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Shannen Findlay

Embattled MasterChef judge George Calombaris has just been hit with ANOTHER major blow

Embattled MasterChef judge George Calombaris has just been hit with ANOTHER major blow

Embattled celebrity chef George Calombaris has just been hit with another devastating blow after a lucrative deal went down the drain following a week of controversy.

WA Tourism has confirmed it has dropped the celebrity chef as face of its food and wine campaign.

Calombaris was involved in a six-month advertising campaign promoting gourmet travel in Western Australia, however, the advertisements that were scheduled to run through to September has been pulled from all TV and digital executions.

Paul Papalia, who is the state Tourism Minister, confirmed the WA-based company would not be continuing their partnership with Calombaris.

“People should pay their employees and what they are owed and what they deserve and that’s really disappointing,” Mr Papalia said.

“What George Calombaris has done is terrible.”

Mr Papalia said he did not know if the Government would be able to get back any funds from the MasterChef judge.

The Melbourne restaurant owner and TV judge was ordered last week to pay a $200,000 “contrition payment” after a Fair Work Australia investigation found his massive business empire had underpaid 515 staff members by $7.8 million over a six-year period.

Critics and trade unions have slammed the fine as “inadequate” and consequently called on Network 10 to dump the chef from their hit reality television program, MasterChef.

While Calombaris insists the underpayments were a mistake and that almost all of his staff had been paid back, the pressure is continuing to mount.