Right now, everyone’s getting into vegetables, which is great because I’ve always loved cooking vegetables. There’s a much bigger interest in vegan food and organic vegetables and that’s only going to grow. You see lots of things in the press at the moment about how supermarkets are now selling vegetables they would never normally sell, the crinkly sort that aren’t perfect specimens. Everyone is so shocked at food wasteage right now.
I think we’re going to see restaurants particularly trying to embrace that and using ingredients that are different, or maybe organic, with much more emphasis on vegetables and healthier eating. Vegetables are so wonderfully seasonal and actually quite affordable, and that makes such a difference for a restaurateur to be able to do more on their menu which is vegetable based.
"Suddenly people are saying they can’t have foods a certain way. That’s fine, but I think if you become too obsessed by that, you’ll ruin your experience of eating out."
Seasonality is trending, but that’s been the case for some time. You look at somewhere like Italy – all their food is seasonal. It’s about being real and authentic – and eating a combination of veg, fish and meat. It’s healthy, good for you and delicious.
"You see lots of things in the press at the moment about how supermarkets are now selling vegetables they would never normally sell, the crinkly sort that aren’t perfect specimens."
I’d like to think the dirty food trend is over. Those sort of trends are sparked by lots of television programmes based around people eating the biggest burger, the greasiest onion rings, things like that (ie Man Vs Food). I always say everything is good for you in moderation and all those things are fine. But I think when it becomes too much, with some of those more extreme joints, where they want you to eat as much as you possibly can, you’re not going to see them go, but I don’t think they’ll be as favourable as they have been. They’ll probably phase out a bit.
Food trends happen due to a combination of lots of things, from food magazines to TV shows. That’s why everything is presented in a rustic style on these big wooden boards right now. Then you’ve got people like Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall on TV shows looking at food waste and that influences people too.
With the whole gluten thing... Restaurants for the past 18 months have been having to put on their menus what allergens there might be in each dish, and I don’t think that’s a bad thing. But I think the problem is, it asks the question, is there something you don’t like? It makes people think ‘well I don’t like garlic, I don’t like onion’. Suddenly people are saying they can’t have foods a certain way. That’s fine, but I think if you become too obsessed by that, you’ll ruin your experience of eating out.
My mum’s a coeliac, so I do understand that. But this new trend is more to do with people thinking gluten is fattening or bad for you when they’re not coeliac. It’s not, it’s very good for you, it’s carbohydrate that your body needs. I think everybody has been eating too much protein and it’s not what we’re made for. We’re omnivores. I always go on about pasta because it’s one of the healthiest and most affordable things to eat. Pasta dishes are very well balanced and healthy to do. Plus it’s cheap.
"People are interested in eating cheaper cuts of meat now too and I think that’s going to grow – more affordable ways of eating. It’s definitely to do with Brexit and we’re going to see prices rise a lot with food imports."
As a result, I think modern British cuisine is only going to get bigger and bigger, where we celebrate our own produce. It’s great to see so many artisan producers now. People are looking back to see what traditionally they can produce from the land and eat in British history and I think this is going to grow too. It’s very exciting as we have such amazing produce, from wonderful veg to wonderful Cornish fish. We’re definitely going to see a growing celebration of all things seasonal and British.