Alejandro Cancino: Top Regional Flavours Dishes

Argentinian import Chef Alejandro Cancino has come along way from South America to spread his word of nourishment, nutrition and comfort. As a proud vegan, Alejandro has subtly infused his sense of innovation throughout The City’s foodie scene, capable of dissecting entire dishes and recreating them from scratch in new and inventive ways. He is such an artisan, his diners can be unaware of the lack of meaty protein present – such is the delight in his plating. While his food is elegant and modern, he takes encouragement from the ingredients he works with, particularly treating native elements as the keystone of his dishes. And while he still continues to taste the meat dishes he plates up for his guests, for Alejandro, veganism is the way of the future; so much so, that he dreams of the day when he can have a vegan restaurant.

Initially inspired by Australia’s lifestyle of the people and the food – particularly the fruit – to live down under, Alejandro continues to delve into The Secrets of The Omnivore: how to make the food edible accessible while educating others on its goodness and health betterment. Whether a sense of responsibility to the planet, in the name of animal welfare, or for the fitness benefits, this plant-based – macrobiotic diet has certainly helped the glamorous jet setters of the world, from Jennifer Lopez to Olivia Wilde, Moby, Ellen Degeneres, Brad Pitt, and the poster women for grains, Gwenyth Paltrow and Madonna. If it’s good enough for them, surely it’s good enough for us? 

Still quite the whipper snipper, Alejandro continues to spread the green joie de vivre around Brisbane He first cut his chef’s teeth in Mugaritz, Spain, Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons, Britain, Bulgari Hotel, Tokyo and Noma, Copenhagen, before settling roots in Brisbane with the premium Urbane Restaurant where he has roped in a bushel of awards as Best New Talent, for 2013 Australian Gourmet Traveller, and Chef of the Year for 2013 Queensland Good Food Guide. As he continues on his vegan adventure, Alejandro is determined to show us the surprising assets and flavours of The Omnivore.

MYCITYLIFE sits down with Alejandro to chat his Top Regional Flavours Dishes

PUMPKIN SOUP

Wintery, warm, comforting, rich, this is something I have at home and not just at the restaurant.

GREEN SMOOTHIES

I personally drink these at least once a week – it’s a very healthy way to start the day. Just blend baby spinach, mint, pineapple, kiwi fruit and spirulina. 

LENTILS HOT POT

This is what I used to eat at home in Argentina: comfort food that is warming and good for your body. Basically, it’s lentils and anything – like chopped vegetables with a nice vegetable stock base. Our South Australian lentils are perfect for this.

WARM BEETROOT SALAD

This is the best time for beetroots: when it’s cold, is when beetroots are best to eat, and Winter is the best time for all root vegetables. Ingredients are beetroot, croutons, cashew cheese – use local products for that extra special taste. 

STRAWBERRIES & ALMOND CREAM

Strawberries are good in Winter. The perfect strawberry is super sweet, with a perfect balance in acidity and sweetness; deep red in colour: not too light; or pinkish, and not full of water. This dish is something simple to eat at home. Chop strawberries, add sugar, then add almond cream – buy or make it yourself.

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