10 trends that need to die according to SA’s top chefs

Some of Eat Out’s top 20 chefs weigh in on what restaurant trends they’d like to see the end of this year. From smears to spheres, here’s what’s on the outs in the culinary world.

The smear

Vetoed by: Chef Luke Dale-Roberts of The Test Kitchen

Time to put down those paintbrushes and chuck away the palette knife – the questionable smear of sauce on plates is out.

Experimental coffees and seasonal blends

Vetoed by: Chef Freddie Dias of The Pot Luck Club

“I just want to have a good cup of coffee with a tried-and-tested blend. Coffee should be like your favourite winter jersey. It doesn’t need to be at the height of fashion, it just needs to be warm and comforting,” says Freddie.

From cold brews to pour overs, is coffee getting to complicated?


Vetoed by: Chefs Scot Kirton and James Gaag of La Colombe

“Not everything people forage actually tastes good,” the chefs point out.

Not everything should be foraged and eaten according to the La Colombe chefs.

Molecular gastronomy

Vetoed by: Chef Ivor Jones of Chefs Warehouse at Beau Constantia and Chef Chantel Dartnall of Restaurant Mosaic at The Orient

“I think the molecular trend has now finally reached its end, and more and more chefs are moving away from using spheres and other extreme molecular elements on their dishes,” says Chantel.

Exorbitant prices

Vetoed by: Chef George Jardine of Jardine Restaurant and Jordan Restaurant

“The trend of charging exorbitant prices because you can get away with it for 6 months must die. [Similarly,] releasing a new wine with a four-figure price just because you can. This nonsense needs to be stopped. Even for tourists spending money, we are becoming an expensive destination that will collapse our industry,” says the chef.

We are becoming an expensive destination that will collapse our industry, says chef George Jardine.

The ‘Nordic’ trend

Vetoed by: Chef Michael Cooke of Camphors at Vergelegen

The Nordic style of cooking emphasises old, pure and simple techniques and celebrates food that grows year-round in colder temperatures. (Think drying, smoking, pickling and curing.) “I don’t think it’s being done correctly locally, and it’s not reflective of our food culture in South Africa,” says chef Michael.

Pea shoots

Vetoed by: Chef Bertus Basson of Overture

Nobody likes a bit of frilly foliage stuck in your teeth. Especially if it doesn’t lend anything to the dish.

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Plastic packaging

Vetoed by: Chef Chris Erasmus of Foliage

“NO more plastic packaging,” says Chris. We’re on board with that! Luckily restaurants have been banding together to reduce their use of plastic, and brands are coming up with some inventive (and pretty) alternatives that can work for the industry.

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Forward food bloggers

Vetoed by: Marthinus Ferreira of DW Eleven-13

A review in exchange for a full tasting menu is an unfortunate trend the DW chef would like to see the back of.

Too-sweet dishes

Vetoed by: Adriaan Maree of Fermier

The Pretoria chef would like to see a lot less sweet-on-sweet. Does this mean that the freakshakes moment is officially over?

Is the OTT shake trend over?

What are your most hated restaurant trends? Let us know in the comments below!

The nominees for the 2018 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards will be revealed very soon, stay tuned to Eat Out for the official announcement!


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