George Calombaris has rebuilt his life from rock bottom of his failed restaurateur career after his friend Australian television presenter Eddie McGuire helped him get a new job as the culinary director for their luxurious beach side venue, Hotel Sorrento.
Calombaris joined the family business, owned by Rob and Anne Pitt and run by their children, Bridget, Marcus, and Myles.
'I was out walking with Eddie McGuire, and he was in my ear about getting back into work. He said, "enough is enough, time has passed, we want the chef back",' Calombaris told the Herald Sun.
'He wanted me to do a pop-up, and I said I had no infrastructure for it. One thing led to another, and I met the Pitt family, that own this incredible institution that has been in their family for 41 years.
'They have grand plans, big ambitions, they want to double their footprint. So they brought me on board to help and support. I am really loving it. I even learnt how to pour a beer the other day.'
The boutique hotel, established in 1872 and owned and operated by the Pitts since 1981, has an award-winning restaurant, several bars, premium accommodation, and conference and wedding facilities.
With a new lease on life, the Greek-Australian chef recently opened up about how his move south has given him the chance to re-engage in his passion for cooking after his abrupt fall from grace.
Speaking to the Herald Sun, Calombaris revealed he was relieved to be welcomed by his new community after leaving Melbourne and has re-assessed his values, now focusing on the 'simple things in life'.
Mon-Thurs noon-3pm 5pm-late, Sat-Sun noon-late. 5-15 Hotham Road, Sorrento.