Meet Melbourne’s Masterchef: George Calombaris on the Melbourne Food and Wine festival

Feeling hungry after hours? We check in with Melbourne’s top chef George Calombaris, judge on Australian Masterchef and owner of The Press Club, St Katherine’s, Maha, MamaBaba, Hellenic Republic, PM 24, to find out where he goes to chow down in the city after clocking off and why even his mum is getting involved in the Melbourne Food and Wine festival

Hello chef. What’s for dinner?

Grilled snapper, wild greens, lemon and olive oil.

Q. It’s late. You’ve just finished a shift as head chef in the kitchens. Where do you go for a bite to eat?

Supper Inn. Simple Chinese, open late. Go for the suckling pig.

Q. What’s your favourite restaurant in Melbourne (not including your own, of course) and why?

I am a guts. I love lots of places, Cutler & Co, Flower Drum, The Point Albert Park, Mamasita, Bar Lourinhã, Movida, Matteos, and the list goes on.

Q. Your last supper. What would it be and where?

In Melbourne, Vue De Monde. It sits above Melbourne overlooking where I was born. The food is world class.

Q. Describe Melbourne’s food scene in three words.

Cultural, Diverse, World Class

Q. Top recommendations for travellers coming to Melbourne?

Queen Victoria Market - Melbourne

Queen Victoria Market

Yes, the Queen Victoria Market is amazing but try little shops like Mediterranean Wholesalers on Sydney road or even BAS Foods for some amazing Middle Eastern ingredients. You can pretty much eat great food each day in Melbourne. We have great bars. Try Siglo above The Supper Club for a snack and a great drink. Melbourne has everything. You are in food heaven.


Q. The Melbourne Food and Wine Festival is about to begin. What events will you be participating in?

We are doing lots of events throughout the festival. My mum is cooking for one night at Hellenic Republic (George’s restaurant) and we’ll being doing Greeks vs The Rest at St Katherine’s. But the thing I am really looking forward to is hosting Massimo Bottura the three Michelin star chef from Italy at The Press Club. Last year we hosted Elena Arzak and that was a great night. The festival is something I look forward to every year!

The 20th Melbourne Food and Wine Festival runs with events across the city and regional Victoria from 2-21 March

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