George Calombaris is the first to admit cooking is the only thing he’s really good at — lucky for him, that’s all the skill he needs.
MasterChef judge and restaurateur George Calombaris started his cooking career almost 20 years ago, inspired by the cooking of his mother and grandmother. As far back as he can remember, food has always been his life.
“I love that idea of instant gratification,” he says, “the idea that I can put something in front of someone and find out straight away if they love it or don’t. There are not many jobs in the world where you get to do that, and I get to do that every day.
“Food is all I know. I never won a ribbon at school or got an award; I never was good at any of that. But food is something I’m OK at. I’m not really good at anything else.
“I’m lucky that I’m on an incredible cooking show, which resonates in Australia and in a lot of countries around the world. I didn’t go out there looking to be a TV personality — they came
to me, and I took it with both arms and I’m running with it.
“A lot of people my age are still looking for their dream job, and I’m very lucky to live my dream every day.”
George will be appearing at the Good Food and Wine Show in Brisbane this month, promoting his latest cookbook, Greek.
“I don’t sit still and my food doesn’t sit still,” he says. “It grows every year, it develops every year, and my philosophies and my beliefs change and develop every year, and I want to tell people about that — and this is a great medium to be able to do it.
“This is an opportunity for people to get up close and personal with me for a little bit. I want to give people an uncut version of who I am, what my beliefs are, what my food philosophies are, and what I love to cook.
“People can ask what they’ve always wanted to know and I can give them the answers.”
That’s right, you can ask George anything — just don’t ask him about his favourite dish.
“That’s like putting a gun to my head,” he laughs.
“I don’t have one favourite dish; everything I’ve eaten and made throughout my career is my favourite. Food, for me, is the centre of life, and I love the fact that I can keep learning and keep developing.”
The Good Food and Wine Show will be held at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre from Friday 30 October to Sunday 1 November.