With the New Year a time for resolutions and changes, Nick Mosley looks through the food trends that will dominate 2019.

Low (or no) alcohol

While I find it hard to believe that anyone would want the taste of alcohol without the kick, booze free “liquors” are on the rise.

“The non-alcohol market is now opening up with a whole new gang emerging including gin from Drivers Tipple, Boraggo and Ceders,” said drinks guru Myles Cunliffe of Brighton’s Mixology Group.

Paul Morgan of Fourth and Church restaurant wine bar in Hove agrees the trend for lower alcohol in wines will start to come through in 2019.

“Lighter styles of wine both in body and alcohol from the rest of the world will be a focus for us,” he said.


The quality independent restaurants of Sussex have long been champions of local sourcing.

Chefs and restaurateurs pride themselves on their close relationships with local farmers and producers.

Isaac At in Brighton was the first restaurant in the city to include mileage on its menus, telling diners exactly how far each ingredient has travelled.

Head chef George Thomas said: “It’s so important for us that we’re transparent with everything and have been from day one. A lot of people bounce around the ‘locally sourced’ terminology when it comes to their produce, what it’s often not clear to customers is what that actually means. We work directly with a lot of our suppliers so we know exactly where our produce comes from.”


There is no doubt about it, right now vegetarian and vegan options are seriously on the rise.

With about ten per cent of the UK population now identifying as vegetarian and veganism an increasingly popular choice, both independent and chain restaurants are chasing the veggie dollar.

As consumers, we are slowly but surely coming around to the idea that a meal doesn’t have to include meat to be satisfying.

That doesn’t mean that you should feel bad about including meat in your diet.

Rachel Knowles of Trenchmore Farm in Cowfold, who produces Wagyu–Sussex cross beef, says she has seen an increase in demand this year, which she believes is down to one of the key factors that “people are choosing to eat less, but better quality meat, and so are more selective with the beef they buy”.

The greatest grape

We are entering a golden age for English wine production and Sussex can rightly claim to be the heart of that industry with more vineyards than any other region of the UK.

“English sparkling wine has been on the up for a few years now, and the amazing summer we’ve just had will be very encouraging for all producers,” said Jake Readman of 64 Degrees restaurant in Brighton.

“The increase in popularity has seen English sparkling replace many champagnes on wine lists not only across the South but throughout the rest of the country too.”

One of the most prestigious English wineries is Wiston Estate, near Chichester.

Its Blanc de Noirs 2010 was crowned Supreme Champion at this year’s Wine GB awards.

“In 2018 we have been hugely encouraged by the high praise Wiston Estate wines have received from consumers and trade, domestic and international, alike,” said Kirsty Goring of Wiston. Sommelier Alex Preston of Isaac At believes that what makes English wines different is our wineries focus on the grape and blend, whereas French producers focus on the region.

Less is more

The mantra for 2019 is “keep it simple and do it well”. We’ve seen an increased trend in restaurants doing less, but doing it well. In Brighton alone we have the likes of BeFries and Burger Brothers who are doing just that.

“Big a la carte menus are becoming less of a thing and customers are putting their trust in chefs to develop the menu and showcase the best that’s available locally,” said George Thomas of Isaac At.

Pacific Rim fusion cuisine

The fresh, healthy and very tasty poké bowl of last year joins the trend for ceviche – citrus cured fish and meats – ferments such as Korean kimchi, and other exotic flavours from west coast Central America, Hawaii, Polynesia, Japan and south east Asia.

Following his sabbatical year in Asia and Australasia, Jimmy Grey, head chef of Jeremy’s Restaurant near Haywards Heath picked up lots of exciting inspiration for new fusion dishes. He said: “Seaweeds are good, and crispy tempura-style dishes with creamy dips from cashew and fermented yeast are great. Umami flavours too, with an emphasis on texture and contrasts to balance out plates.”

Bitter is better

Bitter food and drink is definitely a hot trend.

Think citrus, radicchio, chicory, endive and even hoppy beers.

“On the back of a more sophisticated dining audience and people’s palates becoming more accustomed to bitter drinks recently, in 2019 I predict an interest in the more daring and harder to devise bitter food market,” said Neil Mannifield of Market Restaurant and Bar in Church Road.

The year of vermouth

With Negroni being my drink of choice – a classic cocktail of gin and Campari – I’m hoping 2019 will finally be the year of vermouth, a fortified wine distilled from grapes of which we now have an abundance in Sussex.

“Vermouth is a really versatile drink,” said Alison Nightingale of Albourne Estate. “There is so much more you can do with it than gin, whether drinking on its own, adding to in cocktails, or pairing with food.”

Brunch is best

Britain is behind the curve on the brunch trend, for the moment at least. It is a serious social – and delicious – occasion in many countries around the world from the Friday afternoon extravaganzas of Dubai to leisurely Sunday afternoons in the five star hotels of Vancouver.

Suffice to say, Brighton is now hot on that trend with the The Salt Room leading the way.

“We are going to give it a trial run at The Salt Room on Sunday, January 20, from 11am, offering a bottomless brunch with prosecco and Bloody Marys,” said general manager Olivia Reid.

Ghost kitchens

Is staying in, the new going out? Well maybe not, but what Deliveroo and UberEats offer is something that lets us all enjoy a night on the sofa with restaurant grade food.

Deliveroo, the undoubted king player in the home delivery game, has a strong collection of ghost kitchens. It has one in Hove, which opened 19 months ago with seven kitchens.