Moama Bowling Club has forged an enviable reputation as Echuca Moama’s favorite destination for lunch and dinner.
Chef Profile – Thomas Rhyll (Head Chef)
Bringing the world of flavour to the Murray
Our German-born head chef Thomas Ryll is a perfect fit for our club – he is completely at home in the country, around rivers, waterways, scenic delights and tourists who love good food, good wine and good times.
Thomas was raised in Friedrichshafen, near Lake Constance, which shares its beautiful shoreline with Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Friedrichshafen is highly popular with visitors. Thomas trained at a restaurant complex on an island in the lake, cutting his teeth with lunches for 2000. He worked at fine restaurants at top hotels, a ski resort and a casino in Switzerland and Germany.
Later he lectured on kitchen equipment and design and banquet and restaurant operations at a Swiss-run hotel management school in Spain.
Arriving in Australia in 1999, Thomas became sous chef at the Sofitel Melbourne, moved to Warrenmang Winery in the Pyrenees (owned by renowned restauranteur and vigneron Luigi Bassani), and back to Melbourne to a head chef position.
He later honed his skills working on major sporting events, catering for up to 30,000 customers at a time.
Now in charge of some 13 chefs at the club, Thomas is regularly supervising catering in up to five areas simultaneously.
Taste, freshness, variety
Thomas has introduced a new emphasis on fresh produce sourced as locally as possible. “We’re using organic lamb, beef, and pork because its flavour and texture is so superior,” he says. “We want our food to be international, honest and healthy.
“We always keep the traditional favourites that members love. But I grew up with Thai, Turkish and Italian neighbours and you can see a whole range of influences in our menus – European, Asian, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern.
“We chefs are definitely seeing a greater willingness by club members to try a new offering – moving from roasts, say, to risottos or smoked salmon.
“Dining is always evolving.”
What else is great about Echuca-Moama?
“I’m a country boy, and I love the peace and quiet and sunny weather,” says Thomas.
Chef Profile – David Sutton (Pastry Chef)
Six generations of baking excellence
Enjoying your delectable cakes and desserts? You should – our pastry chef David Sutton has a truly remarkable background. It’s a real baker’s pedigree, reaching back to the very foundations of Echuca Moama and even further, to the London of the 1800s.
David is a 6th generation baker, whose forebears came to this area from England in 1855 – only two years after Echuca was founded by Henry Hopwood and paddlesteamers first appeared on the Murray River.
In fact, Hopwood, a canny ex-convict-turned-businessman, was the agent who bought Echuca premises for David’s great-great-grandfather to establish his bakery.
David completed his apprenticeship in baking at William Angliss College in Melbourne where he was dux in 1981. “That was certainly expected by the family!” he says.
After working in the family bakery he gained his chef’s qualifications at Echuca TAFE campus and joined Moama Bowling Club. After just three months he was made pastry chef to capitalise on his expertise. During the past 10 years he has trained a number of now-successful chefs. His daughter Ellie has followed in his footsteps and become a local chef. Ellie completed work experience at Moama Bowling Club and won a culinary challenge gold medal during her time with us.
David is responsible for cakes, slices, biscuits, foccacias, pizzas, savouries and desserts. “We make everything fresh daily.”
David says he really enjoys his specialisation, the atmosphere in the club and his friendly and supportive colleagues.
So what do members and guests love most these days?
“The old favourites are still the favourites,” David says.
“French vanillas, jelly slices, and almost anything with chocolate.”