An Australian celebrity chef has called out a “racist” review left by a customer who complained their dining experience wasn’t “authentic”.
George Calombaris took to Instagram on Sunday, posting a photo of a review a diner had left for his newest restaurant The Hellenic House Project in Highett, Melbourne.
The customer initially complained about having to wait 10 minutes before being offered a menu, however then took aim at the Greek restaurant’s authenticity.
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“Like others, we’ve dined in many, many restaurants and were keen to try this ‘authentic Greek’ experience,” they wrote.
“It was far from it. Practically none of the staff were Greek (inc the manager who was of Indian descent) and the menu didn’t reflect what has been posted online.
“Calombaris — this place is a joke, and you’ve certainly got a few people fooled.”
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The diner then went on to rate the restaurant’s food, atmosphere and service a one out of five.
Calombaris slammed the review, labelling it as racist and “horrible”.
“Won’t lie. I am 99 per cent a very positive human. But this is horrible. Yes. We made a mistake with your order. We are humans. And yes my manager is Indian,” he said.
The 44-year-old went onto to say that the customer was not welcome back at his restaurant.
“You know who you are guys. You’re not welcome ever to The Hellenic House Project,” Calombaris said.
“You don’t have to speak Greek or be a Greek to work at The Hellenic House Project. You just have to be a good human. I am so proud of my team. I hate racism. F****** hate it.”
The Hellenic House Project opened in April this year Credit: InstagramGeorge Calombaris and Gary Mehigan are former Masterchef Australia judges. Credit: AAPIMAGE
Several other celebrity chefs commented on the post in support of Calombaris, including Gary Mehigan who formerly judged alongside Calombaris on Masterchef Australia.
Mehigan quoted UN diplomat Mohamad Safa, writing: “Our world is not divided by race, colour, gender or religion. Our world is divided into wise people and fools. And fools divided themselves by race, colour, gender, or religion.”
French chef and host of My Kitchen Rules Manu Feildel congratulated Calombaris for calling out the review.
“Well done George, people like this should just stay home. And that is a very polite way to say what I really feel like saying,” he wrote.
The Hellenic House Project was opened in April this year, and is Calombaris’s first new restaurant since his company, Made Establishment, went into administration in 2020.
The collapse came months after it emerged staff at his restaurants had been underpaid nearly $8 million.
The Fair Work Ombudsman later fined Calombaris and Made Establishment $200,000.
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