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George Calombaris opens up on his toughest time: "Sometimes you are going to make mistakes"

The culinary expert dishes on some of his biggest scandals.

By Jess Pullar

George Calombaris has made a name for himself as a culinary genius, but there's plenty more to him than that.

Indeed the MasterChef host has landed himself in hot water several times over the past few years, causing people to question his apparent sincerity that we see on screen.

But while the restaurateur has refocused his sights on the future, he's not shying away from opening up about his past struggles.

George, pictured with his now-wife Natalie Tricarico has opened up about his past struggles. *(Image: Getty)*
George, pictured with his now-wife Natalie Tricarico has opened up about his past struggles. (Image: Getty)

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, Calombaris referenced the tough times, admitting that he had made mistakes.

"I might be really little but I have a heart of a lion and I don't want to be a flock of sheep. I want to do things my way and sometimes you are going to make mistakes," he said.

There's no denying it's been a testing few years for George. He was accused of punching a 19-year-old at the A-League Grand Final in May last year, but he won his appeal against the conviction in January.

Calombaris had also faced claims that almost 200 of his restaurant's staff had been underpaid.

"It was a low and a hard experience, but it was a credit to my friends and family around me who have hung out through not only the good but the tough times," he told the Daily Telegraph.

George has admitted to making mistakes in his past, but he's ready to focus on the future. *(Image: Getty)*
George has admitted to making mistakes in his past, but he's ready to focus on the future. (Image: Getty)

And in spite of the struggles, George is learning from his past and focusing his sights on the future.

"I have had plenty of time to sit and reflect and I've had time to get sense of what I was doing. All I can do is go forward."

WATCH: George Calombaris has assault conviction overturned on appeal:

And things already seem to be looking up for the TV host. In September, George married his long-time partner Natalie Tricarico in a lavish ceremony in Greece.

The wedding, which was studded with foodie celebs, took place in a Greek Orthodox Church at the Island Athens Riviera resort, which has sweeping views of the Mediterranean Sea.

After being together for 11 years, George and partner Natalie married in September. (Image: Instagram / @satbains1)
After being together for 11 years, George and partner Natalie married in September. (Image: Instagram / @satbains1)
The wedding was studded with celebrity chefs! *(Image: Instagram / @travismcauley)*
The wedding was studded with celebrity chefs! (Image: Instagram / @travismcauley)

In a series of images shared on social media by his chef friends, it became apparent that the event was no small affair.

Guests included fellow MasterChef judge Matt Preston, Nigella Lawson, My Kitchen Rules' Manu Feildel and The Living Room host Miguel Maestre.

Speaking to the Herald Sun earlier this year, George gushed about Natalie. The pair met in 2007 and have two children.

"Natalie has been an incredible backbone in everything in my life," he said.

"She's had to put up with a lot with me. I'm a very lucky man."

He also joked about getting married, saying: "I need to get married one day because I need to grow up."