Ex-MasterChef star Gary Mehigan: Why I'm standing by George Calombaris

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Ex-MasterChef star Gary Mehigan: Why I'm standing by George Calombaris

'It's been a terrible time for him': Plate of Origin's Gary Mehigan reveals why he is standing by his scandal-prone friend George Calo

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‘It’s been a terrible time for him’: Plate of Origin’s Gary Mehigan reveals why he is standing by his scandal-prone friend George Calombaris

After being embroiled in a staff underpayment scandal, George Calombaris’ once-lucrative restaurant empire entered voluntary administration in February.

But his former MasterChef co-star Gary Mehigan has revealed that he is standing by his longtime friend and will support him until he ‘gets back on his feet’.

Gary, 53, told New Idea that he and Matt Preston – their fellow judge on MasterChef from 2009 to 2019 – were concerned for George’s health during the stressful time.  

Good pals: Former MasterChef judge Gary Mehigan (left) is standing by his longtime friend George Calombaris (right) after his restaurant empire entered voluntary administration

Good pals: Former MasterChef judge Gary Mehigan (left) is standing by his longtime friend George Calombaris (right) after his restaurant empire entered voluntary administration

‘He’s had a disastrous year last year,’ Gary said of his 41-year-old mate. 

‘It’s  been a terrible time for him. And as close friends, Matt and I were concerned for his health as much as anything else.

‘And however long it takes for George to get back on his feet and find his path forward, we’re there to support him. And we will.’

Helping hand: Despite working on various new projects, Gary said he would be supporting George until he 'gets back on his feet'. Pictured: Gary and chef Scott Pickett on his podcast A Plate to Call Home

Helping hand: Despite working on various new projects, Gary said he would be supporting George until he ‘gets back on his feet’. Pictured: Gary and chef Scott Pickett on his podcast A Plate to Call Home

It comes after Gary spoke last week about the trio’s decision to part ways with MasterChef late last year, telling TV Week his exit was ‘a long time coming’.

‘It was a shock to the public we left, but for us, it was a conversation and a decision that we hadn’t taken lightly and had been a long time coming,’ he said.

‘We wanted to move and do something different.’  

Parting ways: It comes after Gary spoke last week about the trio's decision to part ways with MasterChef late last year, telling TV Week his exit was 'a long time coming'. Pictured: Gary Mehigan (left), Matt Preston (centre) and George Calombaris (right) on MasterChef in 2019

Parting ways: It comes after Gary spoke last week about the trio’s decision to part ways with MasterChef late last year, telling TV Week his exit was ‘a long time coming’. Pictured: Gary Mehigan (left), Matt Preston (centre) and George Calombaris (right) on MasterChef in 2019

After leaving the Channel 10 staple, Gary and Matt are set to join ex-My Kitchen Rules judge Manu Feildel in Plate of Origin, Seven’s new cooking show. 

The program will see 10 teams from different countries compete in a World Cup-style culinary battle.

The countries represented in the competition include Australia, Cameroon, China, France, Greece, Italy, India, Lebanon, Venezuela and Vietnam.

Plate of Origin premieres Sunday at 7pm on Channel Seven

New gig: After leaving the Channel Ten cooking show, Gary (right) and Matt (left) are set to join Manu Fieldel (centre) in Channel Seven's Plate of Origin

New gig: After leaving the Channel Ten cooking show, Gary (right) and Matt (left) are set to join Manu Fieldel (centre) in Channel Seven’s Plate of Origin

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