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Famous chef Curtis Stone weighs in on the collapse of George Calombaris’ restaurant empire

Curtis Stone, who worked with Calombaris for several seasons with MasterChef Australia, supported the business owner.

Curtis Stone, who worked with Calombaris for several seasons with MasterChef Australia, supported the business owner.

Curtis Stone has supported fellow renowned chef George Calombaris, whose restaurant empire collapsed last week in the midst of a scandal with insufficient staff.

The restaurant business of Calombaris MAdE Establishment was placed in voluntary administration, leaving around 400 employees in the dark.

The decision to close the locations came after last year it appeared that the staff had reimbursed $ 7.8 million in wages and superannuation in 2017.

But Stone, who worked with Calombaris for several seasons with MasterChef Australia, has called him a “great guy.”

“George is a good friend of mine. I hate what happened to him, “Stone said The Herald Sun..

‘I contacted him and offered my help and support.

“He’s a great guy, a very sincere, kind person and I want nothing but the best for him.”

Pictured, from left to right: Shannon Bennet, Gary Mehigan, Matt Preston George Calombaris, Curtis Stone

Pictured, from left to right: Shannon Bennet, Gary Mehigan, Matt Preston George Calombaris, Curtis Stone

Pictured, from left to right: Shannon Bennet, Gary Mehigan, Matt Preston George Calombaris, Curtis Stone

The underpayment scandal first came to light in April 2017 when it was revealed that Calombaris owed $ 2.6 million in arrears to 162 MAdE branch employees due to “discrepancies” in the payroll that went back to 2011.

Restorer and friend Matteo Pignatelli said that the famous chef’s wife and children have been harassed and bullied since his company collapsed.

Pignatelli has been near Calombaris’ wife Natalie Tricario for many years and told it The Weekend Australian the famous chef is ‘very, very family’.

“She went to the supermarket and was confused. The children have been teased and bullied at school, “Pignatelli said.

“George told me:” I can handle it, but not Natalie and the children. ” “

The wife of Calombaris, Natalie Tricarico (pictured together), has been made public

The wife of Calombaris, Natalie Tricarico (pictured together), has been made public

The wife of Calombaris, Natalie Tricarico (pictured together), has been made public

Pignatelli also speculated that Calombaris could move abroad to remove his family from the bad press and make a new start.

He said that Singapore would make sense because of the type of schools there.

“The children are the most important,” Pignatelli said.

A ‘pulled out’ Calombaris revealed his ‘personal destruction’ to the crumbling of his restaurant empire on Monday.

“Although we have all continued to work tirelessly and have overcome the many challenges we have recently experienced, it is with deep sadness and regret that MADE Establishment has been placed in voluntary governance today,” he wrote on social media.

Picture the closed restaurant Hellenic Republic in Brunswick on Tuesday 11 February

Picture the closed restaurant Hellenic Republic in Brunswick on Tuesday 11 February

Picture the closed restaurant Hellenic Republic in Brunswick on Tuesday 11 February

The closed restaurant Hellenic Republic in Brunswick, Melbourne

The closed restaurant Hellenic Republic in Brunswick, Melbourne

The closed restaurant Hellenic Republic in Brunswick, Melbourne

“To my entire team, I really regret that it has come to that. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your loyalty and friendship.

“I am so sorry that all our collective efforts have not been sufficient. I am moved that it has come to that. “

Through the United Workers Union, an anonymous staff member expressed anger because he had not been informed of the collapse of the company before it became public.

“We had to learn that the company went into administration through George’s post on Instagram,” the employee said.

“I’m very angry about what happened. We were not told anything. ”

The announcement came on the same day that Calombaris marked the sale of his country house in the exclusive suburb of Toorak, Melbourne

The announcement came on the same day that Calombaris marked the sale of his country house in the exclusive suburb of Toorak, Melbourne

The announcement came on the same day that Calombaris marked the sale of his country house in the exclusive suburb of Toorak, Melbourne

George Calombaris' house was offered for sale in Melbourne in January

George Calombaris' house was offered for sale in Melbourne in January

George Calombaris’ house was offered for sale in Melbourne in January

The employee also claimed that while wages and pension rights were paid until Sunday, the annual leave was still outstanding.

“I may have to go home if I cannot keep this job,” the anonymous employee said on a temporary visa.

The announcement of the company’s death came the same day that Calombaris marked the sale of his mansion in the exclusive suburb of Toorak, Melbourne.

A sign of “expressions of interest” was seen outside his home.

Just a few weeks earlier on Australia Day, Calombaris and his wife sold their vacation home on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula for $ 1.01 million at auction.

Viewers from MasterChef called for Calombaris to be removed from the popular Channel 10 show, while Unions NSW started a petition to get him fired in July last year.

Calombaris’ decade-long career as a judge and chief at MasterChef came to an abrupt end that same month when contract negotiations were broken off.

Timeline of the misery of Calombaris

MAY 15, 2014 – The Ministry of Health is investigating after diners who ate in the Hellenic Republic in Kew became ill. It was later confirmed that the norovirus affected around 100 people

APRIL, 2017 – It was announced that approximately $ 2.6 million in arrears was paid to 162 employees employed by Made Establishment due to pay discrepancies that went back to 2011.

10 MAY 2017 – Calombaris is accused of mistreatment over a 19-year-old fight in a grand A-League final between Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory in Sydney a few days earlier

MAY 16, 2017 – Melbourne man David Peter Schreuder sues the restaurant Hellenic Republic and Made Establishment for the outbreak of norovirus encephalitis

AUGUST 17, 2017 – The chief pleads guilty of the attack on the A-League incident

SEPTEMBER 8, 2017 – He delivers his Melbourne Victory No. 1-ticket because of the attack

20 OCTOBER 2017 – Calombaris is fined $ 1000 for the A-League attack

FEBRUARY 1, 2018 – His attack conviction is overturned on appeal after a district law judge agreed with Calombaris’ lawyer that he had suffered significant financial and personal loss and probably would not insult again

JULY 18, 2019 – The Fair Work Ombudsman fined MasterChef Australia’s judge and his Made Establishment company $ 200,000 for insufficient staff in his restaurants with nearly $ 8 million

JULY 22, 2019 – The West Australian government suspends its tourism campaign with Calombaris on the Fair Work Obudsman fine

JULY 23, 2019 – Calombaris and fellow judges Matt Preston and Gary Mehigan leave MasterChef after contract negotiations fail

FEBRUARY 10, 2020 – Made falls into voluntary administration

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