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MasterChef Australia

Weds - Fri at 7.30pm TVNZ 1

George Calombaris

George Calombaris has been awarded more accolades for his work than most receive in a lifetime, and this exuberant chef is still just 31 years of age. Returning to MasterChef Australia alongside old boss and fellow chef Gary Mehigan, and food critic Matt Preston, Calombaris brings the passion and fire to the judging panel.

Before joining the MasterChef team, Calombaris had been voted as one of the Top 40 Chefs of Influence in the World by the Global Food and Wine Magazine. An internationally successful restaurateur, George owns three restaurants in Melbourne and one in Mykonos, Greece. His flagship Melbourne restaurant, The Press Club, was awarded The Age Good Food Guide 'Best New Restaurant 2008' with George named 'Chef of the Year 2008'. It was also in 2008 that The Age Melbourne Magazine placed George in the Top 100 Most Influential People.

Calombaris released his second cookbook Greek Cookery from the Hellenic Heart, focusing on the very best cuisine from his Greek taverna restauraunt -Hellenic Republic. Though Calombaris is currently flat out in the MasterChef kitchen, he also manages find time to inspire his team and create new restaurant concepts such as the upcoming St. Katherine's in Kew.

As with last year, George will use firm and direct guidance to push the MasterChef contestants to improve and strive for excellence in their cooking.

Read George's Q&A.