health and beauty will become more popular as people become more conscious of what they put in their bodies and how it effects their vitality.
I am lucky that I am able to cook with so many of these products on a daily basis as they are part of my culinary heritage, Mexico. To name a few – amaranth, chia, cacao, seasoning with chilli, which adds a different dimension to any dish.”
The ingredients’ archaic properties are also important. “In particular, Amaranth is one of the world’s oldest grains, but it’s still relatively unknown outside of Mexico. Naturally gluten-free with a nutty flavour, it can be used in so many ways to create magnificent recipes such as magnificent horchata or custard.”
5 Eberhard Lange, Head Chef at Hugos, InterContinental Berlin
About Hugos: Perched on the 14th floor, indulge with a contemporary experience offering sweeping views across the city and regional delicacies.
The star ingredients: Sloe berries, cornelian cherries and spruce tips
Eberhard has a focus on foraging, with people looking to source their food as locally as possible. “We are seeing a real increase in people looking for regional and seasonal produce that is only available from local producers or speciality grocers.
We are moving away from mass supermarket purchases and are looking for unique ingredients that are new and only available to a select few. Some good examples are slow, cornelian cherries or spruce tips.”
For Eberhard, it’s all about taking it Sloe. “Sloe, a berry that is often used in Gin, is sour and bitter to taste. The Cornelian Cherry is a relatively unknown fruit native to Eastern Europe, great for jams and marmalade. Spruce tips are fresh growing tips of fir juice, the make the perfect dessert.
Older generations will recognise the return to basics. “These products are popular because they are rather unknown by the younger generations who are amazed by what can be found in nature. Older guests might recognise those ingredients from earlier times but haven’t seen them on a plate in years. It’s a nostalgic food trend we can see being big in 2019.”
6 Cedric Mery, Executive Chef of Alcyone, InterContinental Marseille
About Alcyone: An intimate experience filled with Mediterranean cuisine.
The star ingredient: Chickpeas
Cedric is putting this culinary staple at the top of the food chain. “The best chickpeas in the world come from Provence, from Rougiers to be precise, where they are cultivated on volcanic soil.
These small-sized chickpeas need no introduction: from the acclaimed hummus, to a simple salad with olive oil or aquafaba.
Street food dishes will also place importance. “Some of the greatest Provence street food dishes, are made from chickpeas. For example, “panisse” from l’Estaque – fried rounds of chickpea batter; or a savoury “socca” from Nice – chickpea flour crepes. You can take chickpeas to even greater heights when served with Osetra caviar.”
7 Theo Randall, Chef Patron of Theo Randall at the InterContinental, InterContinental Park Lane
About Theo Randall at the InterContinental: With a daily-changing menu, expect only the freshest ingredients that conjure Italian cuisine.
The star ingredient: Seasonal vegetables
Theo predicts seasonal vegetables to appear on diners’ plates. “Vegetables are fast becoming the main ingredient on restaurant menus. This isn’t just for vegan dishes but very much the ingredient that might be complimented by fish or meat.”
Interestingly, it’s root vegetables we’ll be rooting for. “They’re appearing more and more on menus and cooked in very interesting ways. For instance, vegetables such as salsify, violet artichokes, fennel, squashes, celeriac and all varieties of beetroots always appear on our menus.”
Vegetables are no longer only seen as as bland rabbit food. “It is no longer about serving a protein and vegetables separately, but better thought out well-balanced dishes that have great textures, flavours, seasonings.”
8 Miguel de la Fuente, Head Chef of El Jardín, InterContinental Madrid
About El Jardín: An authentic oasis of local Spanish cuisine with a modern edge.
The star ingredients: Flax, Acai or Spirulina
Miguel is hailing health foods for 2019. “Superfoods have long been a hot topic for many years but the emphasis on conscious and sustainable eating has meant focus on these superfoods has intensified.
Seeds like flax, fruits of the Amazon like the acai or algae like spirulina, have already made an entrance into the world of health foods, but we see these starting to make an appearance in fine dining establishments.”