The six biggest food trends in 2020
The environment, staying healthy, untapped markets and food with a conscience - these are the trends that are tipped to shape our menus and foodie habits in 2020.
If you haven't yet tried Peruvian food, it's time you did. While Sydney has few South American restaurants compared to other cusines (41 compared to 1635 Italian, 1244 Chinese, 477 Indian and 471 Middle Eastern restaurants), 2020 is tipped to be the year Peru makes it mark on the food scene.
Tanya Duke, owner of Mi MamaZetas tapas restaurant in Sydney's Rosebery, said the big, bold flavours of Peruvian cuisine reflected the country's melting pot of cultures. Not only is it influenced by its South American neighbours, it also the result of heavy immigration from China to Peru in the 19th century.
"Lomo Saltado is one of our most authentic dishes, translating basically to salty beef, and it's basically a Chinese stir fry," she said.
"China took all its soy sauce and vinegars to Peru so it's basically stir-fried beef, tomato and onion with Andean herbs."
Andean herbs are a key ingredient in most Peruvian dishes. "They go in basically everything," Duke said, along with aji amarillo, a type of chilli with a berry-like flavour.
Other must try dishes typical to Peru include anchoas blancas en escabeche (white anchovies in garlic and herbs) and setas rellenos (stuffed mushroom with crispy cheese).
Of course, as anyone who has travelled through South America knows, the tipple of choice is the pisco sour.
Already doing it: Mi MamaZetas, Rosebery
With more people opting for a plant-based diet, restaurants are having to come up with new ways to make veggies fun and use them as substitutes for meat.
We have already seen examples of this in sweet potato chips - which now rival traditional hot chips in accessibility - zucchini noodles or "zoodles" instead of pasta, iceberg lettuce leaves instead of bread or burger buns and cauliflower in place of rice and pizza bases.
This year expect this trend to go even further - whole baked cauliflower as a main, beetroot pasta and turnip chips.
Let's see what Sydney's creative genii come up with.
Already doing it: Substitute any pasta dish with zoodles at Fratelli Fresh
Now more than ever consumers want to know where their food is coming from and furthermore, they want it to be as local as possible. This was a trend that hit the mainstream years ago but now people are not content with the words "locally sourced" - they want the details. Expect to see menus with details of the farms the produce comes from. This has been gaining traction with proteins but even fruit and veg and especially seafood will follow the same route.
Already doing it: DOPA by Devon has a produce map that shows where everything comes from
Who would have thought your mum's nagging would one day be one of the trendiest concepts in cooking. Chefs are getting inventive as they practice nose-to-tail and root-to-fruit cooking, making meals out of leftovers and food scraps.
Fruit and vegetable scraps are turned into sauces, marinades, jams, chutneys or left in jars for six months at a time to ferment and garnish future dishes or cocktails. Paddington's Saint Peter and Fish Butchery owner Josh Niland is widely lauded as a pioneer of zero waste. Last year he released a book called The Whole Fish - and he really does use the whole fish. Some dishes incorporate head juice sauce, Kingfish eye chip, offal sambal, tuna bone marrow and so much more. Expect more of this across the board.
Already doing it: Josh Niland at Saint Peter and Fish Butchery
In the midst of the war against single-use plastics companies will be looking for ways to reduce or completely eliminate packaging. Edible packaging has been gaining traction. A month ago Air New Zealand introduced edible coffee cups, which went viral all over the world - who wouldn't want a coffee and a bikkie hybrid? While edible packaging is still in its infancy, there are items cafes and restaurants can, and likely will, introduce including edible spoons for coffee or desserts and edible straws. Scoby (the bacteria from which kombucha is made) and seaweed have also been introduced as alternatives to wrapping. This one could be a little further off than 2020 but we should see rumblings.
Already doing it: Watch this space
Batch brew coffee
At any-given hipster cafe the milk options rival the coffee options (regular, skim, soy, almond, coconut, oat, rice, flax, pea, hemp, quinoa and macadamia), but this year more people will choose to bypass milk altogether for health reasons. But as coffee culture evolves, people are also interested in the deep, complex flavours of the bean and don't want milk to muddle it. With that in mind, you will see more batch brew aka filter coffee on menus that buck the trend of stale, burnt American diner coffee, using the right beans and rivalling a fresh made long black.
Already doing it: Reuben Hills Micro Roastery, Surry Hills
Oh my gozleme, the Turkish delight taking Sydney by storm
Australia's gozleme kings call Western Sydney home, dishing up about four million of the delicious flavour-filled pastries every year.
Turkish ex-pats and lifelong friends Matt Alanka and Metin Demir abandoned their careers in business and engineering 12 years ago to start Pastry'R'Us and produce Turkish gozlemes that could be frozen and sold wholesale across the country.
Popular at market stalls and festivals across the country, gozleme is a traditional Turkish flatbread dish stuffed with ingredients including spinach, cheese, lamb, chicken, mushroom and onion.
Creating gozlemes that were still delicious after being frozen and reheated was no easy feat and required custom-made factory machinery, but to say they have perfected the art is an understatement.
Their $3.99 Urban Eats Feta and Spinach Gozleme has taken the internet by storm and was voted the best product at ALDI by shoppers.
Pastry'R'Us frontman Craig Loughran said the secret was in the pastry.
"Over the last 12 years they have had machinery custom made to produce and stretch pastry," he said.
"The difference between this and other products is authenticity of pastry.
"Usually the pastry is moist and gluggy but ours is crispy and thin, even after being reheated.
"The machine stretches the pastry out a number of metres so it's thin and consistent."
Despite their success - selling about 100,000 gozlemes a week, or about 14,000 a day - Alanka and Demir remain impossibly humble. They are still out on the factory floor every day doing quality control.
"They're traditional manufacturers," Loughran said.
Their factory at Wetherill Park employs 50 staff, all from Western Sydney.
Sydney's top chefs cook for the bush
More than 30 of Sydney's top chefs will come together for a special culinary event to raise money for bushfire victims.
To be held at three Surry Hills restaurants on Sunday, Cook for the Bush will feature chefs including Jacqui Challinor (Nomad), Joel Bickford (Aria), Colin Fassnidge (My Kitchen Rules), Alex Pavoni (Ormeggio), James Viles (Biota), Danielle Alvarez (Fred's), Nic Wong (Icebergs Dining Room and Bar) and more from establishments including Rockpool Bar and Grill, Firedoor, Cho Cho San and Stanbulli.
With all proceeds to be donated to the Red Cross bushfire appeal, the chefs will collaborate on a brunch at Nomad for 450 (sold out), a $250 rooftop lunch at Paramount Recreation Club and takeaway bake sale at Chin Chin's GoGo Bar.
They will also auction off experiences and gift vouchers from restaurants around the city.
Nomad chef Jacqui Challinor (right) said she organised the event after feeling "completely helpless".
On Monday Argentinian restaurant Porteno, also in Surry Hills, will "fight fire with fire" by hosting a feast to raise money for bushfire-affected communities. Tickets cost $185 per person and includes drinks.
Guzman Y Gomez will feed heroic RFS and emergency workers - and their families - for free on January 18 and 19.
Meanwhile, Merivale mogul Justin Hemmes, whose Narooma property was under threat by the blaze, donated $500,000 to the Rural Fire Service (RFS) and is currently fundraising to take that total to $1 million, while Neil Perry donated $10,000 of his own money.
Live it up without forking out
AFTER a huge response last year, booking platform The Fork has brought back its half-price food promotion for 300 NSW restaurants.
Without sounding like a discount carpet commercial, literally every restaurant involved with The Fork Festival is offering 50 per cent off all food and drink from now until February 9.
It is no secret 2019 was a tough year for restaurants, so enticing people to get out and about is a top priority.
The list of participating restaurants is vast - geographically, by cuisine, cost and style - so you can use your 50 per cent off to justify a trip or finally try out that spot that was previously out-of-reach.
Euro Taste Grill, Bankstown
Massaya Lebanese, Strathfield Lola Cocina, Parramatta
Dosa Hut, Penrith
Lemongrass Authentic Thai, Bankstown
Aqua Dining, Milsons Point
Saint George, Chippendale
Riva Bar and Kitchen, Avalon
Pasture of Balmoral, Mosman
Bistro Mekong, Castlecrag
Gordon West Chinese, West Pymble
Hawker Far, Padstow
Colors of India, Parramatta
Gavroche French Bistro, Chippendale
Butcher and the Farmer, Forest Lodge
Little Jean, Double Bay
Pumphouse, Darling Harbour
Ripples, Chowder Bay
Harajuku Gyoza, Sydney