Master Chef judge George Calombaris must be very embarrassed after the restaurant he co-owns was closed following a food poisoning incident. The Department of Health was notified when at least two groups of diners became violently ill after eating lunch at Hellenic Republic in Kew on Mother's Day.
After dining on a set menu, diners were struck down with vomiting, diarrhoea, and stomach cramps. An unnamed patron said "It's completely put us through the wringer, my wife was vomiting all day Monday and most of Sunday night....this stuff shouldn't happen at a restaurant like this."
An officer from the Health Department took food samples two days later and faecal specimen kits were delivered to the affected victims.
In September last year, there was a fire at Calombaris' other Kew restaurant, St Katherine's on Cotham Road and 170 diners had to run for their lives. The damage bill was estimated at $100,000.
Calombaris owns a 25 per cent share in Made Establishment which controls Hellenic Republic in Kew and Brunswick and The Press Club and Gazi in Melbourne's CBD.