Food trends for 2022: What we’re eating and what chefs are preparing

We’ve already cooked our way through the first few months of the year. (Can you believe it?) And if you’re a culinary connoisseur, you’ve probably picked up on some food trends – spanning across food constitution, meal combinations, ingredient preferences, and cooking behaviours. In this article, we highlight seven of the top food trends for 2022. Read on to get clued up! And if you’re interested, put this knowledge to practice as a student of 1000 Hills Chef School. Enrol now.

food trends for 2022

7 food trends for 2022 to keep on your radar:

1. Condiment captivation

In 2022, we’re obsessed with condiments. Obsessed! BBQ sauce, pesto, yuzu dressing, sriracha, salsa, hot sauce, mustard – we can’t get enough. Especially when we’re grabbing takeaway foods that need a flavour lift, or preparing home-cooked meals from scratch. If you can relate, know there’s no shame in loving condiments. Anything that makes food tastier gets a tick in our cookbook.

2. Plant-based food alternatives

2021 saw a boom in plant-based foods, and this has continued into 2022. For example, many choose to swap out meat for mushrooms, seafood for tofu, and cow’s milk for plant milk. As a result of this trend, the food industry is catering for a larger number of vegetarians, vegans, and health-conscious individuals than perhaps ever before. So yes, you can expect to see a plume in plant-based food options as we move deeper into 2022. Click here for vegetarian meal ideas.

3. Pup-friendly restaurants

It should come as no surprise that there are often dogs in restaurants these days. Many of our canine friends need our company 24/7 as they have become used to having us around. (What with the pandemic forcing us to spend more time at home, and all.) When you head out to local food joints, especially the outdoor ones, see if there is a dog-friendly policy. We have one at the Classroom Café – check out our Bar(k) Snacks menu.

food trends for 2022

4. Home cooking

Another trend brought on by the pandemic is home cooking. (One of the more inspiring food trends for 2022 that we hope continues into the future.) Many South Africans have taken meal prep into their own hands since 2020, and have actually found joy in the experience. Experimenting with new dishes and flavour combinations can be so fulfilling – not to mention healthy if you cook with fresh, organic ingredients. Unleash your inner foodie with inspirational culinary shows.

5. Functional nutrition

The health revolution has brought with it certain expectations when it comes to food. People today don’t just want food that tastes good. They want food that makes their life better in some way. And is good for their bodies. For example, ‘superfoods’ that offer lifestyle benefits – like improved mood and increased energy – as well as health benefits in the form of essential vitamins and minerals. So if an ingredient acts as a health supplement, it’s bound to be a big hit in 2022.

6. Smaller menus

The pandemic had a drastic effect on the food industry, particularly restaurants. Because of the lack of food supply in 2020, many establishments had to reduce their menu offering. And after years of restrictions, this has become a general trend – one that we can expect to see going forward. If this makes you a little twitchy, there’s no need to stress. Fewer food options doesn’t mean worse food. Wouldn’t you rather go to a restaurant that nails the few dishes it has than one where you have more variety but get an average meal (that no one else really orders)?

food trends for 2022

7. Food fusion

Last on our list of food trends for 2022 is food fusion. An awesome coming together of contrasting foods and culinary traditions from different parts of the world. The phenomenon has taken off in recent years as people have started cooking with whatever they happen to have in their fridge. And this has introduced the world to some interesting new flavour combos, like Lebanese and Japanese mash-ups. It’s an exciting time for food indeed!

We’re all about the food trends for 2022

We hope these food trends for 2022 have inspired you to dine more, cook more, and experiment more. At 1000 Hills Chef School, our young chefs whip up on-trend and even trendsetting dishes on a regular basis. Swing by the Classroom Café this weekend for a taster or two. And if you aspire to become a chef yourself, discover our internationally recognised culinary diplomas online.