14:15:20 01/10/2019


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The alternative protein market is bubbling with innovation at the moment, meatless alternatives like Impossible Foods and their vegetarian burger that bleeds has been gaining traction since its launch in 2011 and the next protein replacement to watch for is actually coming from pea. It’s made by grinding dried peas and it’s perfect for those on a vegan or vegetarian diet. Pea Protein right now is being used a lot in the fitness sector, a way to add healthy protein to the diet, expect this to develop further as companies start to use the bto-avaibale pea protein in their products. We’re talking yogurts made with pea protein, mayo, a pea milk and even ice cream - Ben & Jerry’s recently launched a non-dairy frozen dessert made with, you guessed it, pea protein.
New Ways of Work
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From new ways of operating, new systems of hierarchy, to new work schedules - restaurants are undergoing a serious shift in an attempt to make the kitchen job more attractive and more sustainable. This is being driven by a chef shortage and because of a whole new generation of chefs questioning the old, military-like systems in place: we're talking about kitchens models where chefs don't work more than eight-hour shifts, restaurants testing four-day-weeks to give chefs better holiday, better pay, partnership structures and flattened hierarchies - there will also be a much stronger focus on addressing the mental and psychical burnout associated with kitchen work. It's been a long time coming, but 2019 will be the year where the balance of chef sustainability focused on a lot.
Delivery-Only Restaurants
The rise of the delivery market has pushed all manner of innovation within the restaurant industry, one interesting development being driven by this is the idea of delivery-only restaurants. No-face places that are built as kitchens to cook and cater for delivery only. Take a look at your local restaurant delivery app and it shouldn't take too long to find a place that doesn't have a traditional bricks and mortar operation. This will lead to some interesting delivery only concepts and perhaps even some chefs will step into sector to apply their technique in a fast-casual manner.
Blockchain technology, developed with the rise of crypto currency, is essentially a growing record of transactions, of sales, timestamps and every movement of currency within the blockchain. It is designed to be very accurate and transparent - a simple way to monitor movement. Blockchain and technology based on the same idea will start to be widely adopted within the food world, ways to see the exact journey a product has taken to the supermarket shelf, farms to monitor production and disease within crops before it hits. Transparency is a growing demand of conscious consumers and this coupled with new technology is going to lead to a whole new layer of traceability.
Subtle Smoke
It’s nothing new, we get it, we hear your cries, but bear with us. We’re not talking BBQ, we’re not talking about huge smokers out in the back, we’re talking about the subtle use of smoke as a flavor alongside sweet, sour, salty, spice, spicy and bitter. We’ve noticed this more and more throughout 2018: a beetroot made much sweeter and less earthy thanks to a wonderful hit of smoke, an amazing smokey ceviche thanks to charred bok choy blended into the sauce. Subtle smoke is one of the most underrated and underused flavors around - perhaps because it’s just so easy to go too far. Expect more chefs to start to control and elevate this much underused flavor.
Butters Are Back
Butter seems to come and go with the tides of fad diets and just how vilified fat is at the moment. We’re personally noticing a new focus on butter, homemade butter and interesting varieties of butter to be used as ingredients in the kitchen rather than a side accompaniment for bread. Herb butters, fermented butter, brown butter, miso butter, nut butter - using this very fatty, very flavorful hits to cooks ingredients like vegetables or to add new depth to stews or soups is something we expect to continue.
We know, such an easy choice - every year since 1993 has been the year of the vegetable, but let us explain why 2019 really is veggue time. More and more people are opting for veg-free days, whether it’s for Meatless Monday, for health benefits or because people are realizing the impact meat has on the planet. Perhaps it’s because of what Annenberg University called the 25% Tipping Point in one of their recent studies: the idea that the minority of people who choose vegetarian diets is now getting large enough to effect the choices of the majority. Restaurants are certainly playing the game - Alain Ducasse went full vegetarian a while back, more and more veg tasting menus are appearing with beetroots, celeriac, salsify, artichokes and fennel all having a resurgence on menus.

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