Aug 06, 2020 | By Sarah Owen
Big data meets consumer insights, Experience WGSN.
Travel and food are beautifully intertwined. You can’t experience a new place or culture without exploring local delicacies and trying new cuisines and flavours. Food is a universal language and just like language, it’s always evolving. It holds a unique power to unite and spark conversation, spoken or otherwise, between total strangers.
For Imogen Glithro, Food & Drink Strategist at WGSN, her love of food and travelling go hand in hand, from early memories of Spanish Tapas to more recently travelling around the world from her very own kitchen. We caught up on what food means to her and what she’s excited to try in the future.
I’m lucky to have parents who are real foodies, so have spent a lot of my childhood eating at amazing places, travelling and learning to cook from my mum. For most of the summer holidays we would live in southern Spain, so now I have a real love for tapas, retired dairy cow beef and seafood.
I love Asian food, especially experimenting with Vietnamese-inspired food. A real classic of mine is simple, but tastes amazing: a beef pho. I pick up some bones from the butchers and make a simple broth out of them with some spices, and use it to top some steak with a load of herbs and vegetables on the side – so hearty and definitely the most satisfying on a cold winter’s day.
I’d love to visit Chef Dabiz Mùnoz’s DiverXO Experience in Madrid. Dabiz does really cool things with food at his restaurants, going beyond the term of fusion. Dabiz’s worldly travels and impressive restaurant background sets the scene for some really jaw-dropping dishes. Plus, I would 1000% take a crazy, interactive foodie experience over a night out any day.
With the acceleration of Covid-19 and the likelihood of reluctance to venture into public spaces, expect to see more food experiences that are direct to consumers. With less footfall in restaurants, it’s likely we’ll see more ‘guest chef’ collaborations with packaged brands to create signature flavours to help recreate these dishes at home. I also think nootropic and adaptogenic ingredients will become more recognised, as consumers seeking balance look to brands and familiar formats to help offset daily stresses, anxiety and improve focus.
Anthony Bourdain. He was an amazing character and I loved that he would get behind the tourist facades of destinations and explore the real food with the people from the culture underneath.
I’m really keen to try some 3D-printed meat. I know it sounds strange and really techy, but I would want to judge for myself how realistic the textures are. Texture is a really tricky attribute to master with meat alternatives, so to see a potential 3D-printed solution which replicates the individual layers and strands of a muscle would be interesting. It’s pretty expensive too at the moment.
Absolutely the Mindful Hedonist! For me, food can provide escape, excitement and satisfaction, and I find cooking and baking can be really meditative. I’m hoping to do a pastry course to really refine the theory and improve my basic skills – you can’t beat a sweet baked treat!
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