Allan Langer and his wife Janine have been busy working in their restaurant Moo Char Bar and Grill in Calioundra.
Allan Langer and his wife Janine have been busy working in their restaurant Moo Char Bar and Grill in Calioundra. Warren Lynam

Janine rules in little general Alfie Langer's kitchen

STEP up to the spotlight, Mrs Langer.

For years, Janine Langer has been the behind-the-scenes support for the "Little General", Allan "Alfie" Langer.

Few photos have appeared in the media of the woman who has been by his side since the couple met and fell in love at school in Ipswich 30 years ago.

The trained hairdresser has been content to leave celebrity status to her man.

"There's only room for one celebrity in the house," she said.

But now, Janine will be the one barking orders - from the kitchen, at least. She has become the head chef at the couple's Caloundra beachfront restaurant, Alfie's Mooo Char and Bar.

And when the Daily visited, Alfie was holding the cleaning spray and wiping down tables while his wife busily organised the day's menu.

The couple bought the restaurant in 2001, when Alfie returned from England to create history by playing in Wayne Bennett's series-winning Queensland State of Origin side.

"I had been working with the developer on the site and the restaurant became available," Alf said.

Janine was busy looking after the family, but made regular trips into the kitchen where she was encouraged to give a helping hand.

After a few years, at the tender age of 35, she decided to start a new career and took a TAFE apprenticeship.

As a sous chef, she learned to make all the meals frowned upon in the Langer household.

"Alfie's more a meat-and-vegetables type of person," Janine said.

"He likes the English style of food - good wholesome dishes. The fancy stuff is in the restaurant."

In January, Alfie and Janine, along with their two restaurant partners, long-time friends John and Jackie Crane, completed an upgrade of the premises, including a new menu created by Janine and her team.

Alfie considers himself an accomplished home cook of sorts - saying his speciality is "the barbecue and a roast".

Quitting his role as assistant coach at the Broncos last September and taking on an ambassadorial role has given Alfie more time to spend at home and in the restaurant.

That's something he loves doing.

"I enjoy living here and spending time in the restaurant. It is a beautiful spot," he said.