Best Food Forward: What To Expect On Your Plate This Year

Food trends, as the word trend itself suggests, are fleeting. From ramen houses to Korean fried chicken, from salted egg chips to Japanese cheesecakes, the pickiest eaters with their complex palates are always eager to try something new. But trends also have the tendency to repeat themselves, running like clockwork every x number of years. Much like how we appreciate throwback photos on our social media accounts, we also go back to what we consider to be our comfort food, regardless of what is trending online and in real life.

To kick of the new year and the inevitable search for the next must-try ideas, San Miguel Pure Foods Culinary Center tapped some of the country’s most renowed chefs – Heny Sison, Emelita Galang, Rosemarie Lim, Sylvia and Ernest Reynoso-Gala, and Gene Gonzalez – to break down emerging food trends for 2018.

 “We’re very much present throughout different segments of the food service industry, and as such, we’re always trying to stay ahead,” said Llena Tan-Arcenas, culinary service manager of San Miguel Pure Foods Co. Inc. “For this year, we are seeing five major trends that we know will make for a very appetizing and appealing 2018 for food lovers, namely Extreme Indulgence, Ready-to-Eat, Global Flavors, Heritage Filipino Cuisine, and Artisanal Breads and Hybrid Desserts.”

Extreme Indulgence

Arcenas said this trend has been present as early as 2016, but it has since evolved, producing the likes of more extravagant, if not at times outrageous, dishes when it comes to flavor combinations.

The Culinary Center prepared a 12-inch burger to represent this trend, using Angus beef burger patty, cheese spread, chicken nuggets and honey-cured thick-cut bacon. It also served chili-infused honey-glazed chicken lollipops with sweet potato and peas paper tots on the side to showcase bold flavor combinations.


Heritage Filipino Cuisine

For mother and son chefs Sylvia and Ernest Reynoso-Gala, Filipino cuisine will gain even more prominence this year, with more restaurants offering their own rendition of traditional dishes and combining these with modern techniques. “Millennials have a thing for throwback dishes, for recipes from the past. There is much love for history and for traditional food,” Chef Ernest said.

In response to this trend, San Miguel Pure Foods has rolled our its “Heat and Eat” products – Monterey’s lechon kawali and Purefoods crispy pata. And as a nod to our gastronomic heritage, the Culinary Center served these with three sauces representing Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, namely kare-kare, humba, and piyanggang.


 “Traffic conditions in the Metro will lead to ready-to-eat food being patronized more. As more time is being spent on the road, there’s less time for food preparation. The trend is for food on the move, food that can be purchased online,” said Chef Heny Sison.

Chef Emelita Galang said with the fast-paced lives of most Filipinos and the rise of the so-called dashboard diners (what with the daily traffic woes in EDSA and in every other major roads in the metro), grab-and-go dishes will become not just convenient options but steady hits.

Artisanal Breads and Hybrid Desserts

 “We will see more colorful food preparations and the use of more organic ingredients,” said Chef Rosemarie Lim. The spread included matcha (green tea) croissants, Hokkaido bread (with a generous filling of ham and cheese), and three kinds of doughnuts (from the literally red-hot chili doughnut to the salted egg custard-filled variety).

For Arcenas, trends may change as quickly as they become viral, but the quality products of San Miguel Pure Foods will remain present in every Filipino kitchen.

 “Our products are very versatile. You are always assured of consistent quality and taste, and that is not a trend but a constant,” she said.

Global Flavors

With more people traveling to various parts of the globe, Chef Gene Gonzales predicted the popularity of exotic fruits and vegetables along with cooking methods that cross over from one culture to another. “Cooking techniques will merge together. We will see the rise of a global, borderless cuisine,” Gonzales said.

To exemplify this trend, the Culinary Center prepared African chicken Harissa (chili pepper paste) with bell pepper coulis and Moroccan pork belly, both cooked sous vide. Infused oils were also used to add flavor and aroma to the dishes.

Topics: Food trends , ramen houses , Korean fried chicken , salted egg chips , Japanese cheesecakes , Global Flavors , Artisanal Breads and Hybrid Dessert
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