Food Trends of 2020

A Major Shift towards Healthy & Sustainable Food Practices! 

By Sharmila Chand

In an age when the diner is very conscious of the food he consumes, the ingredients being used and the preparation methods in restaurant kitchens, the chefs’ focus will be on Healthier Food Trends in 2020. Their kitchens will see more of traditional simple superfoods, hyper local ingredients f r o m organic farms, and a conscious shift towards sustainable, eco-friendly products. Let’s look at the emerging food trends to look out for in 2020: 

Healthier Kitchens 

Ullas Arora, F&B Manager, Crowne Plaza New Delhi Mayur Vihar 

“Healthier Kitchens is a big focus for us in the Hospitality industry. As we believe “Hotels are home away f r o m home”, hence it is a prime focus to modify the culinary practices with the ever evolving guest meal preferences. Earlier hotels used to have a couple of dishes here and there in the menu which used to be labelled as healthy, but now with the concept of Superfoods, Farm to Fork coming into picture, there are individual healthy menus along with dedicated sections in Buffet.” 

Elaborating on his forthcoming plans, he tells, “I as an F&B professional always look to create something new and exciting for guests. We intend to launch a 7 day dedicated Meal Plan for our long staying guests, special curated menus which can be started the moment guest wake up to the time you go to bed. The menu and the food shall be planned keeping the days schedule in mind. We understand staying away f r o m home for long duration which in case of above menu shall be more than 5, is an important time wherein guest wants to have meals which can detox or can be healthy alternatives when away f r o m home. The meal shall be consisting of incredibly delicious recipes, mostly plant based and gluten free, made using wholesome ingredients, and less than 400 calories a serving with occasional cheat day included.”

He further adds, “Alongside, every month we focus on “what’s in season “and finding new tasty but simple ways to enjoy vibrant, colourful, seasonal fruits and vegetables.

Our Mantra for Healthier Kitchen - Delicious! Do-able! Powerful! so that guests can enjoy the meal to their satisfaction without craving for the regular food.”

Sumit Sinha, Director of Food and Beverage, Crowne Plaza Today New Delhi Okhla

“We were able to gauge the emerging trend of ‘Healthier Kitchens’ last year itself, owing to the evolved and mindful food preferences of our guests. Our chefs have curated a special Wellness Menu which consists of innovative and delectable healthy food items. Now, we shall try to take this menu one step further by incorporating regional flavours and influences. This year we shall focus on healthier alternatives to the ingredients used and cooking styles adopted in our kitchen. For example, instead of regular sweetening agents such as sugar and maple syrup, we would use alternates such as fruits, sweet potato, coconut and more. Food in our kitchen will only be cooked in seed oil/vegetable oil. Infact, for kids too, we are planning to create more nutritious and substantial menus.” 

Chef Ajay Markan, Corporate Chef, Cygnett Hotels and Resorts

“Flours Other Than Wheat- Now a -days diners are aware of how overconsumption of wheat has lead to rise in health issues such as diabetes, hypertension, and obesity, among others. Traditional flours such as amaranth, nachni, corn flour, jowar, bajra have gained popularity because of their low glycemic index and additional nutritional benefits and we are exploring various preparations with these super flours. In the coming year, this demand is only expected to increase as people move towards traditional ways of combating their health problems.”

Jayant Singh, Founder & Managing Partner of Treehouse Hotels and Resorts
“At Treehouse The Pugmark, Ranthambore and Treehouse Achrol Niwas, Jaipur we will be starting the concept of "pluck your own salad" at our hotels. Treehouse Club and Spa, Bhiwadi has been buying wheat f r o m local farmers and processing it into flour required for our kitchens, giving our flatbreads a texture and flavour that is not available elsewhere. Treehouse Chail Vilas, Chail has tied up with local farmers for supply of the freshest of vegetables, farm to table. Farm visits for our guests to educate them about alternative farming techniques in hilly areas. At our business hotels in the cities, we strictly practice the policy of buying for the day, ‘just in time’, if you will, achieving least wastage of ingredients, cutting out carbon expensive storage necessities and serving the freshest fruits and vegetables f r o m the local market or mandi.

Sidharth Bhardwaj, Executive Chef, Sheraton Hyderabad Hotel Gachibowli

At Sheraton Hyderabad Hotel Gachibowli, we make efforts to offer healthy and fresh F&B options to our guests, such as;

Sugar Free Products – We are offering a large number of dishes which are sugar-free.

Vegetarian Food - Going vegetarian is another trend that is gaining popularity. Guests are interested in different plant-based options that are now available for them. They are becoming aware about the amount of meat they consume and are making conscious decisions to cut it down. Hence, meat-plant blends have been introduced that offer the taste of meat while providing the nutritional benefits of plant-based foods.

Local Grown Food - We use a lot of locally grown ingredients since it is fresh, easily available and suitable for the environment, while also giving more nutrition to the food prepared.

Grandma’s Traditional Recipes - The simplest and easiest recipes, we follow various grandparent’s recipes that are everyone’s favorite and are always full of nutrition.

Nuts and Seeds - Being rich in calories and dense in fat, adding more nuts and seeds to dishes not only makes for a great healthy snack, but also prevents diabetes, reduces heart diseases, induces sleep, and gives shinier hair and even beautiful skin!

Berries - Berries are known to reduce the effects of aging and are famous as they are rich in antioxidants. Thus, we add different types of berries like strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and even blackberries to our dishes.

Serious Emphasis on the Environment  

Ullas Arora, F&B Manager, Crowne Plaza New Delhi Mayur Vihar 

“Hotel Chains and F&B professionals are committed to support Environment and at the same time educate vendors through the vendor training and Audit programs. Also, guest demand for sustainably sourced food has never been stronger. Guest coming to hotels is more aware, as earlier customers want to know more and more details about where food is coming f r o m, and f r o m this make a judgement about its quality. The origin and sustainability of food is of growing importance in the modern world, so being transparent about the contents of your products is vital.”

Sumit Sinha, Director of Food and Beverage, Crowne Plaza Today New Delhi Okhla

“It is not just the healthy conscious people, who read food labels or enquire about the ‘what goes into the dish’ before ordering food. Modern guest want to learn about the journey of production right f r o m farm to table in order to ensure that they know what they eat and how their choices are affecting environment at a larger level.”

Sidharth Bhardwaj, Executive Chef, Sheraton Hyderabad Hotel Gachibowli

“All the industrial kitchens today are mainly concerned about the raw materials that they source. They thoroughly check the supplier stores and the resources they get their raw materials f r o m to ensure a smooth and safe process. Hotels using local seafood have a list of responsible and safe seafood items that can be used in their kitchens.”

Jayant Singh, Founder & Managing Partner of Treehouse Hotels and Resorts 

“We love supporting local farmers who show a lot of promise in the sense of adopting organic farming and alternative farming techniques that are not detrimental to the health of the soil and nature. To this end, we procure most of the produce for our Chail property form farmers who are sensitive to the fact that water is scarce in the hills and have adopted farming techniques that reduce water usage drastically. Apart f r o m purchasing supplies f r o m them, we plan to introduce tours for our guests to understand and appreciate these novel techniques and the little battles these farmers are waging against climate change in a quaint place such as Chail, hopefully motivating them to do their bit. For a value-based hotel chain, we are proud to claim that we support the local community by employing and procuring our needs f r o m them.”

Sustainability is the Buzzword 

Ullas Arora, F&B Manager, Crowne Plaza New Delhi Mayur Vihar
“Not only Food, the entire ecosystem has been evolved, we are using chemicals which are eco-friendly yet effective. We understand strong corrosive chemicals are no good. Instead, they cause heavy wear and tear of equipments, increase load of non-biodegradable chemicals on land, water and air alike, harm ecosystem smooth functioning and Health & safety risk to user. Eco friendly cleaning solutions help us ensure sustainable program at low cost with high performance. In market and in our industry, the use of disinfectants is rampant. This is leading to adaptation/resistance of microbial world to the disinfectants and making its use ineffective on longer run and thus non sustainable. In this aspect too, we are equally sensible towards this sustainability factor of the program and thus use right chemicals at right dose and where ever possible use bio/plants extract based biodegradable disinfectants. We use chemicals that help us use less water. Second water f r o m kitchen is treated and is used in various areas post recycling like cooling tower, Irrigation and Horticulture purposes. That helps save lot of water going waste.”

Sumit Sinha, Director of Food and Beverage, Crowne Plaza Today New Delhi Okhla

In simple terms, sustainability means that the food is safe and healthy. We follow three basic rules-

Focus on health of our guests- By offering portion controls, natural ingredients and using nutrient preserving cooking techniques. This examples include – seasonal items in all cyclic menu, homemade relishes, jams and pickles, gluten free options, reduced additives, natural sweeteners in beverages, organic produces etc.

Focus on sustainable practices- Creating a healthy planet by incorporating sustainable practices such as farm to fork concepts, planting on property gardens, recycling programs and eco friendly packaging.

Focus on mobilising communities- We source f r o m local suppliers, actively support farmer’s markets as well as community events.

Sidharth Bhardwaj, Executive Chef, Sheraton Hyderabad Hotel Gachibowli

In order to save and sustain our environment, chefs essentially focus on using several locally grown ingredients and plan their menus based on this. Using biodegradable washing and cleaning products, separating the dry and wet waste, and also giving a variety of options in vegetarian food like we do in meat and seafood; goes a long way!

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