The Woods Foodservice Quick Bite series is a 10-second download from a top UK chef sharing what’s on their plate.
This week Robbie Lorraine from Grazing Food spoke to us about the high points in his career and predictions for the next top food trends.
What inspired you to become a chef?
From a young age, I have had a love of food. I think it stems from spending time with my grandparents at the weekends. My gran was an amazing cook, she was especially good at baking and I would often hang out in the kitchen to help her out.
I remember one weekend we had made a batch of rock cakes and my gran suggested I take them to school to share with my friends. I took them to school and sold them! After that, I was hooked. I realised how much I loved food and how much I enjoyed earning money from my passion.
What would you say is the most defining moment in your career?
It’s difficult for me to choose just one moment that really defined my career, as I have had a number of notable moments.
Early on in my career, I received recognition for my cooking and culinary skills at two very well-established competitions. In 2004 I won silver medals at Hotel Olympia for the Restaurant Starters Award & restaurant 4-course meal. More recently I was honoured with the Executive Chef of the year at the FSM Awards 2017 and best meat-free street food dish at 2018 B&I StrEAT food awards.
These have all been great times for me and, it’s always good to be recognised for the work that you do.
What do you think the next top trends are in food?
Overall I think the trend towards more healthy foods will continue. The vegan movement has had a major impact on the industry and how the public view food. Even those who do not choose to be vegan are thinking more about what they are eating, so I expect plant-based options to continue to increase and diversify.
Here at Grazing, we are currently developing a range of savoury porridge options which are going down a treat during tastings, so we think these could be another trend to look out for.
When it comes to international flavours, I think there will be a dip in the amount of Peruvian food on offer and a rise in Venezuelan. Venezuelan offers a cleaner option and it seems to be the hot new trend in Latin American flavours. I see a similar move away from Korean into Taiwanese where eastern flavours are the preference.
What piece of golden advice would you give to anyone in the industry if they want to be successful?
Be prepared to work very hard! This industry is all about experience and the best way to get lots of experience is to work with as many different great chefs as possible. I spent my first few years in the industry working 3 jobs and I feel that it gave me the edge and helped me to become who I am today. I’d recommend moving to a new kitchen environment every couple of years because that is the best way to learn as much as possible. Work hard, get lots of experience and you will do well.