NEW CHEF IN TOWN

Western Times - - FRONT PAGE - Molly Han­cock Molly.Han­cock@west­ern­starnews.com

MULGA Coun­try Mo­tor Inn has wel­comed a chef with more than 20 years of ex­pe­ri­ence into its Out­back Restau­rant, where guests’ taste­buds are sure to de­light at the qual­ity of food.

Chris­tos Ral­lis, orig­i­nally from Townsville, be­gan his ap­pren­tice­ship as a chef at 15 af­ter thriv­ing in cook­ing class at school.

By 18, Mr Ral­lis was qual­i­fied and made the move to Mel­bourne, where he worked at the pres­ti­gious two chef hats Sof­i­tel Restau­rant.

“It was listed as one of the top 100 in the world and I was there for five years work­ing around the ban­quet­ing and fine-din­ing restau­rant,” Mr Ral­lis said.

“From there I fol­lowed my men­tor, Miche­lin star chef Steven Smith, over to Lon­don and worked in the Hil­ton, which was five stars and three rosettes, be­fore go­ing on to work in a pri­vately owned cas­tle teach­ing trainee chefs to cook.”

On Mr Ral­lis’ re­turn to Aus­tralia, he ven­tured to re­gional Vic­to­ria and worked in Villa Gusto’s one chef hat Pri­vate Es­tate restau­rant, which at the time was listed in the Fodors Guide as one of the top 100 pri­vate vil­las in the world.

“Through­out my ca­reer I ven­tured out of my com­fort zone to keep the job in­ter­est­ing, from own­ing my own restau­rant to work­ing as a pri­vate chef for Adam Brand, a coun­try and western singer, for nearly two years.”

Mr Ral­lis said he also taught at Air­lie Beach Tafe for two years be­fore go­ing to a vine­yard in Or­ange for a three-month con­tract and then mov­ing back to Townsville.

“Mag­gero (Car­i­cato), Mulga Coun­try Mo­tor Inn owner, and I had known each other for about five years and about two years ago I came out to Charleville and did a stint for him,” he said.

“He asked me if I would be in­ter­ested in com­ing out full-time but at that stage I wasn’t ready for it. How­ever, two years later here I am rar­ing to go.”

“My wife and I are both pretty ex­cited about where it is go­ing to take us,” Mr Car­i­cato said.

“Hav­ing a chef of this cal­i­bre and once peo­ple re­alise the tal­ent this guy has, the food will speak for it­self.”

Not only is Mr Ral­lis bring­ing a wealth of knowl­edge to the kitchen, but also a pas­sion for fresh and hand­made pro­duce.

“Pre­dom­i­nately all our menu items are house-made in­clud­ing the gnoc­chi and pasta dishes. We make our own sausages, pestos and sauces,” he said.

“All of the curry pastes are made by hand and we are try­ing to of­fer some­thing a lit­tle bit dif­fer­ent.”

Mr Ral­lis and Mr Car­i­cato agree they are hop­ing to of­fer peo­ple some­thing spe­cial, with good-qual­ity food and a great ex­pe­ri­ence, at the Out­back Restau­rant.

PHOTO: MOLLY HAN­COCK

COOK­ING UP A STORM: Chris­tos Ral­lis is the new chef at the Mulga Coun­try Mo­tor Inn restau­rant.

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