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Celebrity Chef and Judge George Calombaris on his MasterChef Buddies!

By InCinemas  /  04 Nov 2014 (Tuesday)

MasterChef Australia judge George Calombaris was in Singapore last week to promote the latest season of the popular cooking show, MasterChef Australia Season 6, airing  weeknights 7pm/11pm on Lifetime (StarHub TV Ch 514)

Besides a small chat with George (yes, first-name basis), the media was treated to a live demonstration as he whipped up a Greek Green Salad. At that moment, I felt it was the closest I could get to being a contestant on the cooking reality programme, even without my notebook and apron, as watched this celebrity chef do his thing, plating his green salad like a michelin-starred dish.

He also sampled a few local dishes: Chicken Rice, White Carrot Cake and Chilli Crab. It wasn’t hard for him to choose a favourite. “Sorry you two but this is just so full of flavour,” said Calombaris, after having a go at the famous local delicacy, the chilli crab!

So what exactly makes George Calombaris go ‘Yum… this is so good’ to ‘Bleh, what is that’? The multi-million-dollar answer is…. ‘warmth’. “For me, even the most simple dish I can go ‘Oh my gosh!’ because it’s from people who loves food and you can feel that energy in their food,” he exclaimed.

“If I don’t get stuff that has generosity or warmth, I’ll send them to my mom’s house because even when my mom opens up the door, it’s all about the generosity and love. Even something as simple as a cold glass of water… it makes you feel happy.”

('Like' Lifetime Asia's Facebook for updates of the show!)

MasterChef Australia returns for its sixth season with judges Gary Mehigan, George Calombaris and Matt Preston scouring the country to handpick Australia’s best home cooks. For this season, celebrated Sydney chef Kylie Kwong joins as a regular guest mentor, guiding the amateurs through testing times.

“I think our show is about pushing people, driving people, educating people and you know, giving people that respect they deserve.”

The three resident judges have become household names and no doubt, the faces of the show. They represent MasterChef Australia, like how you would see Ryan Seacrest with American Idol. In George words, ‘they got the judging panel right’.

“The three of us have been together since day one and I truthfully mean that if one of us go, the show will come to an end because it just wouldn’t be the same.” Adding: “It’s a bit like The Beatles; you can’t break the three of us up… even though we’re far from The Beatles.”

Though they may not be The Beatles, (nobody can for that matter) they are certainly as close as the three musketeers! Sensing the ‘bromance’ among the foodie judges, I asked him to give nicknames to his buddies and new guest judge Kylie Kwong.

“Matt will definitely be the slob (a generally unattractive and untidy person) because he constantly gets food on himself. Gary… oh gosh! He is like daddy and comes up with the worst daddy jokes!  it’s like ‘Oh god! It’s embarrassing!’ Kylie is zen - everything about her is zen and peaceful, and you know I love her for that.”

For himself, George thinks he’s ‘cheeky’, to which people in the room started nodding in agreement.

“I like chaos,” he explained. “I have come to a point in my life that I want chaos and I enjoy those moments. Life is too short to be boring. That I guess, is also why I became a chef; it gives me the opportunities to be chaotic.”

MasterChef Australia S6 airs every weeknights 7pm & 11pm (SIN/HK) on Lifetime(StarHub TV Ch 514)!
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