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

New chef serves up a fine dining option

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,” MrCaricato 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.