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George Calombaris
At the age of 36, George Calombaris is one of Australia's top chefs. His highly influential style of cuisine has earned him many accolades and much respect from culinary aficionados in Australia and around the globe. George has always been fascinated by food. Inspired by his mother and grandmother, two brilliant cooks, George quickly learnt about food and cooking. Although born and bred in Melbourne (Australia), his Greek heritage was central in his upbringing. With its rich and varied cuisine there was no doubt that this would later become George's trademark.

His heritage not only instilled in him his love for food; it taught him about the enjoyment and satisfaction of seeing others revels in great food and unforgettable dining experiences. George's career has been exceptional from the beginning.  He completed his apprenticeship at one of Melbourne’s five star hotels Hotel Sofitel, where he won the Bonland National Apprentice of the Year Award in 1999.

His experiences and achievements that followed made him the Masterchef he is now!

  1. Fenix, the restaurant George was leading was honoured with the 2001 Restaurant of the Year for Victoria, as part of Melbourne’s Food and Wine Festival with the Herald Sun.
  2. In 2003, George was selected to represent Australia at the Bocuse d’Or International Culinary Grand Prix in Lyon, France
  3. In October 2006, George opened his flagship restaurant, The Press Club Restaurant and Bar (remodelled to become The Little Press & Cellar in 2010).
  4. At the Victorian Restaurant and Catering Awards in 2006 The Press Club was named Best New Restaurant and nominated for Best New Restaurant in Australia.
  5. At the 2008 Age Good Food Guide Awards, The Press Club was awarded two prestigious chef hats and named 'Best New Restaurant 2008'. George was also awarded 'Chef of the Year 2008'.
  6. In June 2008 George opened The Belvedere Club , a poolside restaurant, sitting opposite the world famous Nobu Restaurant.
  7. In 2008, George went on to launch his first Cook Book aptly named 'The Press Club' and opened his third restaurant Maha Bar and Grill, a Mediterranean Middle Eastern restaurant
  8. In 2009, George was chosen as a judge on what was to become Australia’s best rating TV show in history, MasterChef Australia.
  9. In 2010, George released his 3rdcookbook ‘Your Place or Mine’ with once boss and MasterChef Australia co-judge Gary Mehigan.
  10. In September 2011, George released ‘Georgie Porgie’ cookbook for kids
  11. In 2011, The Press Club was awarded two chefs hats in the 2011 The Age Good Food Guide, as George was working towards opening his sixth Melbourne restaurant, St Katherine’s.
  12. In January 2012, George opened his 7th restaurant Mama Baba, a Greco-Roman eatery in one of Melbourne’s affluent suburbs, South Yarra.
  13. In August 2011, he was awarded 2011 Entrepreneur of Year Southern Region Emerging category in the Ernst& Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards, recognising George’s involvement in establishing Made Establishment, which has grown to encompass seven restaurants in five years, his role as a judge on MasterChef Australia, and individual pursuits in terms of cookbook and establishing the George Calombaris brand.
  14. George has also been recognised by Greece’s Hospitality Industry with a ‘Gourmet’award for his efforts in raising the profile of Greek cuisine in Australia
Country Based In: Australia
Establishment: The Press Club Restaurant

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