follow me on

TWITTER

find me on

flickr

cocktails on lost in catering

7. SMALL WONDERS

Everybody knows that “fun size” sweets are a Christmas staple (but nobody has ever explained what’s fun about them). Minis are cute, but thanks to carbophobia and cautious spending, the micros may be where the money is.  The 100-calorie treat is becoming the norm, mini muffins and two-bite croissants are getting prime supermarket real estate. So start thinking.. mini popsicles, tiny macarons, bite-size ice cream sandwiches and baby caramel apples are popping up all over New York. mini-cupcakes are the new standard.. its all coming, and even across the UK, Starbucks began selling a line of “petite” desserts in May. Think now, and if you haven’t yet, get yourself some Seasons 52 desserts as a guide..

6. VINEGAR COCKTAILS

The growing fascination with vinegar relates to the restless search for something people haven’t done. Mixologists are reaching back through the centuries to reclaim vinegar’s more palatable past.. sweetened vinegar-based drinks that have their roots in colonial days. Vinegar lost its position on the back bar early in the last century and not until recently have bartenders fetched it up from the kitchen, embracing it as “the other acid,” an alternative to lemons and limes. Warning! It pays to tread lightly in drink descriptions, most people look panicked when they find out what the secret ingredient is without explanation.

4. GOURMET SALT

Salt of the Earth, you might say, and its increasingly appearing all over town. It's emerged that most "gourmet" salts are nearly 100% sodium chloride, just like regular table salt. Fascinating stuff. Why then, do we love gourmet salt? Well, it tastes better. Its chemical make-up may be similar to Saxa (although each differs, Zauber der Gewürze fleur de sel for example is only 91.5% sodium chloride), but there's a wholeness that's lacking elsewhere: its flavour is consistent and doesn't fade into the bitter aftertaste of table salt. And then there's the way it looks – salt flakes are beautiful. Who'd choose to top their salad with dodgy looking white powder over those gleaming savoury flecks?

SIX SENSES LAAMU

MALDIVES

There will have been a meeting, back at La Perruche headquarters, in which the dark M&S suits armed with their practised corporate laughter decided (based on fear), that the best thing to do would be to individually package their sugar to prevent like for like sales decline.  History will hopefully show this as a mistake (for all the reasons that came to you when you looked at the picture to your left). Perhaps they should have decided to follow the Monmouth Coffee team and the rest of London’s Coffee’rati who, after spending a lifetime creating life’s best possible hot beverages, choose organic whole cane sugar as an accompaniment.  Trust in them, and copy.

8. ORGANIC WHOLE CANE SUGAR

bad sugar

or you could think organic?

Do you know your ceviche from your caju? You may want to find out.  With a number of Latin American operators opening across London such as Cabana, SushiSamba, Lima and Rodizio Rico, some (such as Ferran Adria) predict that Latin American-inspired menus and flavours will be springing up nationwide.  Exotic flavours, wonderful fruits, Brazil 2014 + 2016, tourism opening up the continent and breakthrough Mexican flavours already enticing supermarkets to push further.. start with Ceviche: Fish cured with lemon or lime, spiced with chilli, onion and coriander.

9. FORGET HUMMUS: TRY CERVICHE

cerviche
six senses laamu on lostincatering

The economy may be flat, but one aspect is still bubbling – English sparkling wine. And today, the drive by the wine industry to beat the great French champagne houses at a game they have long dominated is taking a big step forward. With British Airways announcing it will serve award-winning Balfour Brut 2007 in its first class cabins and lounges, and Camel Valley’s (Cornwall) Pinot Noir Rose Brut taking Best in the World at the 2010 World Sparkling Wine Championships, its never been a better time to feature the natives on your list.  My tip: Breaky Bottom, grown just outside Brighton by Peter Hall, by a mile one of the worlds greatest drinks. Stick with the locals.

10. BRITISH BUBBLY

breaky bottom on lostincatering

PREVIOUS POSTS

JAN

2011

14

28

MAY

2011

11

MAR

2011

the disloyalty scheme

Lostincatering v Russell Norman

Chicken Tikka Martini ?

polpetto on lostincatering

07

JUL

2011

2. SOURDOUGH

Gawd, they’ve only just popped the doors in Central St G. and they’re ready for UnionJacks #2 (Chiswick High Rd).  Unremarkable.. at first!  But its the sorcery of Chris Bianco that interests us primarily, and the JamieO PR dept secondarily [sic]. For the UJ gang the sourdough is the religion and you might also recollect that native operator Franco Manca have also embarked on a similar mission (rise against the machine - usurp the Pizza Express). Meanwhile, back in the real world you’re seeing fantastic sourdoughs on the back bars of white hot Duck Soup, Granger&Co, Dinner by Heston.., you name it.  Bask in their collective glory by serving it yourself - best done sliced/ripped front of house with a heftily salted wodge of butter balanced atop of something creative

chris bianco on lostincatering

Like many of us (ahem!), Lobster.. once synonymous with class, is busy re-inventing itself with appearances all over town.  This is all about price, and you’re going to spot it entering the casual dining spectrum very soon and at a very different price point to the last time you didn’t order it (again this may well be my fault). Common in the US, Lobster Roll has started making an appearance here on the street food scene (remember Rocklobsta?), the Goodmans guys have Burger & Lobster upcoming for a Mayfair opening, it’s crept onto a number of menus such as Browns Restaurants who have a Lobster night coming in the new year.  Next up, Crab.. hopefully from Cromer.

3. LOBSTER

TRY..  BROWNS

COVENT GARDEN

Well OK, strictly speaking its not really a trendlet because we’ve been able to chomp it for years. But we’re all abuzz (“its not you, its me”) after the opening of Mishkins.. Jewish Deli and Cocktails. And thats because its Russell Norman’s fifth outpost and the last four inspired hitherto unknown cravings such as Venetian Cicchetti (Polpo etc.. small dishes) and Spuntino’s sliders, both of which immediately went platinum [read ‘casual dining’] -  and that might be partly my fault.  Anyway, think pastrami on rye, matzo-ball chicken soup, uncomplicated, good value.. also try Kosher Roast (Kensal Rise), Deli West One.. once again Russell’s nailed it, its relevant and its worth paying attention to.

1. JEWISH NOSH

LOOK AT... MISHKINS

CATHERINE   STREET

A few minutes in the company of Gavin (head bar honcho) and the Bar Boulud team at the MO, London and it becomes uncomfortably obvious that we may have been missing the point for quite some time. Or perhaps just missing out.  Edible flowers and fruits, encased in ice, centre stage with a beautifully prepared cocktail drizzled around. With research showing that 2/3 of UK outlets are serving ice with hazardous levels of bacteria, this is raising the bar big time. The Pollen Street guys under Alastair R are also in the game, check out their gorgeous Negroni if you get the chance. 

5. ICE ICE BABY

BAR BOULUD

KNIGHTSBRIDGE

cocktail trends.. bar boulud on lostincatering

LOOK AT...

DUCK SOUP,  SOHO

COCOMAYA
LONDONhttp://www.cocomaya.co.uk/
MONMOUTH
LONDONhttp://www.cocomaya.co.uk/
BREAKY BOTTOM
EAST SUSSEXhttp://www.breakybottom.co.uk/
ABOUT ME../../../../contact_me.html

I’m an operator, living in Brighton and working with one of the UK’s top restaurant brands. I’m in London most days and this blog is about news, drink and food trends from our industry and my daily exploration around the City.

SEARCH the site

Find me on

LONDON 
DINING 
trends../../../../london_dining_trends.html
DRINKS 
TRENDS
2012../../../../london_drink_trends.html
RESTAURANT
TRENDS 2012../../../../restaurant_trends_2014.html
NEWS 
RSS../../../news_rss.html
the IDEAS 
STREAM../../../../ideas.html
PHOTO
STREAMS../../../../bingo.html

CATEGORIES for

OR

use

say hello
../../../../contact_me.html
copyright © mike palmer 2011
../../../../contact_me.html
RECOMMENDED VIEWING
the PHOTO STREAM
A Lost in Catering look at one of our last big Browns openings, the Fat Duck and more..
the PEACH REPORT
For all things industry, new openings, insight, trends, Jim Sullivan and much more..
the RESTAURANT PORTAL
Great source of news, who’s who, analysis, profiles and info on UK branded restaurants.

EXPLORE

MIKE PALMER