George Calombaris makes restaurant comeback in Melbourne

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Greek Australian chef George Calombaris is set to open his first Melbourne restaurant in three years, The Hellenic House Project. 

In an interview with The Herald Sun, Calombaris said the new Greek restaurant was inspired by a recent family trip to Greece where his passion “to get back into hospitality to feed people’s souls” was reignited.

The Hellenic House Project will be located at Highett Road, Highett and Calombaris said it will mirror a typical Greek home with four separate spaces.

There will be ‘The Good Room’ upstairs where homestyle Greek cuisine will be served; ‘The Kitchen’ downstairs with takeaway souvlas, hot chips and cold beer; ‘In The Backyard’ decorated with lemon and olive trees to drink and snack; and a ‘Balcony’ drinking spot.

The new restaurant will have Anthony Thalassinos as kitchen lead, and former The Press Club and Gazi staffer, Frederico Bianco, will head up front of house.

“Modern Greek cuisine is in my blood, it’s what I know, and there was never any doubt that I would find my way back into ‘home’ territory,” Calombaris told The Herald Sun.

This will be Calombaris’ first major hospitality gig since the collapse of his restaurant empire Made Establishment in 2020. The collapse followed the business identifying $7.8 million in underpayments to 515 employees over six years, for which Calombaris was fined $200,000.

Since then, the chef works as Hotel Sorrento’s culinary director, which he will continue to do whilst overseeing The Hellenic House Project. Calombaris also returned to TV last year, hosting Channel 10 food show Hungry with MasterChef contestant Sarah Todd.

Source: The Herald Sun.

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