Trend Summit Speaker Key Takeouts - Ross Lusted, Chetan Sharma & Sam Ashton-Booth

Last month's 2021 Food & Beverage Trend Summit was rounded out with three insightful talks around Cuisines, Gastronomy and Culinary. Firstly with Co-Founder of Sydney's Woodcut Restaurant, Ross Lusted, leading a venue that's bucking the trend to focus on the experience over the product. Out with the entree, main, dessert, in with the story telling, open spaces, personality in abundance and bringing architecture to the front of the menu.

The exciting Chef Patron of Mayfair's BiBi Restaurant, Chetan Sharma then spoke about his take on the current state of Indian cuisine and more to the point, why Indian cuisine is no longer really a thing due to the sheer size of the country and varying cuisines available. Within this discussion, Chetan also covered the exciting reality that there's still so much to be discovered when it comes to Indian style cuisine.

Finally, Development Chef at Muse by Tom Aikens, Sam Ashton-Booth ran us through the second wave of pickling and fermentation and how chefs are incorporating these refound techniques in abundance and to best effect. From blending seasonalities to reducing food waste, flavour capture and more.

Get a feel for all three sessions in our key takeouts from the Trend Summit:

Ross Lusted - Woodcut Restaurant

One of Sydney's most popular restaurants, Woodcut puts the experience of visiting first. Co-Founder Ross Lusted discusses the ways in which he brings design to the fore and takes customers on a journey. Having been bored with the monotonous entree, main, dessert format, Ross set about making a restaurant where the destination is as important as the product.

Ross's constant questioning of what else his team can do with ingredients as part of their approach to elemental cooking - starting with one ingredient and taking the dish from there - makes their menus unique. Rule breaking, questioning the norm, trying a new technique. This combined with his passion for close collaboration with local suppliers adds depth to the culinary experience to the restaurant, one that tells stories from the moment you walk through the door.


Chetan Sharma - BiBi Restaurant

One of a new wave of exciting chefs exploring world cruising in a different way, BiBi Restaurant's Chef Patron, Chetan Sharma discusses the interesting intersection that Indian cuisine is at currently, as well as his approach in the kitchen.

Chetan highlights that we're getting it wrong when talking about Indian cuisine as there really isn't such a thing given how vast India is and the different regional cuisines across the country. Key areas also explored include, how to tackle the complexity of dozens of ingredients going into one dish by maintaining balance and being able to still taste the core elements of the dish clearly; how to maintain authenticity despite not taking themselves too seriously; and the exciting fact that there's still so much to unlock when it comes to Indian products and ingredients.


Sam Ashton-Booth - Muse by Tom Aikens

A chef Tom Aikens describes as being an exceptional talent, Head of Research & Development at Muse, Sam Ashton-Booth discusses the second wave of pickling and fermenting, discussing some of the reasons this technique has come full circle and become popular again, as well as how it's being used in cooking today.

Amongst the reasons used by both Sam and other chefs is that of wanting to reduce waste, both from a cost perspective and also to be more responsible as a business - part of the wider topic of sustainability discussed in depth by many speakers at this year's Trend Summit. Also, being able to capture the seasons and bring them to life at different points of the year is something Sam appreciates with pickling. What's more, it's a healthy way of cooking.