Trend Summit Recap - Gastronomy, Cuisines and Food Culture

The third session of our Trend Summit featured a deep dive into gastronomy, cuisines and food culture around the world with Gurdeep Loyal, Poppy O'Toole and our own Shokofeh Hezaji. We've broken down some of the key aspects of each keynote below, together with sharing each discussion in full so that you can watch back in your own time.

First up during the session was Gurdeep, a food writer and consultant, who was speaking about his new book, Mother Tongue - Flavours of a Second Generation . He also spoke about the journey of the platform Mother Tongue - an online video channel celebrating food stories of migration around the world - and how it shaped his views on authenticity, ethnicity, his views on cultural appropriation and much more.

For perspective, Gurdeep's channel Mother Tongue TV is an online platform that celebrated food stories of migration, race, identity, intergenerational conversations. It started from his desire to create a space for people to talk about all the things that he found interesting in an unedited way. It's become a space for people to be able to have their say in their terms, from their own perspective. Bringing to life topics and conversations that journalists and publications were often omitting or were too scared to include.

Charles and Gurdeep discussed cultural appropriation in the world of food and whether anyone can own any particular cuisine. Gurdeep said; "My view is that cuisine is constantly evolving and no one can have ownership over a particular cuisine or ingredient, however, people have very deep emotional and cultural connections to them and they need to be respected. It's not about ownership to me, it's about respect for cultural, historical and emotional connections to ingredients, to dishes that people have."

After Gurdeep, social media sensation Poppy O'Toole took to the virtual stage to share her insight into the role that social media plays in the evolution of food, as well as about her new book and personal platform Poppy Cooks. Poppy has amassed well over 3m social media followers, being a leading TikTok star and Instagram influencer, going by the name 'Poppy Cooks' online - as well as being a Michelin trained chef.

Talking about how her journey towards becoming a social media influencer, Poppy explained: "Basically, I lost my job in 20202 because of lockdown and in that time id started making a few videos on TikTok. I kind of wanted my little brother and sister to think I was cool! From there things just kicked off - people just enjoyed some of the recipes. Fast forward a few months and one or two jobs came in as I had about 50k followers, which at the time I thought was massive, it was huge, and I was just doing little videos on what a chef eats in a day. People just like food vlogs. Then I just did one recipe of potatoes off the cuff, crispy little roasted parmesan potatoes, and it was my first video to get 1-million views. I thought this is crazy, I've gone viral, I've made it.

Then we had to go into another lockdown in November and I was like, right I've got 25 days where people won't be leaving the house, what can I do to keep them entertained. And I just decided to do 25 days of potato recipes... It literally went from 200k followers at night to waking up the next morning to a million followers."

The final keynote of the session was with thefoodpeople's Head of Insight, Shokofeh Hejazi who brought her considerable expertise in trends together with her experience in retail and hospitality in the UK and overseas, to share with us the culinary and gastronomic trends for 2023-24, from food philosophies and cooking techniques to cuisines and ingredients.

Shokofeh went through a taster of some of the topics that we dive into in our annual trends framework - for subscribers on the tfp trendhub. As part of this Shokofeh identified and explained the key driver that is pushing cuisine and cooking trends for the year ahead. That's something we call 'Joy In Food'.

"What do we mean by Joy In Food? At newly opened Cantonese American restaurant Pot Luck Club in New York diners come in to tuck into mouthwatering dishes ... as they sit they can take in a banner that hangs over the bar which says 'we're here for a good time, not a long time'. The picture I'm painting for you is the perfect embodiment of joy in food because there's no denying that times are tough. The news is full of doom and gloom these days and sometimes we just need to switch off and transport ourselves through food. It's ]something] that restaurants and consumers alike are embracing."