Orlando is Bar Manager of Melbourne’s eccentric fine-diner Lûmé (Gault & Millau Restaurant of the Year 2016; Australian Chef of the Year 2017). Before joining the Lûmé team, Italian-born Orlando was making a name for himself across the globe in the professional bar scene (his impressive CV includes world-renowned venues such as London’s Milk and Honey, The Player and Eau-de-Vie). But it was Orlando’s unique style and skill that initially drew the attention of Lûmé—where he creates beverages to match the restaurant’s multidisciplinary, avant garde approach.
Orlando beat over 500 entrants into Australia’s leg of the Diageo’s World Class Competition, and took the trophy after completing two days of intense workshops and challenges alongside 19 of Australia’s best bartenders. His winning cocktail entry—the Prevailing Trader—was designed to celebrate the traditional flavours and aromas of the Caribbean in the context of Johnnie Walker's native Scotland.
Combining Johnnie Walker Blenders Edition Rum Cask, marionette orange curacao, David Franz XO Tawny, and flavours of caramelised pear, clove and tarragon, the drink involves one very special ingredient—the work of graphic and industrial designers and an aerospace engineer.
After months of work with Marcus Cher and his team at RMIT Exertion Games Lab, Orlando presented his cocktail as two plating concepts representing the ‘old’ and the ‘new’. One built from a rustic, recycled timber and brass; the other featuring carbon fibre, 3D printing, a mini computer, three custom LCD screens and an olfactory vapour generator.
Orlando is also known for his focus on non-alcoholic beverages, which are created using the same techniques and attention to detail as the dishes on Lûmé’s tasting menus.
If you've never tried one of Orlando's extraordinary cocktails, now's your chance. Orlando is currently doing customised cocktail flights for guests at the Lûmé Bar (book the Lûmé Looking Glass experience on their website). http://www.restaurantlume.com/
Catch him before he gets too famous.