Andean super food Quinoa has been the craze of the past couple of years, sprouting up on restaurant menus across the world. But what will be the next hip ingredient to captivate culinary connoisseurs?
Michelin star chefs point to two emerging trends: root vegetables and Japanese citrus fruit yuzu.
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"The next trend is using root vegetables - a lot of people want to work with beetroot; it comes from the ground, it has an earthy texture. It can be made into a savory dish or a dessert," Chef Sang Hoon Degeimbre told CNBC on the sidelines of the World Gourmet Summit in Singapore.
"You'll probably hear about it soon," Degeimbre, who runs his own restaurant, L'Air du Temps, in Belgium added.
Similar to the fashion industry, certain ingredients become "trendy" every few years, driven by factors such as increased availability of a particular food, or increased knowledge of its nutritional qualities. Last year, for example, the United Nations declared 2013 the 'International Year of Quinoa' to raise awareness around the nutritional, economic and environmental value of the grain.
Phillipe Mille, head chef at Les Crayères hotel in France's Champagne region, expects yuzu - which is hailed as the next super food for its high level of vitamin C - to become a more widely used ingredient.
"More and more products from Japan - like yuzu - are being used. This was a product that wasn't widely available before. Chefs are going to use the yuzu in different preparations," Mille said.
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The dining experience
While chefs have taken the fine-dining experience to the next level with fancier techniques, such as molecular gastronomy, Degeimbre and Mille both agree haute cuisine of the future will focus primarily on the quality of ingredients.
"In the recent years, there's been a sense of insecurity with the [financial] crisis and overall instability. People want to a way to feel secure, food is one thing they can react to. People want to know where the food comes from, how it's being made, who's making it," Degeimbre said. "[Food] quality will be more of a focus than the way it's prepared," he said.
Mille called it "going back to the basics." He said, "With chemicals being found in food, the quality and origin of a product will be even more important than it is now."
Simplicity is bliss
And despite being among the world's most talented chefs, Degeimbre and Mille's all-time favorite meals are ones that can be cooked up at home.
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Degeimbre's says his go-to meal is tomate facile or meatballs with tomato. While Mille appreciates a good roast chicken with french fries in the summer, or pot-au-feu or beef stew in the winter.
And who cooks their meals at home? Not them.
"My wife and daughter usually cook meals at home. There's something more familiar about their cooking. My daughter is learning to cook, she's a natural," said Mille.
"I cook 50 percent of the meals, and my wife cooks 50 percent. I like her cooking more than mine," Degeimbre joked.
-By CNBC's Ansuya Harjani; Follow her on Twitter @Ansuya_H
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