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George Calombaris opens up on ‘hard’ toll of empire collapse

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Former Masterchef host, George Calombaris, has revealed today in an interview with the Herald Sun what emotionally devastated him most about his restaurant collapse, while also vowing “to do good things” following a wage scandal.

“The hard thing was to see how my team suffered,” Calombaris said in the interview, while stressing that the past three years were “very hard.”

“I’m really excited the last of them is now overseas cooking in an amazing place in Singapore. All my head chefs and managers are in great places and doing great things and that makes me really happy.”

READ MORE: Calombaris’ empire crumbles as he places 22 businesses in voluntary administration.

Calombaris’ restaurant empire, MAdE Establishment Group, collapsed in February last year. Photo: Ten.

The former Jimmy Grants and Hellenic Republic chef has been missing from the public eye over the last few months or so, but he says he is excited to re-emerge.

“I’m really excited about this year, I think personally I will never go back to the crazy world that I used to live in,’’ Calombaris told the Herald Sun.

“I really enjoyed my family [wife Natalie and their two children] because I was never really around for them. Being around them for the last nine months, I’ve missed out on a lot.”

Calombaris’ restaurant empire, MAdE Establishment Group, collapsed in February last year. It came after the business was beset by reputational damage following a $7.8 million underpayment scandal.

READ MORE: George Calombaris restaurant empire’s collapse costs taxpayers $1 million.

“If I keep looking backwards I’m going to get a sore neck. So I just look forward and I want to do good things,” he said.

Do this involve a TV return? Colambaris said yes, but it’ll be on his terms.

“After you come off what was one of the most incredible television shows in MasterChef, I’m very grateful I’ve had time to just breathe and time to spend with my family,’’ he said.

“I love television and I will do it again but it’s got to represent who I am and talk about the story. Hopefully I’ll be able to help people through all of my good, bad and ugly.”

READ MORE: George Calombaris sells Toorak mansion to help settle $8.5 million debt.

Source: Herald Sun.

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