'You Did George Proud': The 'MasterChef' Top Five Cooked The Last Ever Press Club Service
George Calombaris has closed the doors of his beloved restaurant, Press Club, and enlisted the help of the remaining 'MasterChef' contestants for the final service.
As Tessa, Tim, Larissa, Simon and Nicole entered the Melbourne restaurant that was famous for its "Hellenic fine dining with total Aussie heart", they knew a very special challenge was ahead of them.
But the top five had absolutely no idea that they were about to be entrusted with the job of cooking the last ever meals to be plated up at Press Club.
"I could not believe the day we opened the door, it was a moment in my life that I will never, ever forget," George said, adding that another one of those very special moments was coming up.
"As of tonight, the lights get turned off on the Press Club chapter -- it's done, it's dusted," he said, as our contestants reacted in surprise.
Nicole commented that Press Club was "George's baby" and the news was absolutely "huge".
As if cooking part of a five-course tasting menu celebrating traditional Greek ingredients wasn't daunting enough, the contestants had the added pressure of serving up something fitting of the restaurant's 12 years on the Melbourne restaurant scene.
Did we mention that the guests were Press Club staff, a lot of whom have worked for Calombaris for over a decade? Yeah, no pressure at all!
"All those people are so important in my life, yes?" George reminded them all as they busily cooked their individual courses.
With Tessa on entree (capers), Tim working on an olive-based dish, Simon with a selection of lentils, Nicole with honey and Larry on the lemons -- they staggered their start times to work their way through the tasting menu.
George told Gary and Matt he had gotten "a bit emotional" when the day had started but as the stressful cook neared service he took a moment to say that it was "super important for everyone involved".
As service came to a close and George flicked off the lights in the Press Club kitchen for the last time, he gathered the gang to make them all cry.
"As I was standing there watching you guys cook, the whole 12 years were flashing past my mind and it's been an entire third of my living existence at the Press Club.
"It was a special moment to see my team sit down and eat your food, what a way to end this chapter, but like all good things, they must come to an end," he said .
George explained that he needed to "re-dream and re-imagine" and was taking the entire Press Club team onto a new and exciting project.
"All I can say is 'thank you' to the five of you for working your butts off today and I hope you enjoyed it, regardless of the result," he said.
While Larry's Splice inspired lemon crème fraîche with cucumber nabbed the top spot and Tessa's Wagyu beef tartare with capers came in second -- George was clearly chuffed with the whole team's hustle.