Ingredients specialist company Sous Chef has gathered information from the UK’s Michelin menus to see which foods were most popular across the board and find which cooking techniques Michelin chefs prefer to use.
Chocolate appears on more than three quarters (80%) of the Michelin menus analysed. Potato and caviar appear on 72% – putting spuds on the same level playing field as one of the most expensive ingredients in the world.
Most common ingredients on Michelin-starred menus:
Data drawn from 25 two and three-Michelin starred establishments
The chefs also favour beetroot and mushrooms ahead of crab and lobster. Three-starred Michelin restaurants favour lobster, caviar and foie gras but hazelnut, sweetcorn, mushroom and celeriac are also popular.
Meanwhile, smoking tops the list of cooking techniques as it is used as a description on 68% of menus. Pickling wasn’t far behind with 52% of restaurants offering something pickled on their menu.
The top-ranked ingredients are meat-free with seafood dominating the top spots.
Most common cooking techniques/additions used by Michelin-starred restaurants:
Using ice cream
Making a tart
Making a confit
Making a soufflé
Creating a jus
Sous Chef founder Nicola Lando said: “It’s fascinating to see which ingredients appear again and again on the menus of the UK’s best restaurants.
“This data gives is a real insight into the trends shaping our food scene and a solid understanding of the ingredients chefs love to work with.
“For instance, I’m delighted to see wild mushrooms are so popular – they are incredibly versatile and are bringing huge variety to meat and meat-free dishes. Unusual peppers – as a spice alternative – are also growing in prominence.
“It is also interesting to see there’s no red meat or poultry on the top 12 list, perhaps reflecting a further move towards veg-focused cooking in 2020.
“Meanwhile, we have seen smoking and pickling grow in popularity with our customer base over the past few years, and it is clear these traditional preserving methods are firm favourites with Michelin chefs.”