Winter 2024 Seasonwatching Report

Our Winter 2024 roundup is now live for trendhub subscribers. There have been lots of cosy, delicious things on menus around the world this winter, to bring a smile to our faces on otherwise cold and dark days.

As autumn turns to winter, and we see the fun and colours of Christmas disappear, the darkness of January commences, a month that feels like months rather than weeks. Then the lighter month of February starts and we all know spring is coming. This year in the UK, the winter hasn't been as cold as in the past, although it has been wet, encouraging people to still consume comforting food and drink.

To give you a feel for what to expect from the full report, here are our three key take-outs:

1. Humble Gourmet – As the foodservice industry continues to struggle financially like so many others, chefs and bars are looking to elevate cheaper ingredients to gourmet heights. Humble veggies like potatoes and onions, as well as cheaper cuts of meat and even eggs, are cooked and prepared in new and exciting ways, e.g. smoking or charring veg to add flavour, or finishing them with truffle for a luxe touch. Different varieties and breeds of animal are called out for added provenance, too, and chefs experiment with slow cooking and booze(!) as a cooking ingredient.

2. Precious Waste – Both bars and kitchens are taking the 'no waste' approach to the next level, and employing preservation techniques to get the most out of excess ingredients and by-products. For instance fruit and vegetable trimmings, or leaves from the garden or wild, can be added to the stockpot for tasty stocks to be used in food or drink, or they can be infused into alcohol, sugar syrups, and cordials. Meanwhile end-of-season produce, or kitchen or bar excess can be fermented and pickled to use in the darker months, adding a brightness to dark, heavy dishes… Think homemade gremolata or salsa elevated with house made pickles, added to otherwise rich stews and soups.

3. Healthy Comfort – Menus are all about comfort in the winter… But that doesn't mean they can't be healthy. Think slow cooked stews loaded with veggies and superfoods, gravies made from gut healthy bone broth, citrus drinks bursting with vitamin C, or warm 'flu fighter' cocktails fuelled with ginger, turmeric, lemon… and perhaps a cheeky shot or two of booze!


trendhub subscribers can access the full 107-page Winter 2024 seasonwatching report on the hub, here. If you're not yet subscribed, but are interested to find out more, please get in touch.