But he is currently in hot water for not adequately paying his staff at his Made Establishment restaurants.
After an investigation by the Fair Work Obudsman found he underpaid staff by nearly $8 million dollars, there are calls for Network 10 to let go of the 40-year-old chef who has served as one of the main judges since the show’s first season in 2009.
Here is everything you need to know about the scandal that might see George Calombaris fired from MasterChef.
What did George Calombaris do?
George Calombaris is the founding shareholder of Made Establishment – a collection of Hellenic-inspired restaurants, including Hellenic Republic, Press Club and Gazi.
The company self-reported to the Fair Work Ombudsman in 2017, admitting they had underpaid a significant number of their employees. They subsequently backpaid 515 current and former employees $7.83 million and a further $16,371 was backpaid to nine employees of Jimmy Grants.
On Thursday, the Fair Work Ombudsman fined Calombaris and his Made Establishment company $200,000. However Unions are disappointed by this result and have called on the federal government to address wage theft penalties.
“While anyone else would face prison time for theft of millions of dollars, employers routinely steal huge amounts from working people and get away with simply returning the money they have stolen and paying a paltry fine,” Michele O’Neil, President of Australian Council of Trade Unions, said.
Calombaris apologised for the underpayment, saying: “It is our people that make our restaurants great, and it is our priority to ensure all of our employees feel respected, rewarded and supported in their roles.”