George Calombaris

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George Calombaris
Height 4ft 1inch
Born (1978-10-04) 4 October 1978 (age 38)
Melbourne, Australia
Nationality Australian
Other names Georgie, GC
Occupation Chef, restaurateur, television personality and judge
Known for MasterChef Australia

George Dimitrios Calombaris (born 7 October 1978) is an Australian chef and restaurateur, and a judge of the Network Ten series MasterChef Australia.[1] Prior to his role on MasterChef, Calombaris regularly appeared on the daytime Ten cooking show Ready Steady Cook. He owns seventeen restaurants in Melbourne. His flagship Melbourne restaurant, The Press Club, was awarded The Age Good Food Guide "Best New Restaurant 2008" with Calombaris named 'Chef of the Year 2008'. Calombaris draws on his Greek, Italian and Cypriot heritage for inspiration. He is known as the "short one" in the Masterchef trio of judges"[2]


Calombaris went to Mazenod College high school in Mulgrave and studied at Box Hill Institute of TAFE. He won the Bon Land scholarship in 1999 while an apprentice.[3]


He also entered the Bocuse d'Or culinary grand prix in Lyon, France, achieving a best result ever for an Australian representative.[4]

He spent two years working at Reserve, in Melbourne’s Federation Square where, at the age of 24, he won Young Chef of the Year, Best New Restaurant and two chef's hats in The Age Good Food Guide.[2] In 2004, the Global Food and Wine Magazine voted him as one of the Top 40 chefs of influence in the world.[5] In 2006 Calombaris opened his own restaurant in Melbourne, The Press Club designed by renowned restaurant architects Mills Gorman.[6] In 2008, he opened two other restaurants in Melbourne, Maha Bar and Grill (with chef Shane Delia) and Hellenic Republic (with chef Travis McAuley) both in collaboration with Mills Gorman.[6] Also in 2008, he opened his first international restaurant, The Belvedere Club, in a hotel on the Greek island of Mykonos.[2] In December 2010 Calombaris teamed up again with Mills Gorman to open P M 24 with culinary legend Philippe Mouchel.[6] In 2011 he opened St Katherine's in Kew, again with Shane Delia and Mills Gorman.[6] In January 2012 he opened Mama Baba located in South Yarra, Melbourne. According to his interview with Q Weekend 13-14 June, he is opening a new Greek restaurant (with something different), in Sydney at the end of 2015 or beginning of 2016.

Calombaris has published five cookbooks: The Press Club, Hellenic Republic: Greek Cooking from The Hellenic Heart,[2] Your Place or Mine, Cook With Us with MasterChef Australia co-judge, Gary Mehigan and Georgie Porgie.[7]

He appears in Who's Who in Australia 2011 edition[8] and appeared at the 2011 Good Food & Wine Show.[9]

In January 2012, he criticised the federal government's Fair Work Act for instituting high penalty rates paid to restaurant staff, which he claimed were uneconomical for small businesses.[10]

Personal life[edit]

Calombaris and partner Natalie Tricarico have one son, James George Trevor Herbert Calombaris II, born on 28 July 2011 and a daughter called Michaela Calombaris.[11]

Calombaris has banned his young children from eating food from McDonald's. Instead, he sends his son James to birthday parties at the fast-food chain with a healthy packed lunch.

Calombaris is a huge Melbourne Victory supporter. He was the No.1 ticket holder for the 2012/13 season.[12]


  1. ^ Knox, David (11 January 2009). "Food critic becomes Masterchef host". Retrieved 12 January 2009. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Hellenic heart, business head". Hospitality Magazine. Archived from the original on 2 March 2011. Retrieved 19 July 2009. 
  3. ^ "George Calombaris TAFE ambassador". Box Hill Institute of TAFE. Archived from the original on 3 September 2008. Retrieved 19 July 2009. 
  4. ^ "Great Chefs". Moffat. Retrieved 19 July 2009. 
  5. ^ "CIT ICON dinner serves up Chef George Calombaris". CIT Website. Canberra Institute of Technology. 13 November 2008. Archived from the original on 16 September 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-10. 
  6. ^ a b c d "Mills Gorman Architects". Retrieved 2014-05-16. 
  7. ^ "Search | Penguin Books Australia". 2011-08-29. Retrieved 2014-05-16. 
  8. ^ "Who's Who pack now boasts Siddle, Hamish and Andy and the MasterChef judges". 9 December 2010. 
  9. ^ "George Calombaris". Archived from the original on 3 July 2011. Retrieved 26 May 2011. 
  10. ^ "MasterChef slams Fair Work pay rates". Sydney Morning Herald. 9 January 2012. Retrieved 1 January 2013. 
  11. ^ Byrne, Fiona (2011-07-29). "Baby is icing on the cake for MasterChef's George Calombaris". Herald Sun. Retrieved 2011-10-14. 
  12. ^ "Masterchef George named no. 1". Melbourne Victory. Retrieved 2016-01-12.