And It’s A WrAp

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - Brunch - - INDULGE -

IUSUALLY END each year or be­gin the fol­low ing one by list­ing all the food trends I have ob­served over the last 12 months. This year, for rea­sons too te­dious to re­count, I ne­glected to do such a piece. But here – ei­ther many months after I should have w rit­ten it or a few months be­fore – is the an­nual trends round-up! The End of Cour­ses: In the West they like di­vid­ing food into three or four cour­ses – starter, main, pud­ding and pos­si­bly one other (soup? cheese?). That idea first came un­der at­tack w ith the Tast­ing Menu w hich w as sup­posed to be a line-up of the chef ’s great­est hits spread over many (some­times, too many) cour­ses. Then came the w hole Small Plates and Big Plates thing.

Young Chefs/Out­liers: There w ill alw ays be the big-name chefs. But all over the w orld, a new gen­er­a­tion of chefs has ap­peared, seem­ingly out of now here, and caught the pub­lic imag­i­na­tion. In the UK, for ex­am­ple, the big boys still keep their stars but the at­ten­tion is on peo­ple like Isaac McHale (w hose Clove Kitchen has some of the best food in Lon­don) or James Low e of Lyle’s.

It’s the same in In­dia. The era of the ho­tel chefs is pass­ing. Man­ish Mehro­tra w as the first to break the hi­er­ar­chy but all the hot chefs now are non-ho­tel chefs: Gre­sham Fer­nan­des, Ju­lia Desa, Jatin Mal­ick, Pra­teek Sadhu, Manu Chan­dra, Sourabh Udinia, Jay­deep Mukher­jee and Anahita Dhondy. Usu­ally they are peo­ple w ho don’t have PR de­part­ments to pro­mote them, but their tal­ent shines through anyw ay.

Cloning: It is now an ar­ti­cle of faith that any restau­rant, no mat­ter how off-beat and in­di­vid­u­al­is­tic it may seem, w ill be cloned. Zuma started as a sin­gle-restau­rant oper­a­tion in Lon­don; it now has branches all over the w orld. It fol­low ed the lead of Nobu w hich w as just one New York restau­rant ow ned by Robert DeNiro, Drew Nieporent and the epony­mous Nobu be­fore it be­came a global em­pire. For years and years, Le Petit Mai­son w as a Riviera restau­rant, pop­u­lar only w ith peo­ple w ho could af­ford to pay high prices for sim­ple food. Now the Lon­don and Dubai ver­sions are so suc­cess­ful that few of the pa­trons even re­alise that there is a Nice orig­i­nal.

When out­liers take a city by storm as David Chang did many years ago w ith Mo­mo­fuku in New York, no­body re­alises that the Mo­mo­fuku em­pire w ill even­tu­ally strad­dle many coun­tries or that the chef w ill be­come a TV star. But noth­ing breeds ex­cess as much as suc­cess.

In­dia has fol­low ed the cloning trend. AD Singh, In­dia’s orig­i­nal restau­rant pi­o­neer, has many kinds of Olives in many cities. Manu Chan­dra, w ho is part of AD’s group, has Mon­key Bars and Fatty Baos all over In­dia. And AD’s Soda Bot­tle Open­erw alla (helmed by Mo­hit Balachan­dran w ith Anahita Dhody in the kitchen) has taken In­dia by storm. Zo­raw ar Kalra now

A r oun d- up ofthem ost in ter es­tin g foodtr en ds of20 16

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