The region says goodbye to celeb chefs in 2013

Aidan Keane says 'mono-casualism' is now on the menu at top outlets

Aidan Keane is founder and creative director of Keane Brands, one of the world's specialist design houses based in London, Dubai and Kuala Lumpur.
Aidan Keane is founder and creative director of Keane Brands, one of the world's specialist design houses based in London, Dubai and Kuala Lumpur.

Our columnist addresses his crystal ball and says bye to the celeb chef and hello ‘mono-casualism’

Here we go, predictions; the curse of any columnist this time of year but nevertheless, an utterly compelling habit. I can’t promise you it’ll be right or even near, but I genuinely think this year will definitely see the growth of a simple-to-love, increasingly successful new genre…Mono-casual!

Yes, mono-casual. You heard it here first. It is my prediction and mine to claim if it proves to be right.

Perhaps however, I should explain what mono-casual is: one type of food product, usually of a high-end quality ie: chicken, burgers, fish, sold/served in a casual, dressed-down dining environment.

There are many exponents of this genre right now – many of whom I have mentioned here already this year, Burger& Lobster, Fish Market, Bubbledogs, Tramshed etc. Google and see for yourself.

You will note that all of them are also sharing a certain type of stripped back cool design style, almost industrial but not quite – an urban New York style. Works well.

It has an edge but with a warmth, a patina that relaxes and welcomes. Apologies if this sounds like I have disappeared up my proverbial, but eloquently describing a design aesthetic – of any sort – often leads you into this world of word overdose.

So, there it is, my first prediction for the coming year – Mono-casual. Watch this space!

Now, my other and final is extremely pleasing to see. Thankfully, it seems we are at the end of a very long, arduous farewell to the antiqued cult of celebrity chef.

Sure, we will always love a good chef and it is not with this type of chef I have ‘my beef’ with, so-to-speak. Great chefs who expand palates and cook greatness deserve to be lauded of course, but the last decade has seen a bizarre rise in coverage and coveting of sometimes, hugely mediocre chefs.

Chefs who are often gaining exposure for things that have no bearing on their ability; hairstyle, girlfriend or some reality appearance or other. Goodbye, finally – and good riddance I say!

For 2013 I leave you with this rallying call: to expect great things from a market that seems, more than ever, to be growing, diversifying and expanding. Let’s support and encourage new stuff, experimental stuff and embrace those gutsy enough to bring them to us.

Happy hols to one and all and hopefully a new year that leaves you speechless with excitement!

Aidan Keane is the larger-than-life founder and creative director of Keane Brands, one of the world’s specialist design houses based in London, Dubai and Kuala Lumpur. Detail: www.keanebrands.com

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