This week’s blog is curated by thefoodpeople – a UK-based global food trends and ideas agency. Experts in the food industry, they work with their clients to turn food trends and ideas into a competitive advantage, enabling them to innovate for profit.
What happens when you mix The Flash Pack with global food trends & ideas agency, thefoodpeople…? You get a perfectly curated list of the Top 10 restaurants around the world AND an insight into the three big food trends to watch out for in right now… that’s what!
We LOVE thefoodpeople!
So without further adieu and in no particular order…
1. Faviken Magasinet – Järpen, Sweden
Nestled in a 20,000 acre hunting estate Faviken is currently closed for a period of ‘creative development & reflection’, Faviken will be re-opening in 1st July 2015. Food is hunted, foraged or fished right in the estate itself. 1st July people… put it in the diaries now! Head Chef: Magnus Nilsson
2. Alinea – Chicago, USA
Think colour, texture, composition and sheer creative expression on a plate – or table for that matter. The majority of Alinea’s ‘dishes’ actually come stretched across the whole breadth and width of a table, taking the expression thinking outside of the box (or in this case plate) literally. If Wassily Kandinsky was a chef he would have felt right at home at Alinea. Head Chef: Grant Achatz
3. D.O.M. – Sao Paolo, Brazil
DOM is the stand-alone epicentre of the Brazilian Food Revolution. Head Chef Alex Atala champions small Brazilian producers, bringing the unique, exotic flavours of the Amazon’s rainforest to Brazil’s overly-Europeanized foodie scene. Head Chef: Alex Atala
Read more: Brazil group adventure for solo travellers
4. Blue Hill at Stone Barns – Pocantico Hills, NY, USA
Just 30 miles north of the Big Apple itself, set in the old Rockefeller Estate lives the Stone Barns Centre for Food and Agriculture as well as its stunning restaurant, Blue Hill at Stone Barns. Championing agriculture and self-sufficiency, Blue Hill at Stone Barns are a ‘no-menu’ kind of place. Instead they offer guests multi-taste Grazing, Rooting and Pecking menus, all sourced right from the surrounding Hudson Valley – perfection. Head Chef: Dan Barber
5. Ultraviolet – Shanghai, China
This is not just a restaurant. This is a multi-sensory, one-of-a-kind fully immersive dining experience that finds a perfect synchronization between food and ambience. With the help of flawless audio and visual technologies, Ultraviolet’s dining experience will entice your imagination and whisk you away from Shanghai’s hustle and bustle. Delighting guests with a set-menu of ingredients that have been treated with mutual respect and a lack of prejudice, put simply Ultraviolet is a stunning creative exploration into the mind of Chef Pairet. Head Chef: Paul Pairet
Read more: The delights and challenges of dining alone
6. CHISWICK – Woollahra, NSW, Australia
This neighbourhood restaurant in Woollahra is simplicity at its best. Casual dining makes CHISWICK an easy place to feel at home, making great seasonal produce the stars of the show. One of the main attractions of CHISWICK is the beautiful, light dining room and casual, communal bar area. It’s fresh, modern and yet feels like home. The dining room looks out across a beautifully kept garden area, filled with abundant beds of lettuces and herbs. Divine. Head Chef: Richie Dolan
7. Grain Store – London, UK
Light an airy dining with theatre – the design is that of an ‘exploaded kitchen’ where the boundaries between kitchen and dining room are blurred. At Grain Store, the menu is eclectic and varied like a foodie travellers paradise and really focuses on giving equal (if not more) stature to vegetables and pulses over proteins. Head over here in Summer time to enjoy some glorious al fresco dining on Granary Square. Chef Proprietor: Bruno Loubet
8. The Slanted Door – San Francisco, USA
With views out of the bay and on towards the iconic San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge, The Slanted Door’s mission is to blend Vietnamese cooking techniques and flavours with local ingredients from the San Francisco Bay Area. The team at The Slanted Door deconstruct the traditional Vietnamese classics and then recreate the original by applying their own contemporary method. And Did I mention the views…? *Heaven* Head Chef: Charles Phan
9. RyuGin – Minato, Tokyo, Japan
RyuGin’s focus is all about honoring the richness of Japan and her ingredients. The deep respect for Japapenese culinary heritage is paired with sensational ingredients and imaginative culinary prowess. Interiors are sleek in black and red and the daily-changing kaizeki menu places emphasis on seasonality and carefully curated indigenous ingredients. Head Chef: Seiji Yamamoto
Read more: Make sushi in Japan
10. Smorgasburg – New York City, USA
The ultimate gastronomical experience in New York City, Smorgasburg is a glutton’s paradise. Not so much a restaurant but more of an open-air food festival on the Williamsburg waterfront, Smorgasburg is the place to sample some of the best street food on the planet. Standing up or sitting down you will chow down until physical movement is no longer an option… the 2015 season of Somrgasburg opens on Easter weekend. Very apt.
thefoodpeople’s top 3 food trends to watch:
1. Elevation of chocolate to wine status
Provenance, variety and skill in the chocolateer’s arena are all raising expectations of quality chocolate (Mmm.. chocolate). – In the same way people have happily paid into four figures for rare, vintage wines people are now shelling out the big bucks for chockie heaven. – You’re average chocolate is produced with cocoa beans from all over the place, but nowadays there has been a huge surge of bean-to-bar, single origin chocolate. – The World’s most expensive chocolate – the To’ak Chocolate bar – will set chocoholics back £169 ($260) for just 4 small squares! They are to be eaten with specialist wooden tweezers so as to appreciate the full aroma of the chocolate on the nose – fancy. – The Mast Brothers have recently opened their first London premises in Shoreditch manufacturing small batch, artisanal chocolate bars that are a sensation in America.
2. The evolution of breakfast
Breakfast for Dinner (aka Brinner) kicked off in the USA, and has been sweeping London by storm. All-day brekkie now stretches into the P.M. people – hurray if you’re a brekkie kind of person. – Breakfast options are becoming more & more diverse and inspired by other cultures. Head to Dishoom in London for an ultimate Bombay-inspired brekkie. – Breakfast is increasingly being divided into either an indulgent and leisurely affair or conversely a functional and nutritionally focused start to the day. Which camp are you in? – Killer cereal café and Porridge café in London are two examples of establishments jumping on this trend.
3. Pre paying for your restaurant reservation
Rather than ringing up and making a reservation you have to go online and book a ticket (like booking for a concert or the theatre). So the gist is that you have to pay up-front and a no-show means no meal with no refund… tough luck chaps! – There are around 15 top restaurants in the USA championing this pre-pay method; the likes of Next in Chicago; Trois Mec in Los Angeles, Coi in San Francisco are all jumping on this trend