Australian Gourmet Traveller Awards 2013

Urbane’s Alejandro Cancino has been named Best New talent at the 2013 Australian Gourmet Traveller Awards.

Twenty-eight year old Cancino won the title against Ben Greeno from Momofuku Seibo in Sydney and Shannon Debreceny, Mark LaBrooy and Darren Robertson of Three Blue Ducks also in Sydney.

The awards for Alejandro, Urbane and The Euro were applauded by Australian Gourmet Traveller’s chief restaurant critic Pat Nourse, who said, "on the whole, Queensland punches above its weight, compared to its more populous southern cousins," Mr Nourse said. "I tip my hat to Drew (Patten) and Andy (Buchanan) owners of Urbane for consistently being able to pick talent."

Urbane is famed for its innovative degustation menus headlined by intricate and carefully crafted food. Together with its sister venue The Euro and The Laneway, the restaurant is renowned as the leading incubator for talent nationally. In joining as Executive Chef in May this year, Alejandro introduced an evolutionary menu, rather than the traditional seasonal plates, within a taste framework cleverly showcasing Australia’s best and most sustainable produce of the season; and it has received rave reviews.

His culinary journey started in Argentina where he was born. Alejandro honed his extraordinary skills at Michelin-starred restaurants in four countries before making his home in Brisbane at  Urbane and The Euro.

Last April he was Stagier Chef at Noma Restaurant in Denmark (consistently titled the best in the world) and he names the revered and Michelin-starred Mugaritz Restaurant in San Sebasti├ín, as one of the most formative in his career to date.  

For the past two years until May he was Chef de Cuisine at Bulgari Hotels & Resorts Tokyo Restaurants in Japan, where they won a Michelin Star during his tenure. He names the great chef and innovator Andoni Luis Aduriz at Mugaritz in Spain, Luca Fantin at Bulgari Tokyo and Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons in England as his mentors.

AGT described Alejandro as: “Fresh to our shores… is certainly new. And talented! The delicacy of his touch is remarkable, and his ability to coax flavour from ingredients impressive, speaking, perhaps of his experiences at the likes of Mugaritz in Spain and Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in the UK. One to watch.”

The Gourmet Traveller 2013 Top 100 has nine Queensland restaurants on the list.

24 Esquire
25 Urbane
30 Ortiga
34 Aria
66 The Euro
68 Wasabi
71 Nu Nu
74 Stokehouse
83 1889 Enotecca
94 The Long Apron