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'MasterChef Australia' judge urges people to fight food wastage

By Natalia Ningthoujam

Posted on: June 7, 2017

Chef George Calombaris (File Photo: IANS)

New Delhi, June 7 (IANS) The big garbage bags that come out of homes or hotels are mostly weighed down by food waste. Chef George Calombaris, best known as a judge on the long-running reality competitive cooking game show "MasterChef Australia", feels food should not be wasted and recommends buying only what you can consume.

"We need to be more aware of what we buy, also what we buy from supermarkets. For instance, carrots don't always grow perfectly straight out of the ground, they're a vegetable, it's okay to buy something that's not 'perfect' as it's still delicious," the chef told IANS in an email interaction from Melbourne.

"Don't buy more than you need and make sure you use the left overs. Nothing should go to waste," he added.

In his case, it's not all about preaching. The celebrity chef, who owns 10 restaurants in Australia, joined forces with OzHarvest -- Australia's food rescue charity -- and served free food in Melbourne last year.

"OzHarvest is all about being socially conscious about the amount of food we waste... we could feed the world's homeless with the amount of food we waste, so I throw my full support behind this charity.

"They collect food from my restaurants here in Melbourne and it's re-purposed to feed others not so fortunate."

That's not the only charity he is associated with. He has his eyes and appetite set on Sri Lanka, where he will be hosted by Cinnamon Life, an upcoming premier lifestyle property in Colombo.

He will be there from Thursday to Sunday for culinary events, including a MasterClass and a charity auction which will help build a cancer hospital in the rural south of Sri Lanka.

"This is my first time to Sri Lanka, I can't wait! I've heard lots of terrific things from Matt Preston ('MasterChef Australia' co-judge), so I'm really keen to experience it all for myself," said the advocate of healthy eating habits.

Asked about a diet chart to be followed, he said: "Everyone's diet should be different, whole food and real food, it needs to be balanced. You should still treat yourself to the good things in life... just be balanced."

He is also no stranger to controversy.

There were reports that a man had filed a suit against the celebrity chef's Hellenic Republic restaurant in Kew, at Melbourne in Australia, last month claiming that he was infected with a norovirus while dining at the restaurant in 2014.

Not long before the lawsuit, Calombaris was charged with common assault on a 19-year-old youth in Sydney.

"Unfortunately, sometimes having a public profile attracts more media interest and certain things are 'reported' in a certain way to sell a story. What's important is I stay true to myself and focus on the facts which are not controversial."

(Natalia Ningthoujam can be contacted at

--- Indo-Asian News Service

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