My first professional test kitchen job was at President’s Choice. For almost four years I cheffed the recipe development kitchen, supported product dev and innovation, and toured the country telling people about it all. I loved it. The test kitchen was always a place of passion and creativity – and great food.
I was thrilled when Loblaw asked me to join their new Food Council. This small group of chefs, home economists, dietitians and academics advises Loblaw on food, cooking and shopping trends and behaviours, and it’s really fun; we all come from different places and the conversation is both endless and endlessly interesting!
The food trends we’ve identified for 2017 are broad and conceptual. As opposed to saying “carrots are the new kale” we’re talking about little shifts in behaviour and attitudes that we see happening in Canada….and the broader world too. So while we do talk about new ingredients—crickets, seaweed and togarashi are hot—we focus on big ideas like the coming switch to e-commerce for grocery shopping and the increasing move toward mindful and conscious consuming.
Here’s one of the wonderful dishes from the big food trends launch event: a light and refreshing dessert make from the scraps of fruit which usually get chucked in the compost. Here they are transformed (thank you agar-agar!) into tiny balls of flavour. It’s the cutest, most fun fruit salad I’ve ever eaten.
My own area of expertise, home cooking, will continue to splinter into two distinct streams in 2017. One group of home cooks will lean more on meal kits as a way to conquer both cooking at home and surviving a busy life. The other stream is will be making their own sauerkraut and churning butter. It’s all home cooking!
I’m that person in the grocery store curiously peering into you cart while you check out, so I’m completely fascinated by all this. It’s been so fun and inspiring to be on the Food Council and I can’t wait to learn more in 2017.
Until then, here’s a way to eat the trends.
- Half a small red cabbage (about 750g)
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for brine
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 slices Ace Organic multigrain bread
- ⅓ cup grated PC Black Label Jura cheese
- ⅓ cup grated PC Black Label Isle of Man cheddar cheese
- ¼ teaspoon PC Black Label togarashi spice blend
- PC Black Label truffle aioli
- Thinly slice cabbage. Combine with salt in a large bowl. Massage vigourously until cabbage is soft and wilted and there's lots of liquid in the bowl, about 7 min.
- Pack cabbage into a well-cleaned 1-L glass jar, packing it down as much as possible. Once it's all packed into the jar, stir 1 teaspoon salt with 1 cup warm water until dissolved. Add this mixture into the jar just so the cabbage is covered by ½ inch.
- Cover the jar with a piece of paper towel and secure this with a rubber band. Let stand at room temperature at least 3 days, and as much as 7 days. Replace paper towel with a lid and keep refrigerated.
- To make the sandwich, spread mayonnaise over one side of each piece of bread. Place one slice mayo-side-down in a non-stick frypan. Carefully sprinkle cheese evenly over bread. Sprinkle cheese with togarashi spice. Top with second bread slice. Put the pan on the stove over medium. Cook, 3 to 5 min per side or until cheese melts and bread is toasty. Serve with truffle aioli and sauerkraut.
This post and recipe are sponsored by Loblaw. For more on my sponsorship policy, click here.