Chef Paul Bates, Hilton London Bankside

“Increasingly, there is an appetite for change when it comes to food as individuals’ tastes and preferences are evolving more and more in line with the latest trends. Having worked within the hospitality industry for 30 years, I soon learnt that you need to keep on top of the foods of the moment in order to crack the industry.

One trend which is very close to my heart is healthy dining. I am always looking to innovate my menus in order to reduce fat content, lower carbohydrates and increase protein, but never compromising on quality.

I work closely with key suppliers to identify exciting ingredients that fulfil our needs. I am passionate about ultra-fresh vegetables, fish and quality meat products, weaving Bankside’s international influences throughout dish, reflecting the multicultural area of the neighbourhood. I also utilise honey from the hotel’s own beehives, home to the Bankside Bees.

There’s been a growing trend in the UK for dishes created with locally sourced ingredients, with lots of restaurants also tapping into ‘grow their own’. We’re increasingly interested about what we eat, and where it comes from so there’s a real satisfaction in knowing every detail about what we’re serving up.

“Being ‘diet aware’ is also now a way of life, with millions of us enjoying vegan and plant-based diets. I’ve recently been working on developing more options and dishes for those with these dietary choices – having just added carrot and quinoa pancakes and gluten-free pancakes to the breakfast menu and launching a ‘Stealth Health’ initiative across all menus.

“The fast, everchanging consumer preference poses a huge challenge for the hospitality industry in managing menu innovation. The key is to pinpoint which trends are here to stay and which ones are a fad. The beauty of OXBO Bankside, is being able to change menus regularly to offer new, balanced and flavour led dishes. It’s an exciting time for Chefs and it certainly keeps you on your toes.”