Former MasterChef judge George Calombaris sells his Mornington Peninsula beach house for $1million… after his company was forced to pay back $7.8million to underpaid workers
Former MasterChef judge George Calombaris sold his Mornington Peninsula beach house for $1.01million at auction on Saturday.
The 41-year-old – who has faced a difficult period financially after his hospitality empire was forced to pay back $7.8million to underpaid workers – told The Herald Sun that he wishes the new owners ‘all the happiness’ the home brought his family.
The luxury Victorian home, which was reportedly snapped up by the chef for $530,000 in 2013, is just metres away from the incredible views of Safety Beach.
Going, going, gone! Former MasterChef judge George Calombaris sold his Mornington Peninsula beach house at auction on Saturday for $1.01million
According to The Herald Sun, prospective buyers were required to show identification before they were ushered to an area at the front of the home.
The two-level holiday house boasts four bedrooms and two bathrooms, with a spacious en-suite and walk-through dressing room included in the master bedroom.
The light and airy lounge includes huge sliding doors which open up to the stunning outdoor area, with enviable views of the picturesque surroundings.
The property is decorated in cream and tan tones, and features a vibrant white kitchen complete with a butler’s pantry and a huge 900 millimeter oven – which is unsurprising, considering the previous tenant’s love for cooking.
Moving forward: George (pictured), 41, has faced a difficult period financially after being forced to pay back $7.8million to underpaid workers
Dream home: The property is light and airy with a colour palette of warm tones
It’s was a difficult 2019 for George, after he was fined $200,000 and his hospitality company MAdE Establishment were forced to pay back $7.8million to 500 staff, after underpaying them between 2011 and 2017.
Adding salt to the wound, his former MasterChef co-stars Matt Preston and Gary Mehigan were announced to host Seven’s Plate of Origin – but George didn’t make the line-up amid the scandal.
In the last seven months, George has rebranded four of his popular restaurants.
In November, he announced the closure of the Brunswick East branch of Melbourne restaurant Hellenic Republic.
Beautiful! The property features sliding doors which open up to the outdoor space out back, with a decking area and enviable views
Stunning: The property is decorated in cream and tan tones, and features a vibrant white kitchen complete with a butler’s pantry and a huge 900 millimeter over – which is unsurprising, considering the previous tenant’s love for cooking
It leaves him with just three of his Greek restaurants left standing.
Despite removing his name from the restaurants, which are led by new star chefs, they are still owned by his multi-million dollar MAdE Establishment empire.
George gave a tearful interview with the ABC after the scandal broke, pleading with customers to stand by his businesses.
‘I love the people that have worked for me and I don’t want them to suffer right now,’ he said.
‘Great restaurants are voted by bums on seats and obviously… don’t punish my people.
‘Just know that when you come into one of our restaurants, know when you pay the bill, that those, my people, are getting paid and paid correctly.’
They’re back! Former MasterChef judges Gary Mehigan (left) and Matt Preston (right) are set to return to TV this year alongside their new co-host Manu Feildel (centre)