Le Cordon Bleu, the leading Global Network of Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management Institutes, is happy to share a vision of 2017 foodtrends in the world, through the eyes of its alumni.
Hideko Kawa (UK) owner and pastry consultant at The Sweet Art Lab.
Since graduating with a Grand Diplôme® Hideko Kawa has worked in some of the capital’s best restaurants, including Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, Royal Hospital Road and Heston Blumenthal's three Michelin Star The Fat Duck. Now Hideko is the owner and pastry consultant at The Sweet Art Lab.
What have you accomplished since graduating from Le Cordon Bleu?
I worked in some of London’s best restaurants, including 6 years for Gordon Ramsay at Royal Hospital Road, Restaurant Hélène Darroze at The Connaught, and four years at The Fat Duck as Head Pastry Chef. At the Fat Duck I was responsible for running the Experimental Kitchen which developed extraordinary and innovative sweets and deserts for all of Heston Blumenthal’s ventures. I founded my first venture “SweetArt Lab” in 2015, which includes a multitude of original creations including chocolates, preserves, bespoke desserts, cakes, as well as running cookery courses and pop-up tea room at the Burlington arcade. I have been honoured with a number of prestigious awards including two Gold Awards in 2016 from Dalemain, the world’s best Marmalade competition and a Gold AocAward for my chocolate from Academy of chocolate in 2016.
What do your customers crave when they come to see/taste your work?
Over and above the demand for my award-winning preserves and sweets most of my customers come to me looking for something personally customized and very bespoke for a special occasion. As an example for art galleries I would provide something fashioned to reflect the sense of beauty and artistic creativity of the occasion. For an ‘extremely wild’ survival celebrity I incorporated survival life with a wild animal image. For memorial wedding cakes each layer would represent an episode of their life’s adventures. Imagination fused with creativity have led to some marvellous ideas such as Gin & Tonic Cocktail cakes, Apple Pie ; Caramel, Kinder Bueno cakes…. All my customers typically come seeking something above and beyond the ordinary. To be inspired by artistic creativity and hopefully overwhelmed by the delicious taste, a result of well-balanced textures and flavours and the personal touches that make each order unique.
What food trends do you foresee for 2017 and onwards?
Recent competitions have seen a focus on not just the ended product but the viability of the sources of the raw materials used. To genuinely know that our food is sustainable sourced but remaining accessible to the average individual must be the goal we should aspire to. Removing food wastage completely should be our ongoing aspiration.
The greatest trend, which I have tried to replicate where appropriate, is to focus on healthy and nutritious foods whilst at the same time making it accessible. Good eating but at mass produced consumer levels which is accessible for all.
Any aspirations for the future?
I was born and grew up in Japan, trained at a French culinary school and have relished the diversity of working in London alongside a number of international ventures. I hope that this fusion of international experiences and the experience gained working at the top level of three Michelin stared restaurants has provided me with the culinary challenge to further develop my ideas. I am hoping to continue to develop all these skills, merging my knowledge and culture into new and more exciting global culinary dimensions.