Let’s be honest, we wouldn’t be here if not for the classics, but food wouldn’t be exciting if we didn’t evolve at all. Updating a classic dish helps to preserve its tradition while elevating it and making it relevant through the introduction of new techniques and flavours. Here are some examples of how remakes can be done.
Imagine Italian pizza dough topped with an Indian-inspired chicken tikka masala, strips of butter chicken or Korean spicy bulgogi. The possibilities are endless! And it doesn’t just end at exotic toppings; some restaurants have taken to reinventing the pizza base and crust too. For example, Singapore-based pizza chain, Skinny Pizza, has gone to the extremes by eliminating the traditional doughy base and replacing it with a thin cracker. Other inventive variations include conical pizza crusts, or even heart-shaped pizzas for special occasions such as Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day.
An all-time classic favourite, french fries haven’t escaped the trend monster either. Restaurants are serving up heaps of fries topped with kimchi or doused in cheese sauce, making truffle fries look like a thing of the past. And they don’t play on the safe side with the dips either – Thai sweet chilli sauce, hot sauce and Sriracha mayonnaise are just some examples of what’s hot these days.
Cheeseburger? No, thanks. With the number of new burger styles popping up all over the map, it’s hard to settle for the classics. Burgers filled with jalapeño poppers and cajun shrimp, and laced generously with chilli sauce or chipotle mayo are now all the rage.
More than just a simple makeover
With modern remakes of classic dishes becoming more and more common, we speak to chef and owner of The Test Kitchen and executive chef of The Bistro Group, Chef Josh Boutwood to shed some light on classic dishes that have been given a modern makeover in recent times.
Josh Boutwood, says, “Fried chicken is a big trend in the Philippines right now, but what’s interesting are the flavours that they’re putting on top of the chicken after they are fried. There are restaurants adding amazing toppings like trout roe on top of fried chicken, or coming up with combinations like fried chicken and sweet potato waffles with Sriracha-infused maple syrup.”
Chef Josh Boutwood continues, “Tennessee or South Carolina-style smokehouses are all the rage now, and I think they’re going to last for a good couple of years. They are very different from the smokehouses I was used to in Sweden, which focused more on smoking fish and used a much cleaner kind of wood. This new American style is very dark, fatty and deep in flavour, and the rubs are extremely multi-dimensional.”