MasterChef's George Calombaris Heads North to Revamp Sydney's Alpha Restaurant

George Calombaris

In a surprising turn of events, celebrity chef George Calombaris is venturing north to Sydney's iconic Alpha restaurant. Taking the reins from departing founding chef Peter Conistis, Calombaris will act as a creative partner, injecting a fresh perspective into the beloved harbour city establishment.

"What Peter's done for Greek food in Australia is amazing," acknowledges Calombaris, expressing both excitement and a touch of nervousness. I come here with so much respect, joining somewhere steeped in history," the Good Food Guide reported in an interview with the Former Master chef.

This Sydney foray marks a significant change for Calombaris, who has primarily focused on Melbourne's culinary scene. While his Jimmy Grants souvlaki chain has a presence in Sydney, this will be his first full-fledged restaurant venture in the city. An earlier attempt to open a restaurant in Surry Hills fell through after acquiring the building.

The allure of Alpha goes beyond its location, though. "The evocative bones of the building" particularly appealed to Calombaris. "The Greek consulate is across the road; there are Greek men playing backgammon behind [Alpha]; it has a great feel," he elaborates.

Diners can expect a culinary refresh at Alpha. Calombaris describes his vision as "fresh, bright, light, yummy, super-interesting, not cliched." He aims to create a fun dining experience, a departure from the restaurant's previous fine-dining focus.

Alpha's ownership recently changed hands, with the Hellenic Club discreetly inviting top Sydney restaurateurs to pitch for the prime Castlereagh Street location. Public Hospitality ultimately secured the restaurant in January, paving the way for Calombaris' arrival. This news signals an exciting new chapter for Alpha, one that promises to tantalize taste buds and redefine the Sydney dining scene.

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