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05 July 2017

Some of the allmanhall team recently attended Taste of London and one particular infographic from the event caught our attention. A map of food trends. I’ve been researching some of these and I had to start with one which is close to my heart: ‘Scandi cool’. 




What is an example of something Scandi Cool? Hygge! I know… hygge is a bit 2016 in the world of trends, but to me hygge is timeless. For anyone who hasn’t been getting into the spirit of the 2016 buzzword, here’s what it is:


Hygge is a concept – it’s intangible, it can’t be forced, it comes naturally as a by-product of an atmosphere. Hygge is essentially a state of wellbeing, warmth and togetherness (although the third isn’t imperative – it is possible to hygge on your own). It is almost like an invisible hug consisting of one or more things that encapsulate a cosy atmosphere. Hygge can be snuggling up under a warm blanket in the winter, it can be a group of friends coming together to enjoy each other’s company – in Denmark we like to go around each other’s houses and we tend to take off our shoes when we do. It can revolve around food, it can revolve around drinks, but I would say that generally hygge exists in calm surroundings. I will also say this: hygge is in the eye of the beholder.


I grew up with hygge – maybe that’s why it’s so hard for me to put a finger on what exactly it is. I grew up in Denmark – the home of hygge. But it’s also the home of many other things: LEGO, Maersk, insulin, Carlsberg, the Egg Chair and Bang & Olufsen to mention a few… but what does this mean when it comes to food?




A Dane who has made a name for himself in the last decade is Rene Redzepi. Food visionary and co-founder of Noma. Like LEGO (leg = play, godt = well), Noma is a portmanteau – a blend of multiple words combined into a new word – No (nordisk = Nordic) + Ma (mad = food/cuisine) à Nordic cuisine. Redzepi is, arguably, amongst the founding fathers of what is known as New Nordic Cuisine.


Noma was ranked Best Restaurant in the World by Restaurant magazine from 2012-2012 and again in 2014, something that contributed to the global interest in New Nordic Cuisine. Core principles include foraging and seasonality, sourcing locally and naturally, and showcasing ingredients using traditional techniques such as smoking, pickling, fermenting and brining.


At a two-starred Michelin restaurant like Noma, food is experimental. It’s not conventional although a lot of the ingredients and techniques are in touch with traditional methods. Examples of dining experiences offered at Noma include fried reindeer moss, caramelised milk served with cod liver, malt (edible) soil and, notoriously, live ants, foraged locally, a 25-minute drive from the restaurant itself.


More about (new) Nordic cuisine


New Nordic Cuisine has inspired a lot of chefs worldwide and the cuisine covers a number of the trends from the infographic above, including farm to table, grains, fermentation, pickling, local (if not hyper local) food and insects, with the latter currently championed as one of keys to a sustainable diet.


And it doesn’t end there. New Nordic is not just trendy, a lot of it is healthy too. From oily fish (pickled herring being the classic example) to skyr – the Icelandic cultured dairy product taking the world by storm with its high protein and low sugar content as well as its probiotic properties. From pickled vegetables to wholegrain dark rye bread used as a base for open sandwiches. From wild berries to local herbs and wild garlic, the list goes on.





Noma 2.0


Noma is currently taking a break. The restaurant shut its doors in February 2017, where the team set up a pop-up concept restaurant in Mexico for seven weeks. Redzepi and his team are now planning the re-launch of Noma and have been granted building permission for a location just two kilometres away from the original Noma. The idea is to feature an experimental urban farm, with ambitious plans to ‘recapture and in some cases, introduce biodiversity into the region.’ (Guardian, 2017)


At allmanhall - and our sister company, avisso - we pride ourselves on keeping abreast of food trends. We’re procurement experts who are also foodies and count a number of experienced chefs and caterers in our growing team. With this in mind, we’re launching invitation only ‘Think Outside the Bowl’ one-day food innovation workshops from October 2017. Contact me today for more information.


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