With so many passing fads, changing trends and obscure diet plans to contend with, it can be hard to keep up. No matter what galley you are in, who you are cooking for or who you are eating beside, both guests and crew can differ drastically when it comes to their foodie preferences. It’s no longer just vegans and flexitarians to consider, one now has to cater for the Keto converts, picky Paleo diners and macrobiotic meditators. Along with the labels come the associated diet and meal plans. So, what labels will we see in 2020?
Today, there is more information than ever before about what we eat, where it comes from and how it affects us, with an overload of data and research from scientists and nutritionists, plans from dieticians and even your average Joe claiming (insert any fad diet here!) is the way forward. Diet plays such a huge part of peoples’ lives, yachties included, with guests who want the highest quality produce (often comprising the most obscure ingredients) to yacht crew wanting healthy, chia-seed-related, snacks to see them through a long shift. Guests have a professional chef working around the clock to serve up as many favourites from their preference list as they desire, whilst crew plan their work days around meal times and, let’s be honest, who doesn’t look forward to the morning break snack?!
The world is changing and so is the yachting industry, and it doesn’t stop at the galley. One of the greatest foodie trends of current times has seen people (both guests and crew) gravitating towards a healthier diet, which has happened alongside a shifting awareness of foods and how they impact not only our bodies, but the environment. This increase in conscious consumerism has been significant, especially in the last year, with more and more people acknowledging the grim reality of climate change, unsustainable fishing and factory-farmed meat. This lifestyle trend towards cleaner and healthier living has triggered various movements based around health and wellness in general, which is being fuelled by plant-based and clean-labelled foods.
The most important thing to note about this ‘plant based’ revolution is that it isn’t a diet – it’s a lifestyle change. Unlike the more restrictive labels of ‘vegan’ and ‘vegetarian’, a plant-based diet is broader and more flexible. It puts an emphasis on whole, minimally processed foods whilst limiting or avoiding animal products. It focuses on plants including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, seeds and nuts whilst excluding refined foods with added sugar and processed oils. A plant-based diet also pays attention to food quality, with a strong slant towards locally sourced and organically grown whenever possible.
Food trends in yachting are two fold; not only does a chef have to deal with ever-changing guest preferences, they also have to keep a conveyor belt of crew happy. So, is plant-based just another fad or will it be here to stay? Over the past few years, veganism, vegetarianism and now plant-based have all developed, gaining popularity, and more than likely will continue to do so. With more provisioning companies expanding their services to cover plant-based requirements as well, and culinary schools now offering specifically focussed plant-based courses, yacht chefs have an opportunity to get ahead of the curve and expand their repertoire for this changing landscape, creating gourmet plant-based menus to tantalize every testing taste bud.