With almost a year of lockdown behind us, it comes as no surprise that our yearning for travel, cultural experiences and global cuisine is peaking. Historically we have seen this trend focus a on strict adherence to authentic recipes, fusion foods or reviving traditions, however in 2021, the Global cuisine trend is broad and all encompassing.

The freedom caterers have to incorporate global cuisine into their menus is simultaneously liberating and overwhelming. To help provide some inspiration and direction, we canvassed businesses who are carving out their own individual paths, each one highlighting that there truly is no right or wrong approach.

Dave Critchley Executive Chef, Lu Ban Bar & Restaurant

We use global cuisine in a truly exciting manner. I studied in Tianjin, China in 2019 and I have taken the teachings of the Master Chefs and fused traditional and ancient Northern Chinese recipes with my personal vision and modern British influences. Classic dishes such as Kung Pao Chicken, Jiang Beef and the famous Peking Duck are reimagined using the finest local produce and the latest technology.

Consequently, customers are being more adventurous. They are choosing new dishes over what they used to eat, persuaded by the stories behind the dishes and how we prepare and cook them. This is reflected across all ages, who seem keen to try new flavours or styles of dishes – the one exception is children.

Anna Garrod Brand Director, The Coconut Tree

At The Coconut Tree, our take on Sri Lankan cuisine is made up of smaller tapas-style dishes embracing plants, fish
and meat – it’s a menu that naturally offers something for everyone.

We had great success with our Eat-Out-To-Help-Out inspired offer at the end of 2020, because it gave new customers the confidence to try Sri Lankan street food for the very first time. Many became repeat customers, trying dishes such as Parippu,
Sri Tato and Brinjals. We want to build on that momentum in 2021 and position The Coconut Tree as the ultimate introduction into Sri Lankan eats; we’re making it our mission to help shape Sri Lankan eats across the nation.

Lorraine Sinclair Executive Chef, Pan Pacific London

We will be bringing Asian flavours to the hotel where we will not be westernising our flavours and spices. I want our food to be authentic so that our customers feel the amazing combinations of herbs and spices, sweet and salt that is so recognised in Asian cuisine. Dishes such as Vegan Laksa Lemak, Hokkein Noodles in Opeh Leaf or Singapore’s national dish, Chilli Mud Crab will feature on the menu.

I will be working with local farmers so that they can grow some of the amazing herbs that are needed. We will change our menus regularly to deal with the changing seasons, so that when we cannot get certain items we will not be substituting which will detract from keeping our flavours and dishes authentic.

Lindsay Castling Brand Manager, Estrella Galicia

Foodies of a legal drinking age are wising up to the exceptional combination of regional Spanish food and a perfectly refreshing Estrella Galicia beer. With little opportunity to travel in recent times, there is great pleasure to be had in providing menu options or meal kits to allow customers to recreate delicious Spanish cuisine at home with flavours that will transport them
to distant holiday memories.

Top restaurant chefs such as Sabor’s Nieves Barragan, Barrafina’s Angel Zapata Martin and Brindisa’s Monika Linton have created recipes to be paired with Estrella Galicia, as well as using it as an ingredient to cook with. The recipes cover several different day-parts and occasions from date night, BBQ and Tapas Tuesday ideas. The full recipes for dishes such as chicken thighs with romesco, mussels with chilli jam and stuffed padron peppers can be found at www.estrellagaliciabeer.co.uk

Annette Coggins Head of Foodservice, Tilda UK

Rice plays an integral role in many global cuisines, being that of Indian Street Food, Thai cooking or Chinese cuisine. Many areas across the globe rely on rice and its nutritional offering. One of the many beauties of rice is its versatility. Our professional speciality range means there is a rice for every dish, with the ability to absorb the flavours of different cuisines and enhance the taste and experience for your dishes. This is what makes it the perfect companion for foods from all around the globe.

For a rich and authentic Thai Chicken Curry, combine coconut milk and ginger with our Fragrant Jasmine Rice and see your curry boast the naturally aromatic flavours. For the full recipe, visit www.tilda.com/professionals/recipes/thai-green-curry/

Tim Ware Head Chef, Green Tree Court Residential Care and Nursing Home

COVID-19 has brought numerous challenges and there are always a few new ones which pop up each day but as a company and team, we have been immense in keeping things going and keeping to our usual high standards. With many residents not being able to see family and friends, we have ensured there has been plenty of extra activities taking place to keep them occupied. We have a range of themed nights coming up, which will be great fun. An Italian-themed night will be first, with made-to-order pizzas and a few other classic dishes. These events are as much for our hardworking staff as they dress up for the theme and love getting involved. They’re brilliant at keeping spirits up.

Barny MacAdam Taste Creator UK & Ireland, Santa Maria Foodservice

We have all become more familiar with a broader range of global cuisines. According to The Food People the top 10 cuisine trends for 2021 include Japanese, Mexican and Middle Eastern, as well as a growing interest in craft fire cooking and BBQ flavours1.

This is where our range of spice blends really come into their own. They’re a great way to add variety to menus and transport your tastebuds on a journey around the world. Take our BBQ & Grill Chimichurri Sauce & Rub Mix which can be used as a top-notch dipping sauce. Use our Red Chili & Ginger combined with oil, water and soy sauce in equal measure to create a Japanese sauce with vibrant flavours and build heat depending on your preference.

1 Top 10 Trends 21/22 in Food & Drink. Charles Banks, Co-Founder, Thefoodpeople

Simon Solway UK and IRE OOH and Retail Country Manager, Gold&Green® Foods

Lockdown has seen demand for global foods skyrocket, and with its exciting flavours and ingredients its little wonder consumers are hungry for more! The beauty of global dishes is that they also work well as plant-based dishes, thanks to the aromatic spices and flavours within many of the recipes.

A number of global food operators are expanding their offering and introducing plant-based versions of their menu favourites using our Pulled Oats® range of mince, burgers and meatballs. We’re seeing Americana inspired Dirty Vegan burgers going mainstream and meat-free Korean bibimbaps becoming a go-to for consumers focused on eating better for themselves and the planet.

Henry Dewar Beverage Innovation Manager, Monin With countries becoming melting pots of nationalities more than ever before, it is more important than ever to recognise this and showcase a portfolio of truly global flavours in order to create exciting drink menus. At Monin we have created many varied flavours to showcase exactly this; from Asian Lemongrass Syrup, Le Fruit de Monin Yuzu, and Acerola Syrup which are indigenous to Brazil. With a varied range of flavours, it is easier to create perfectly indulgent and nostalgic drinks for whomever and wherever you are in the world.

Ali O’ Brien Commercial Director, The Flava People

We believe people are seeking a flavour adventure more than ever. We expect Japanese dishes such as deep-fried tempura or sizzling teriyaki grills and Far Eastern flavours to continue in growth and popularity and continue to see huge growth in our YO! range.

The trend for “BBQ” all year round will continue to grow, harnessing cultural and foodie trends (Korean et al). BBQ really enhances flavours through fire and smoke. The growth of remote working has also given rise to slowed down cooking methods. Powerful flavours come through from longer cooking times in dishes like soups and curries allowing people to experiment more.

Caroline Archer Director, Neighbourhood Kitchen

From being in the food events industry for over 6 years, we know that there are incredible caterers and street food traders looking for a pop up to set up shop in. Which is where the concept of the Neighbourhood Kitchen came about; Cardiff’s first rotating street food kitchen. Launching this month, Neighbourhood will be offering new and exciting, local street food. We noticed a gap in the market for a spot with ever-changing menus, altering to consumer demands. One of our first traders will be offering vegetarian alternatives to Nigerian jollof rice, which has already sparked incredible interest online.

Kim Hartley Executive Business Development Chef, Mission Foods

At the heart of the street food buzz are authentic, handheld and informal menus, which perfectly suit festival dining. Recent research shows that customers are seeking more street food and sharing style menus (32%)1, meaning there is an opportunity to create convenient and exciting dishes that are full of flavour. Using our range of tortillas, flatbreads, pittas, naans and tortilla chips, caterers can create an incredibly diverse and exciting range of international dishes and hand-held meals, be
it Cajun chicken, quesadillas, BBQ wraps or lamb kofta filled pittas.

1CGA Report, The British Pub Market: Reasons to be Optimistic for 2019

Tudor Barber Managing Director, Street Food Warehouse

From running street food festivals across the UK, we aim to work with a range of street food traders each offering a different global cuisine, a ‘collective’ of sorts of international food. We have found that consumer interests are ever-evolving, with street food being the latest trend. People of all ages are now more open to trying new foods and experiencing new flavours that you wouldn’t normally experience in small seaside towns around the UK. From a vegan Malay curry to a grilled Lebanese kebab, the traders we work with aren’t afraid to add eclectic dishes to their menus.

Joel Carr Development Chef, Young’s Foodservice

Thankfully, caterers don’t have to worry about sourcing lots of different products to add an international flair to school menus as many meal staples can be adapted to save time, money and resources. For example, Young’s Breaded Omega 3 Alaska Pollock Fish Fingers can be easily made into Mexican-style wraps, tacos or flatbreads when served with homemade salsa and guacamole.

Vibrant and fresh Asian flavours particularly suit the more adventurous resident’s craving for international cuisine and is easy to replicate on care home menus. For a deliciously simple South East Asian inspired dish, combine our Alaska Pollock and Pink Salmon pieces with a selection of sautéed vegetables you have to hand, noodles and vegetable broth combined with soy sauce, fish sauce or miso paste for a warming bowl of goodness that is packed full of authentic flavour and nutritional value