Spring 2024 Seasonwatching Report

Our seasonwatching Spring 2024 report is now live on the hub for subscribers to access. It was rather a soggy Spring this year – but cooks and mixologists didn't let the wet weather dampen their creativity. In this report we look at trending dishes, flavours, seasonal ingredients, plating and visuals, sustainability, health, desserts, cocktails, and more.

The weather hasn't just reflected our choices of what to put on the table at home, as restaurants have also had a difficult time as consumers haven't been dining out due to the weather and lack of funds. Restaurants are reacting to these gloomy times by serving humble, comforting, simple ingredients in an elevated way. For instance cheaper cuts of meat and fish and 'luxed up' through cooking methods and/or by the addition of different hyper-seasonal touches

We've outlined three key takeouts from this Spring seasonwatching report to give you a feel for what to expect. In no particular order:

1. Picture Perfect – After a particularly long winter(!), Springtime ingredients being joyful tidings and beautiful visuals. Dishes and cocktails alike are full of shades of green, pastel pink and purples, vibrant rainbow colours… all coming from natural sources – e.g. edible flowers, young tender vegetables, and herbs. Short-seasoned flowers are preserved for use throughout the year too; some only have a natural season of a few weeks, so pickling, adding to syrups, salting, and fermenting is a perfect way to keep using them for longer.

2. Foraged & Sustainable –Spring brings a time of fresh, foraged ingredients, and many of these are found local to the restaurant or bar and are right in season. Wild garlic appears in February and continues through until June, and chefs are getting ever more creative with this subtly flavoured plant. 'Invasive' species of three-cornered leeks and Japanese knotweed are causing issues in gardens and the wild, and chefs and bars are using these as unusual ingredients in food and drink. And there's sustainable meat on the menu too, e.g. wild rabbits and muntjac deer.

3. Humble Gourmet – With costs still high, more humble ingredients are starring on menus… but they are elevated to the 'next level'. Cooking techniques are used to change flavours and textures, e.g. chargrilling changes spring cabbage, adding bitter notes and crunchy leaves. Eggs are from named breeds of birds, and cured in honey, soy or salt and served with Spring ingredients. Simple scientific techniques are used more widely too, as a form of elevation of humble ingredients; e.g. compressing changes texture and imparts flavour, whilst infusing in oil, syrup, and alcohol is a subtle way to introduce Spring flavours to a dish.


trendhub subscribers can access the full 109-page Spring 2024 seasonwatching report on the hub, here. If you're not yet subscribed, but are interested to find out more, please get in touch.