Kenneth Temple is a personal chef, specializing in food from Creole, Cajun, Southern and Caribbean traditions, and recently won Food Network’s Chopped Season 17.
He elaborates on the trends from 2017 and what he hopes to see gain momentum in 2018.
Looking back at 2017, what evolving trends did you see dominate the food landscape?
The obvious dominating food trend this year was vegan. Vegetarian too, but there was definitely a lot of people converting to the vegan lifestyle, at least for a short time. I was even invited to attend a vegan dinner party. The documentary “What the Health?” highlighted some bad food practices that shifted people’s minds towards meat and dairy.
Looking back at 2017, what ingredients did you see gain popularity with consumers?
I saw a lot of posts with chia seeds. The health world made an effort to point out the health benefits of chia seeds. My Instagram timeline was full of smoothie bowls made with chia seeds and a variety of toppings.
Another one was bone broth. With my culinary training, I thought making stock was a great way to improve your food flavor, but I never considered the possible health benefits of bone broth.
Conversely, did you notice any trends or ingredients lose momentum in 2017?
The irony is even with all the vegan conversations going on, I saw a lot of people still standing with and celebrating the food they loved, even if it was considered “unhealthy.”
Looking ahead to 2018, do you anticipate any interesting themes or trending ingredients in the food landscape?
I read an article that blackening was going to take off in 2017, but I didn’t see too much of that so I hope it gets a shot in 2018. I know many people think it’s about the spice blend, but it’s actually the technique that separates blackening something from burning it.
How do you plan on incorporating these trending ingredients and themes into your cooking?
I may incorporate the new trending ingredients for a special dinner party or by client request. I usually don’t get caught up in trends because there’s always another one right behind it.