These dining trends are here to stay

Rene Redzepi has a lot to answer for. The quietly spoken mastermind of Noma restaurant in Copenhagen is credited with popularising the concept of "foraging", which champions the idea of serving ingredients that are sourced locally, ethically and in season.

Noma, which will relocate to Sydney's Barangaroo district for 10 weeks at the height of the Danish winter in January, regularly features sea urchin, samphire and nettle on its menu.

They want to experience what the world has to offer, and that includes doing what the locals do.

For Redzepi, it's led to global adulation and a restaurant that has been named among the world's best many times over. For other creative chefs such as Pullman Hotels and Resorts Culinary Ambassador, Justin North, it's given permission to look closely at what's around them for inspiration.

Loving locavore

The "locavore" movement of eating locally grown, seasonal food from the immediate vicinity has inspired a number of global culinary trends. Provenance is king as restaurants, cafes and bars offer cold meats, sweets, craft beers and spirits made in-house or sourced from nearby boutique providores.

It seems that "craft", "artisan" and "raw" are the modern adjectives of culinary success across the world. Quality hotels and resorts now take their gastronomic offerings much more seriously.

Travellers, of course, expect high levels of realism when it comes to sampling foreign food and drink. Rather than being mere "sightseers", modern global travellers are "sightdoers". They want to experience what the world has to offer, and that includes doing what the locals do – tasting regional produce and sampling the techniques that satisfy and delight local palates.

Here are five global food and drink trends that keep travellers coming back for more.

1. The use of hyper-local ingredients

The world's leading chefs, from Redzepi to Heston Blumenthal to New York's Dan Barber have built empires through their creative use of regional ingredients to fashion a seamless whole-plate experience (with a price tag to match).

Just as important is matching imaginative food with beers, wine and spirits that are made locally. Hotels, resorts and restaurants have to ensure they're able to find reliable suppliers of craft beers and small batches of boutique wine to add to their guests' list of memorable experiences.

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2. The push for seasonal produce

Frozen is out, freshness is in. As travellers increasingly understand that a sense of "place" comes from trying food being enjoyed by the locals at the same time of the year, the idea of "paddock to the plate" has never seemed so important. Offering produce that is in season tends to encourage travellers who choose to lead a healthier lifestyle, too.

Ethical standards are also important to environmentally conscious travellers, who need to know that what they eating has been sourced sustainably.

3. Healthy juices and smoothies

Juices and smoothies are no longer just served alongside the breakfast bain-marie. Many modern travellers see them as light, portable meals packed with natural ingredients.

The options have long since moved on from freshly squeezed orange juice, with kale and superfoods like goji berries and bee pollen just as likely to be in the mix.

4. Using old-style techniques

Pickling and fermentation were once the preserve of hobby farms and weekends with grandma. Menus these days are full of meals that are "smoked", "cured" and "charred", and old-school cooking styles have surged in popularity as demand has increased for food that is authentic and individualistic. It's about taking the concept of cooking back to first principles.

Those seeking authentic experiences are delighted to find plates showcasing locally produced pickles and fermented vegetables, charcuterie and cheeses, matched with boutique alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. Specialist local olive or vegetable oils, flours and milk (perhaps from almonds, coconuts or goats) are highly prized by curious travellers.

5. Smaller portions, available any time

Size matters, and small can be better, especially for those on the go. And while chips and pretzels may have been the only snack offered at hotels for generations, they have been replaced with quality options such as crispy free range chicken, fresh deep sea prawns or tooth fish with papaya salad, as seen on Justin North's new tapas-style menu for Pullman Hotels and Resorts.

 

North's share plates provide fresh, locally sourced options for global "sightdoers" looking for a relaxed and fun dining experience.

"The beauty of tapas-style plates is that you can experience many different flavours in the one sitting, often in the one dish, giving you an appreciation for the local destination and its variety of produce," North says.

This article is sponsored by Pullman Hotels and Resorts, which is offering a range of share plates as part of its Tapastry menu, available at 11 of its hotels across Australia.