Top 5 2016 food trends from the expert

January 13, 2016 12:41 pm

My name is Wil Pugh and I am the Executive Chef of Filmore & Union. We are a healthy eating restaurant chain with branches throughout Yorkshire including a recently opened restaurant in Station Parade in Harrogate.

One of the best parts about designing and creating the food for a brand like Filmore is that it’s permanently evolving. Food trends are an ever-shifting landscape and as an executive chef it is my job (and much more importantly) my passion to uncover these trends and utilize them to the max within our restaurants.

Long gone are the days where consumers are satisfied by simply reading the word ‘jus’ on a menu, or seeing a piece of smoked salmon with an irrelevant sprig or parsley on the plate. Customers want more, and as a chef, so do I!

Food is both my ART and my SCIENCE, I love playing about with new flavours and designing the ever changing Filmore menu is one of the greatest highlights of my job. So I spend a great deal of my time studying new foods and sourcing the freshest and most innovative ingredients to feature in our restaurants.

So here are my 5 favourite food trends that I anticipate you will be seeing, not just in Filmore & Union, but in restaurants nationwide in 201

1) Seaweed

KELP really is the new KALE. Whilst seaweed has been a staple of Asian cuisine for centuries it is only now that it is starting to filter into the UK’s healthy food market. This is odd really given the abundance of kelp forests around our shores, but I believe that seaweed is a food trend that really will be here to STAY! We have therefore been spending a lot of time in our development kitchen working on ways to integrate this versatile high-mineral sea vegetable into our menus.

2) Ancient grains

Quinoa is SO last year! The ever expanding health food industry has meant that we are going back to our roots and there is set to be a surge in the use of ancient grains such as amaranth, kamut and faro. These staples of the Aztec diet have amazing health benefits and are already being hailed by dietitians for their cholesterol lowing properties. Amaranth is a particular favourite of mine because it’s completely gluten-free, which is obviously a Filmore MUST.

3) Avocado oil

Avocado oil has definitely replaced coconut oil as the No.1 healthy oil choice for this year. Avocado oil, which comes from the green fleshy part of the avocado is filled with healthy fats, vitamins C and E, and antioxidants. It’s super versatile too, and like coconut oil has a high burn point for frying foods. It’s also awesome for spreading on bagels and for seasoning and marinating food. So keep your eyes peeled on the Filmore menu as this one is bound to feature lots this year!

4) Goldenberries

Acai berries and goji berries are basically now household names but have you heard of goldenberries? No? Well the goldenberry, which originates from Peru is on its way to take the UK health food market by storm in 2016. This bitter-yet-sweet metabolism-boosting SUPERberry is packed full of vitamin A, vitamin B, fibre and iron. It’s awesome in baking and we are already testing it out in our kitchens with great success, so keep your eyes peeled!

5) Black food

Black is BACK and I have to be honest this one excites me. I’ve always loved the effect that squid-ink can have on a plate and dark ribbons of squid ink pasta can literally bring a plate to life. This year though at Filmore we’re taking it to the next level and are going to be featuring black apples, black rice and the darkest of chocolates on our menu along with creating a black addition for our popular Filmore powerball range.