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Culinary Flavors and Trends

If wine pairing is about harmony (balance) or contrast (opposite), cooking is harmony and contrast. Everybody knows about the four basic flavors: sour, bitter, sweet and salty. You can also add spicy and others. Alain Ducasse, a famous French chef, always says: "Create a dish with no more than two or three flavors."

Let´s take an example: fish, lime and asparagus. Fish matches very well with a butter lime sauce, served with asparagus (bitter). A good chef would not mix too many flavors - "Too much flavor kills the flavor." Why add spices, ginger or herbs, if you do not feel it in mouth? Palate development is such a long training process. We usually say in France: to become a wine expert you need 15 years of professional daily tastings. This is also true for a chef as well, meaning visits with local producers and markets, tasting everything while cooking (even raw products), and remembering.

Question: A good chef, when creating a dish, is in his "own world." Do you believe the customer understands the meaning of the dish? Do you think the chef should present the plate and explain it?

Food Trends
  • Eat local "From the Farm to the Plate"
  • Eating Organic
  • Light Fare
  • Less salt while cooking. Rock salt is more and more popular, and it is amazing with dark chocolate!
  • Food and Design. More creativity in presentations. Very strong influence in Canada and Denmark (Noma, Denmark, has been named this year the Best Restaurant of the World)
  • A spicy touch on each plate, like ginger, wasabi or Tabasco (even with desserts!)
  • Ethnic cuisine gets bigger and bigger
  • Finger food and half portions allow the customers to taste more and pay less
  • Slow Cooking
  • Gastro Pub’s
  • The Chef’s Table

This post originally appeared at

Hervé Laurent

Hervé Laurent, Master French Chef and Director of School of Culinary Arts – Central America spent twenty years working with most famous chefs of Europe and ten years teaching in 3 of the world’s most famous cooking schools, including Le Cordon Bleu and the Bocuse Institute. Email: Hervé is on the Advisory Board of the International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association...(Read More)

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