Apsley's Border Inn is (almost) ready for business

INTERNATIONAL identity Ian Perry, now of Mount Gambier, has come on board as consultant chef for the about to re-open Border Inn at Apsley. 

Ian, who has cooked for the Queen, said he was delighted to take up the role with the Border Inn, particularly as the menus will feature local produce.

He has a wealth of local, national and international experience and has lived in the region for the last 11 years.

He is especially excited about having local beef specifically raised for the Border Inn menu. 

Currently Ian is cookery lecturer for TAFE SA at Mount Gambier and has been a consultant for "The Barn" Steakhouse. 

Before that he worked as head chef for Hollick Wines' restaurant in Coonawarra. 

In 2011 he was invited to Tasmania to assist with the catering for the grand opening of the MONA Art Museum.

Ian learnt his craft in the UK working with the famous Michelin Star Roux restaurants. He was also invited to work for the Royal Family at Buckingham Palace and Balmoral Castle. 

After a stint at an exclusive club in Bermuda he went back to a country hotel in the UK before returning to Australia to the Park Hyatt in Melbourne. 

After that he moved to a country pub in the Yarra Valley where Masterchef judge Matt Preston became a fan of Ian's fish and chips.

Under Ian's close supervision the Border Inn will specialise in locally produced food. 

As well as beef and locally raised lamb, yabbies are planned for a treat. 

"We want to have more ethical use of our meat and will utilise the whole animal in our dishes," he said. "Food miles will be extremely low."

The historic Border Inn Hotel at Apsley is to re-open its doors on Saturday 6pm with a special function on the hotel's back lawn. 

After six months of extensive renovations including building a new kitchen, the long anticipated day is near. 

The local owners are making every effort to restore the hotel to its former glory and visitors have been most impressed with the progress.

Border Inn manager Andrew Martin, who was appointed three months ago, has put in an enormous effort to find staff, develop enticing menus and create the makings of a family friendly focus. 

"I see Apsley becoming a must visit destination for the whole region." Mr Martin said. 

"The opening night will be a night to remember with local band "Half Cut" and we will be featuring sample plates of our menu for all to try." 

Buses will be running from Naracoorte, Edenhope, Nhill and Frances and anyone interested needs to call the hotel to book a seat. 

For those who want something a little quieter, Border Inn Apsley will be open early Sunday for breakfast with a more relaxed day to follow including live acoustic music.

It is expected the hotel will be open every day and will be able to serve breakfasts, especially on sale day (Tuesday).

Border Inn chief executive officer Mike Ryan said he was absolutely delighted with the team effort by the 12 families who bought the hotel after it had been closed for almost three years. 

"The whole community will benefit from the re-opening and I expect other businesses will follow," he said.

"Accommodation is planned to be included once we have the hotel fully operational", he added.

The Border Inn has a long history, starting in 1848. Part of the decorations will include some early photos on the walls of the dining area.

For enquiries call 03 5586 1205.