Food & Drink Trends 2017 (incl PR Trends): The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

It’s that time of the year again, to look back on the food and drink trends of 2017 when the usually mild-mannered, bespectacled Ms Gourmantic lets it out with no holding back while she kicks diplomacy in the teeth.

Food & Drink Trends 2017

I totally borrowed that line from last year’s post, because, well, isn’t everything copy and paste these days?

We can harp on with all the warm and fuzzies that made us feel good in 2017 but let’s face it, you’re here to read about the bad and the ugly so let’s get stuck into it.

Food & Drink Trends 2017 (including PR Trends): The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

The Good

  • the single octopus tentacle as an entrée, tender to the bite and big on flavour.
  • the C-word. Not that! C for Collaboration, be it with bar takeovers, spirits, craft artists etc, a trend that dominated in 2017.
  • move over #foodporn… #cocktailporn is taking over
  • restaurants that openly admit they’re not going down the authentic route, instead they’re putting their own creativity on the cuisine.
  • non-alcoholic cocktails are gaining popularity so let’s be all grown up and stop calling them “mocktails”.
  • sustainability may have started in the culinary word but sustainability in bars has been embraced and is a growing trend.
  • the quality of what comes out of tiny kitchens using steam cooking, sous vide, grill and a blow torch.
  • the return of the entrée/main/dessert menu but can we stop being apologetic about it.
  • putting the fun back into cocktails
  • fermentation, pickles, kombucha etc
  • casualisation of food done well such as poke bowls and confit duck
  • the second coming of Tiki and the escapism it brings

PR / Media Release The Bad & Ugly aka #prfail

We work with amazing PR whom we consider friends and are ever so thankful for relevant media releases complete with a dropbox link to images in hi-res landscape format so we don’t have to waste time emailing back and forth. We’re also very grateful to those who have unexpectedly gone above and beyond their job to assist, such as two incredible individuals who were on holidays at the time. But you’re not here to read about them, are you?

  • emails beginning with: “Good afternoon [FIRST NAME WILL APPEAR HERE]”
  • PR “chasing up an RSVP” when they clearly didn’t invite you in the first place and the RSVP date has passed and is staring at you in the email. It’s getting tiring, as tiring as getting your intern to ask for monthly unique stats.
  • media invitation to “dine and drool”. Seriously.
  • media releases that paint a glorious picture of a venue and when you go there, it’s nothing like the gloss of the photoshopped images they sent you.
  • the PR who would rather email you to check on your RSVP rather than read their email to see that you had RSVP’d days ago.
  • slapping the word “trend” in a media release to announce a new product does not make it a trend. It’s called wishful thinking.
  • wait… another stylised flatlay photo of food from a new venue? I can’t tell if it belongs to the “hot new restaurant” or the cheap and cheerful hole in the wall eatery.
  • the PR who treats you like a slave, harasses you for free editorial then gets all aggressive when you pull them up on it.
  • sending multiple emails to follow up if you’re writing an article or sharing on social media when a) you’ve done it weeks before and b) tagged the client on social media and c) the client has already shared it.
  • so maneee typoes in meedia releeses. What am I, a proof reader?
  • sending an invitation to a new venue with no address, a compass location such as “south” with a link to a website (I’m not making this sh!t up!)
  • it may work for print media but in the digital age, announcing winners of prestigious awards or announcing a new venue without sending a single photo or a decent sized logo to accompany an article does my head in every time.
  • inviting you to “party drinks” at a not-so-central location and when you get to the venue after battling peak hour traffic, a) you’re the only one there b) PR didn’t bother to tell you that everyone else cancelled and c) PR didn’t even bother to show up to the “party”.
  • this one is wearing too thin. If you’re buying email addresses from a “third party”, and you send me media releases about anything from Fair Work Ombudsman, Flamingo’s Shiny Blue Shoes, Free Trade Agreements, Government’s vision for the Fintech sector, public vote on a suburb, live videos (say what?),  violence against women and hepatitis C, vet those email addresses and take ownership of your errors and stop blaming it on that “third party”.

The Bad

  • the single octopus tentacle as an entrée… at a main course price.
  • the C-word again. No, not collaboration but the overuse and abuse of the word “craft”.
  • dining precincts – can’t we just have restaurants, and not dine in shopping centre wannabes?
  • and in #cocktailporn, what’s the deal with garnishes the size of your head? Big flower arrangements belong in a vase, not a cocktail!
  • sprinkling sumac on food or throwing a handful of pomegranate arils on a dish doesn’t make it Middle-Eastern.
  • just because Frosé was a one hit wonder, it doesn’t mean you can slap wine into any drink, call it a cocktail and pretend it’s a trend.
  • PSA: there’s no such thing as seasonality in Sydney when we can buy produce all year round. Why not call it “market fresh”?
  • restaurants who use the likes of Uber Eats, Deliveroo etc and give those orders priority as you, a dine-in customer, are kept waiting for 40 minutes for your meal.
  • I thought cocktail pegs were dead and buried!
  • just like the man bun, one day the flatlay and top down videos will be as popular as the mullet and rat tail from the 80’s.
  • the world of social media is rampant with fakeness but did you know that automated bots who do the liking/commenting/following/unfollowing while you sleep are soooo easy to identify?
  • giving me a glass of water with a plastic straw.
  • cocktails with two plastic straws.
  • whisky snobbery is alive with judgemental opinions on how you should drink it, what to drink and not to drink. Not convinced? Just ask any member of the sherry bomb fan club. The obsession with finding the rarest and most obscure whisky to show off on instagram beggars belief!
  • wait… you mean there’s another “New York style” venue opening in Sydney?
  • why would a good cocktail bar serve bottled cocktails they have bought from elsewhere? Seriously, if you can’t make or batch a simple Negroni…
  • yes yes, we get it. Not only do we love it, we even made our own. Gin is in but do we need it in yoghurt, shampoo, chocolate and paired with cheese?
  • while we’re at it, cooking with Aussie gin, (or any Aussie spirit) are you kidding me? It’s expensive enough as it is!
  • would you like to order the charcuterie platter? (yawn…) I’d rather write about your chef’s cooking.
  • if you follow me on social media until I follow back then unfollow me to make yourself look important, you’re a dick. And if you admit it publicly, you’re even more of a dick. And if you’re a brand that does it, whether you’ve outsourced your social media or not, what does that say, hmm?

The Ugly

  • roaming around Sydney after leaving an event at 9.30pm looking for somewhere decent to eat that’s not a calorific burger, a dodgy kebab or greasy fried chicken

Until next year!

You may also like: Top 10 Cocktail Trends 2017, Best and Worst Cocktail Trends 2017 According to Bartenders

Photo Credit: Supplied


This article is posted on - All rights reserved - Copyright © 2018.

About the author

Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is the Founder/Editor of popular online magazine Gourmantic and Cocktails & Bars, a website dedicated to cocktail culture and the discerning drinker. She is named in Australian Bartender Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential List since 2013, is a member of The Academy responsible for judging the World’s 50 Best Bars. She has also judged the inaugural Australasian Whisky Awards and various national cocktail competitions.