Embattled chef George Calombaris has been dumped from Tourism WA’s marketing campaign following the fallout of his company’s underpayment scandal.
The MasterChef judge was last week fined $200,000 after his company MADE Establishment was found to have underpaid restaurant staff by almost $8 million.
The Create Your Own Gourmet Escape in WA campaign was due to run until September, but would now be edited to remove Calombaris.
Tourism WA managing director Brodie Carr said Calombaris was “just a small element of the whole MasterChef piece”.
“We’ve paused all of our work with George for now and we’re talking to his management about recouping some of our costs that we’ve paid him,” Carr told 6PR radio.
“We’ll continue with the campaign that we’re doing with MasterChef but probably not with George.”
The chef is also facing calls to be dropped from MasterChef. Orlaith Belfrage, a former waitress at Calombaris’ Hellenic Republic, has gone on TV to argue he should be ditched from the show.
“He should be taken off MasterChef,” Belfrage said. “Channel Ten should stop making excuses … ” she said on 10’s The Project.
“George Calombaris enjoys celebrity status and is put on a pedestal as an industry leader … Ten Network; it’s George’s turn to face elimination.”
A petition is now circulating via eatery calling for the network to sack its MasterChef star.
However, Channel 10 is still standing by their man, for the moment at least.
“George and Made Establishment have reached an agreement with the Fair Work Ombudsman in relation to this matte,” a Ten spokesperson. “George has the support of Network 10.”