Travelling to gourmet destinations is passe. This year, you’ll know exactly why you’re hunting these places down. Here’s our selection of trip worthy food items and the places they are being served in. By Radhika Sikaria
1. Hong Kong’s Upping Its A-game with Fermentation
Fermentation has long been used in food and drink—from beer and wine to cheese, sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha (Chinese sweetened black or green tea), and kefir (a Caucasian milk drink). Fermented food contains probiotics that help the body break food down. At Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong, Executive Chef Robin Zavou is experimenting with all aspects of fermentation. One of the most popular finds on his menu is the Sea Garden, which combines different textures and flavours of seafood with citrus and vintage soy at the restaurant, Pierre, where French cuisine meets Cantonese.
2. A Bowl of Poke in California is Key to Instagram Likes
Poke is a two-syllable word, pronounced poh-key in Hawaiian, meaning ‘cut into chunks’. It is rooted back to when native Hawaiian fishermen would slice up smaller reef fish and serve them raw, seasoned with whatever was on hand—usually condiments such as sea salt, candlenuts, seaweed, and limu (a type of brown algae). In the last few years, thanks to the clean-eating movement, #poke has generated over a million posts on Instagram. Try the dish at one of the eight outlets of Sweetfin Poke in California, where you can build your own colourful bowl or take your pick from their seven signature dishes.
3. Food is Being Served on iPads in Switzerland
Right from the ambience, to the aroma of the food and its presentation, many elements contribute to a diner’s overall experience.To offer an unparalleled visual treat on his tables, three Michelin-star Swiss chef Andreas Caminada serves food on LED displays at his restaurant, Schauenstein Castle, in Switzerland. The iPads he uses are encased in protective coating, and display animated patterns designed by Dutch lighting artist Peter Diem.
4. Multi-Sensory Dining is Checking New Boxes in London
London-based studio Bompas and Parr creates what it calls ‘emotionally compelling experiences’ in collaboration with commercial brands, artistic institutions, private clients, and governments. The concepts are unheard of, and sometimes, simply bizarre—multi-sensory fireworks with explosions of flavoured fruity gas, a walk-in cloud of breathable gin and tonic, to name a few. Their latest project, Joy of Bees, saw chefs and bartenders from Relais & Châteaux demonstrating culinary creations from honey while 20,000 live bees created a buzz in a peculiar art installation—a plastic-dome garden attached to a beekeeping box.
5. In New York, Even Vegetarians Can Taste Meat
Vegetarians must no longer miss out on the flavour and texture of meat because of their lifestyle choice. With the discovery of heme, an iron-containing compound, labs are now developing plant-based meat. This trend has caught the attention of Silicon Valley, with Google co-founder Sergey Brin, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel investing in the research and development of this alternative meat. Try Impossible Foods’ meaty burger at Momofuku Nishi, an upscale restaurant in New York.
6. 3D-printed Goodness in Ukraine
While 3D printing has been around for a while now, the technology is only just garnering acceptance among top chefs around the world. It allows them room to get creative with food design. Ukraine pastry chef Dinara Kasko is dishing out beautifully sculpted pieces with the help of computer modelling and 3D printing technology. Her background in architecture and 3D visualising combined with her passion for pastries allows her to create these visually stunning and intricately detailed geometric desserts. Keep an eye out for her upcoming classes to learn the art yourself.