Top 10 Food Trends for 2018

Our chefs, managers and sommeliers share their top food, beverage and event trend predictions!

food and wine
1. Stem, Root & Sparkle

“A big trend for 2018 will be stem-to-root cooking. Expect to see pickled watermelon rinds, pesto made from bruised and oxidized stem vegetables, a whole new line of foods and food products that reduce food waste. Another is sparkling coffee, sparkling sap based water drinks, sparkling root water drinks. Everything will sparkle!”
– Ryan O’Flynn, Executive Chef, The Guild


2. Seasoned to Perfection

“Middle Eastern food and spices will be a big trend in 2018. Braised meat like lamb with spices like harissa, cardamom, cumin. Couscous is a delicious substitute for your average pasta and rice. Pomegranate is a great source of fibre and it is very healthy. People will also be cutting back on meat, and looking to plant-based proteins like seitan, lentils, black beans, and quinoa.”
– Omar McLeod, Chef de Cuisine, Oliver & Bonacini Café Grill, Bayview


3. Every Chef Has a Story

“Chefs are storytellers and creators of experiences. I’d like to see more of that come through in food in 2018. I also think that with the jump in minimum wage we will see a trend towards becoming more creative with waste. Finding ways to create new dishes that are more cost effective but can derive from often unused cuts or trim from ingredients.”
– Julie Marteleira, Executive Chef, Leña


4. Pop-Up I-Do

“From the restaurant level we’ll be seeing pop-up weddings gain momentum. The idea is like having a wedding at City Hall, but you actually have it at a restaurant, and they prepare everything for you and 10 friends to have a celebration!”
Natalie Ho, Senior Manager, Event Sales


5. Champion of Fries

“I really hope to see curly fries come back. Everyone loves curly fries!”
– Bill Osborne, Chef de Cuisine, Biff’s Bistro


6. Frozen Cocktails: Here to Stay

“Frozen cocktails were very popular this summer, and they will only get more creative in 2018. We will start to see more spirit driven frozen drinks on top of wine based ones, such as the frozen Negroni. Or how about a frozen Aperol spritz with prosecco sorbet?”
– Paul Cowlishaw, General Manager, Jump


7. Rosé All Year!

“Rosé has been showing huge increase in sales for the last few years. What is interesting for us is that we still see strong sales even in the cooler months – it’s not just a wine to be consumed in the summer anymore. There is also interest in premium rosé, which did not exist in the past.”
– Yuuji Nagaoka, Assistant General Manager, Leña Restaurante


8. Pantone Colour of the Year

For weddings, blue and other dark hues are making a comeback. I’m seeing a lot of navy and slate for 2018. With Ultra Violet being the Pantone colour of the year, it’ll push those muted colours to soft accents as the bold ones stand out: peach with deep orange or copper, blush with Marsala and rich purple, even a light green eucalyptus with deep ruscus garlands.
– Amanda Jerome, Events & Catering Manager, O&B Blue Mountain


9. Bring It Back Old School

“I’m seeing more old school cooking techniques coming back into play. Chefs are moving away from foams and powders and focusing more on whole animal butchery, proper stocks and sauces, and bringing back classic dishes, like beef Wellington, with their own twist.”
– Chef Ron McKinlay, Canoe


10. Veggies FTW

“I think we’re going to see chefs embrace, more than ever, vegetable-based cooking. I think the demand is there for it. Chefs have turned the corner in creating and elevating inspiring dishes using humble plant-based ingredients. We’ll be able to inspire even the most ferocious carnivore to go meatless.”
– Michael Bonacini, O&B Co-Founder