Australia might be ‘down under’ but when you consider the food trends of 2014, it’s right on top. From restaurants to corporate catering, the Australian food industry is all set to chart new heights this year. At Square Catering, the leading North Sydney Corporate Caterers, the excitement is palpable. Dusting off aprons, it’s a lot of fun to see them preserving, pickling, smoking, jamming and curing for all they are worth. Why? When all restaurants from Parramatta and Perth are serving delicacies like Kale and quionoa, how can the catering menu be left behind?
So what are the top trends for the catering industry in 2014? The Asian flavours that are getting the most encores are the prawns and rice paper rolls from Vietnam and Ramen noodles from Japan. We have also developed a taste for spicy meatballs (from Moroccan to Mexican), smoked chillies, modern Jewish, Middle Eastern and Spicy Sichuan Chinese.
However, there is a lot more happening the food and wine industry in Australia than simply adopting and adapting the culinary developments taking place elsewhere in the world.
So here are our top food predictions and how they would shape the Australian food and wine industry in Australia. Meticulously collated after studying dozens of menus and interviews with the top Australian chefs, we present you with the three transformative culinary trends of 2014.
Kylie Kwong is really excited about the use of miniature livestock in restaurants. While we cannot be sure if this trend to make its way to corporate kitchens, Kwong suggests that more and more chefs and home cooks would start experimenting with edible insects as a very nutritious and might we say delicious (taste that crunch) source of protein. A very deep part of her Chinese heritage, edible insects, she feels would soon make its way into every Australian kitchen.
Australia would become much more Australian in the way it eats in 2014. Iron rich warrigal greens, which traditional Australian have known about and used in their stews and salads for centuries have started making an appearance in popular farmer’s markets. If we talk about proteins, the Kangaroo and Wallaby are rapidly jumping the menu bandwagon. From being the chef’s special at Australian themed diners, they would make their way onto the catering menus as well. Kangaroos are high in protein, are super lean and of course have a distinctive gamey taste, which we’re now developing taste for.
Given our burgeoning interest in native ingredients, you can expect some very interesting ready to eat meals like hot smoked Kangaroo sandwiches and coal charred Coorong mullet garnished in apple berries and flax lilies to soon become part of your caterer’s menu.
The Big Fat Australian Barbeque
Our fascination with the most primordial and might we add possibly the healthiest cooking method continues to burn hot. Barbeques are becoming increasingly popular and kitchens are opening themselves up to the great outdoors. While we are still fascinated with America’s Southern Style barbeques, it is expected that there would soon emerge a distinctly Australian flavour with the use of native proteins, rubs and the use of indigenous fuels like macadamia wood and mallee root for smoking the meat.
Alisia Goodwin writes for Sydney office catering company Square Catering, known for their Corporate Catering Packages.