What’s on the Menu: Gut-Friendly Eating Set to Become the New Health Trend

by Melissa Craib

Wednesday, February 7th, 2018

Image of food served at conferences at Surgeons Hall for food and drink PR

A RISING star of the Scottish restaurant scene has given his thoughts on the surprise emerging trends becoming increasingly popular with guests and delegates in 2018.

Alan Dickson, Head Chef at No 10 Restaurant within Ten Hill Place Hotel in Edinburgh, expects requests to cater for vegan diets and health-conscious eaters to continue to grow.

Not only does the 29-year-old chef oversee the food and drink at the busy 4-star hotel, he also works with the team to deliver top-quality dishes at one of the city’s busiest international conference venues, the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd).

With more people seemingly aware of what they are consuming, a further evolution of the healthy eating trend being requested by delegates and guests from around Europe is for ‘gut friendly eating’.

The young chef, who was recently awarded Scottish Hotel Chef of the Year ahead of famous, more experienced competition, states that these are often not the stereotypical health-foods but are more focussed on specific ingredients which help cleanse your digestive system.

These meals include ingredients such as broccoli, Kale, wholemeal bread and rice, beans, nuts, grains & lots of fermented plant-based ingredients such as miso or tempeh.

Explaining that catering for these trends does not need to come at a cost, Alan said: “Having these healthier options during an event shouldn’t carry a bigger price tag. If planned correctly you can provide a nutritious meal without worrying about costs.

“We offer a ‘five-a-day’ package that swaps juice for smoothies, sandwiches for salads and crisps for vegetable chips which is the perfect choice for those wanting the healthy option.

“I do think as more people are conscious of what they are eating they want the healthy food options. But like everything, tastes differ, so even with the growth in healthy eating we still find that little snacks or treats, like homemade sausage rolls or cakes, remain popular.

“As for timings of the meals, we’re very lucky at the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh as we have so many spaces including the hotel that conferences never need to worry about factoring in meal times. For example, breakfast could be in the hotel rooms before the conference and we always have space for a drinks reception at the end. The day can be broken up by meal times as they want or need.”

Growing popularity for street food themed meals, such as Mexican or Pan-Asian, is also continuing into 2018, with the fresh flavours and ingredients often complementary to health-food trends.

An innovative joint venture, between RCSEd and Edinburgh headquartered caterers Heritage Portfolio, oversees all catering at the venue. A mix of staff from both companies are fully integrated to provide the best service to those attending, from conferences and events, to private parties and weddings.

Ten Hill Place Hotel is managed by RCSEd Commercial Enterprises, which is tasked with making the most of the institution’s impressive buildings, with all the profits being invested back into the College, which delivers life-changing surgical skills to every corner of the world.

Launched in 2006, the Commercial Enterprises team promotes, sells and manages conferences, corporate events, weddings and other events across the College’s buildings. It has also helped establish the College as a Festival-Fringe venue and last August hosted seven theatres frequented by 75,000 customers, while also delivering significant food and beverage sales.

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