2016 is upon us, and On The Coast's Urban Foodie, Anya Levykh, is already looking ahead to what the new year will offer when it comes to dining out in Vancouver.

She says that while 2015 was the year fine dining came back in a big way to Vancouver, 2016 will be the year that vegetables become more than a side dish.

"The movement toward minimizing or eliminating animal protein from your dinner plate is going strong," she told On The Coast host Stephen Quinn. "I see this going a step further, however, and what we saw with nose-to-tail or zero-waste butchery has translated into menus that include every part of a plant or other ingredient, from root to stalk to shell."

For example, chef David Gunawan is hosting an "Ugly Duckling" dinner at his restaurant, Royal Dinette, on Feb. 10, where he attempts to use every ingredient as fully as possible.

At previous dinners, he has made risotto from kale stems, which are normally discarded, and he's even used eggshells to clarify chicken consommé and made ice cream infused with coffee grounds.

Other trends to watch for are more affordable seafood options, more chefs experimenting with insects in their creations, and, if you can believe it, kale's time in the sun might be ending.

"I think we can finally say goodbye to the dominance of kale and say hello to more flavourful ingredients like seaweed, which is showing up everywhere right now," she said.

If the aforementioned coffee grounds ice cream tickled your fancy, here's the recipe.

Potato Skin Ice Cream with Used Coffee Ground Caramel

Recipe courtesy of Chef David Gunawan of Royal Dinette

Ice Cream

  • 3 baked potatoes, skin only
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 ½ cups milk
  • 1 cup cream
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup Trimoline (inverted sugar, at specialty food stores such as Gourmet Warehouse)
  • 12 large egg yolks

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add heavy cream and baked potato skins and cook for 20 minutes at 85° C. Remove from heat and reserve for later use.

In another medium saucepan over medium heat, incorporate the milk, cream and sugar and bring heat to 80° C. Simmer for 20 minutes and strain, reserving the liquid for later use.

In the now-free medium saucepan over medium heat, bring milk, cream and sugar to boil. Add Trimoline and egg yolk and bring to 84° C. Add potato skin-infused heavy cream. Remove from heat and cool. Once cool, spin in a pre-frozen ice cream maker.

Coffee Ground Caramel

  • 60 g used coffee grounds
  • 120 ml heavy cream
  • 200 g granulated sugar
  • 6 tbsp (90g) cold salted butter, cut up into 6 pieces
  • 1 tsp salt

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add heavy cream and coffee grounds and cook for 20 minutes at 85° C. Remove from heat and reserve for later use.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat granulated sugar with a high heat resistant rubber spatula or wooden spoon. The sugar will form clumps and eventually melt into a thick brown, amber-coloured liquid as you continue to stir. Be careful not to burn.

Once sugar is completely melted, immediately add the butter. Be careful in this step because the caramel will bubble rapidly when the butter is added.  Stir the butter into the caramel until it is completely melted, about 2-3 minutes.

Very slowly, drizzle in 1/2 cup of coffee-infused heavy cream while stirring. Since the heavy cream is colder than the caramel, the mixture will rapidly bubble and/or splatter when added.

Allow the mixture to boil for one minute — it will rise in the pan as it boils.

Remove from heat and stir in the salt. Allow to cool down before using.

To Serve

In a serving bowl add a scoop of ice cream and drizzle with caramel. Garnish with black olives.