French chef Pierre Gagnaire has warned that environmental degradation and a worldwide explosion in fine dining restaurants will have a dramatic effect on food trade.
During a recent visit to his restaurant at the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Hong Kong, the three-Michelin-starred chef said that the destruction of natural habitats meant that fish stocks were depleting and some fruits and vegetables were now so scarce that certain dishes would have to be dropped.
"In the next five to 10 years there will be no wild fish, only farmed fish. That will have a huge impact on not only cooking techniques, but also flavours and the dishes we cook," Gagnaire said.
He also warned that as the number of restaurants continues to rise, demand for produce will increase, pushing up the price of dwindling stocks of good quality ingredients resulting in soaring menu prices and forcing restaurants to close.
He added that restaurants that survive will have to adapt their cooking techniques as only farmed or genetically altered food will be available.
"It seems an odd thing to say but there are too many good restaurants; suppliers just cannot cope."
"My suppliers are used to working for maybe three or four restaurants but now they are getting calls all the time from new restaurants opening up," he said.
By Kerstin Kühn
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