George Calombaris has confirmed that Made Establishment is going into voluntary administration.
In an Instagram post shared at 5.25pm on Monday afternoon, the celebrity chef announced that the embattled hospitality group – which owns in Melbourne Elektra Dining Room (formerly Press Club), Gazi, Hellenic Republic Brighton, Crofter (formerly Hellenic Republic Brunswick East), Hotel Argentina (formerly Hellenic Hotel), casual souvlaki chain Jimmy Grants and frozen yoghurt brand Yo-Chi – is calling in the administrators. (There were a couple Jimmy Grants in Sydney but they have since closed.)
“My vision for Made Establishment 13 years ago was a vision to create something truly special for all those who entered our restaurants – elite original cuisine, love, and care, created alongside a family valued of whom I have always been incredibly proud,” the post begins.
“Although we have all continued to work tirelessly and overcome the many challenges we have recently experienced, it is with deep sadness and regret that today Made Establishment has been placed into voluntary administration.
“To all of my team, I truly regret it has come to this. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your loyalty and friendship.”
The news comes after Made Establishment, of which Calombaris is a founding member, admitted to underpaying staff $7.8 million last year, an update to the $2.6 million in underpayments the group self-reported in 2017.
“On a personal note, the last few months have been the most challenging I have ever faced,” the post continues. “At this time, while personally devastated, I remain thankful to my family, friends, the Made team, our loyal and regular customers. I am so sorry all our collective efforts have not proved to be enough. I’m gutted that it’s come to this.
“The one thing I would ask is that you please respect how difficult this is for my team, my family, myself and all those close to us and simply allow us to go through this process, which is already deeply affecting us all.”
It’s unclear what changes are in store for the restaurants the group owns. Jimmy Grants in Melbourne's Fitzroy, which is usually open for business on a Monday, is today closed.
Calombaris came to national prominence as judge on competitive cooking show Masterchef. Mid last year Channel 10 terminated his contract after 11 seasons due to a pay dispute, along with fellow judges Matt Preston and Gary Mehigan.
Broadsheet reached out to Made Establishment for comment, but at the time of publishing had not heard back.