It’s easy to get lost in the hype when it comes to the latest trends. While there’s no harm in trying out something new and approaching food from a different perspective, not every fad becomes a trend that impacts the culinary industry. For 2019, chefs and industry experts have predicted that a focus on healthier food alternatives and fast-casual dining on a global scale will remain, while homegrown produce and personalities to be championed will hopefully make a dent.

Plant-based proteins


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“It’s not a matter of substituting a meat product for a plant-based option like a burger or chicken. It’s about using fresh, plant-based ingredients to create delicious meals that aren’t just alternatives to meat but complete dishes on their own,” Lorena Garcia, chef at Chica Las Vegas, restaurateur, and cookbook author

“It’s all about plant proteins, but not in the way you imagine. More like burgers in plant form that are as greasy and not really healthy as regular ones, just more protein conscious,” Spike Mendelsohn, chef at Vim & Victor, restaurateur, and consultant at Sunnyside Restaurant Group

Fast casual restaurants


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“There are many things happening, but my prediction is that fast casual will make significant inroads. We’ll continue to see luxury ingredients served in a very simple fashion with self-service,” Geoffrey Zakarian, “Chopped” judge, chef, restaurateur, and owner of Point Royal, The Lambs Club, The National, and The Water Club

Classical cooking


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“I would want to see the comeback of classical restaurants. Concepts with innovation but not so much, that the essence of eating is still there. More local produce that is readily available for chefs to use,” Kalel Chan, corporate chef of Raintree Group of Restaurants

Latin American invasion


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“While ‘fusion’ cooking feels dated, so many cuisines have celebrated the ingredients and flavors from other cultures for a long time. For instance, Peru has a rich history of incorporating Chinese, Japanese, and Spanish flavors into its cuisine. So instead of the term ‘fusion food,’ 2019 feels like a great year to celebrate all of the natural collaborations and inspirations that have come from living and cooking in melting pots,” Stephanie Izard, chef and partner of Girl & The Goat

Homegrown talent and produce


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“We’re going to see more homegrown restaurants being curated by homegrown talent!” Mikel Zaguirre, restaurant consultant, chef, and partner of Locavore Kitchen & Drinks and Fyre

“I am envisioning a more creative year where chefs could excite more taste buds and food enthusiasts out there. Creating desserts should be as fun and exciting as it is to consumers. Bringing local ingredients to desserts will also help showcase the Philippines as a whole and create that ‘wow factor’ that the Philippines has been more than capable to offer,” Marvin Bagube, pastry chef and chocolatier

“More local brands will flourish this year, more local talents will be featured, and more local talents outside of NCR will be highlighted,” Patrick Go, chef and co-owner of Lazy Susan Private Dining and Pop-Up

“I would love to see more regional cuisine represented in Manila. I think we need more regional cuisine because it’s a way of understanding the culture as well. It doesn’t have to be be a chain restaurant; authentic is the key.” Decker Gokioco, food and restaurant consultant and executive chef of F1 Hotel Manila

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