With many countries on lockdown or heading into one since the New Year, many people are feeling pandemic fatigue. The first and second waves of the Covid-19 pandemic got everyone back into their kitchens, either relying on frozen vegetables and canned goods or cultivating sourdough starters and holding zoom cooking sessions with friends and families.
With New Year over and Covid-19 rates still soaring, many people now feel trapped in their homes, whilst at the same time plagued by fears of unemployment. What’s more, people are fed up with cooking–even Gwyneth Paltrow’s annual GOOP detox, which is normally a culinary challenge, emphasizes simplistic and easy dishes for 2021 (”this year, we thought, let’s take it easy”).
There are two new interesting ideas emerging in early 2021 in the food sector resulting directly from the pandemic–the first is double dinner and the second is dunch.
Grub Street reported on the trend of double dinners. The idea is to eat two types of cuisine at once, not necessarily to force people to cook more, but to rediscover travel (without going anywhere) and primarily to support local businesses.
Whilst it clearly might be a more expensive option, Grub Street states, “our restaurants need us and we need them. Let’s face it: Double Dinner is the cashmere sweatpants of meals: unnecessarily lavish, but amid stay-at-home orders, it is also the right combination of comfort and logistical ease.”
Even if it’s just for special occasions.
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Brandon Boudet, executive chef and co-owner of Little Dom’s in Los Angeles has noticed a new trend he has called dunch (lunch and dinner combined).
Served through late afternoon and early evening, it’s one way for restaurants to break even while operating under limited capacity and having to serve over longer time periods.
Boudet has noticed that it has happened organically at his restaurants, where people are able to be more flexible about when they eat because they are working from home much more and they are choosing to come earlier to avoid curfews. “Since it’s been getting darker and colder out earlier,” says Boudet, “and people have more flexible schedules working from home, we are noticing a crowd at Little Dom’s and Little Dom’s Seafood later in the day for a late lunch and early dinner.”