A recent research report on the food trends in the USA listed the usual suspects including Italian, Mexican and Chinese as the ‘Big 3’. Lower on the list were French, Spanish and Greek before Japanese, Indian, Thai, Vietnamese, Korean, Caribbean, Peruvian and Cuban food.
Some cuisines were further segmented by regionality or characterized by one or more ingredients rather than a true cooking style.
However, as Australian restaurants in the US can hardly be called authentic and include the mock-Australian Outback Steakhouse and a few other outlets which also pay lip-service to being Australian, the opportunity is still out there.
Ingredients such as Wattleseed™, Lemon myrtle sprinkle, Alpine pepper, riberry, quandong and the other 2 dozen or so unique flavours remain as potential flagships of a future Australian cuisine.
There is certainly a renewed movement to wild foods here at home and it started way before Danish chef, Rene Redzepi visited to showcase his wild food concepts and flaunt his world class restaurant and to promote his book. However, his visit may help drive the interest and focus of more innovative chefs who are bored with the Mediterrasian and who realize that there is more to cooking than olive oil, chilli, garlic, lime, coriander and salt.
Sure, there are the idiot cravatted ‘celebrity’ chefs here in Australia who think that Greek and Italian are the be all and end all of food but ignorance will always lose out when real creativity begs to be seen, heard and with food, obviously, tasted.