WITH a penchant for quality and speed, chef George Calombaris managed to find his perfect vehicle from within a prestige German stable.
Each day he gets behind the wheel of an exclusive Audi SQ5, which is a circa-$90,000 mid-sized sports utility vehicle that can sprint from 0-100kmh in 5.1 seconds but still manages miserly fuel consumption.
And the popular MasterChef judge needs something swift to get him around Melbourne. With five restaurants, he's a busy man, but we managed to track him down before the premiere of this year's series to talk about his motoring tastes.
What was your first car?
It was a 1.8-litre Datsun 180B. Navy blue in colour, it had a cassette player, seat covers and no air-con.
What are you driving now?
I am driving an SQ5 Audi. Awesome car. Fastest turbo diesel in the market. I really love it, as it's practical and quick.
What car did your family have while you were growing up?
It was a Kingswood station wagon. I remember it was blue in colour and had no air-con.
What is your greatest frustration on the road and why?
Road rage. Why? It's not needed. We should all work together and understand that we make mistakes sometimes.
Do you have any preferred driving music?
Michalis Hatzigiannis for me is a true musician. Writes, plays and sings all his music. He is not only a great musician but a great friend. He recently played at the Myer Music Bowl with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. It was amazing.
If you were to pick anyone in the world to take on a road trip, who would it be and why?
David Beckham so I can talk football.
What is your dream car?
A Ferrari 458. It's the hottest looking Ferrari for my taste. It's not only amazing looking, but is super quick.
Who: Giorgos "George" Calombaris.
Born: October 4, 1978.
Resume: Attending Mazenod College in Mulgrave and then Box Hill Institute of TAFE, he won the Bon Land scholarship in 1999 while an apprentice. George has gone on to be voted one of the Top 40 Chefs of Influence in the World by Global Food & Wine Magazine. He owns five restaurants in Melbourne. His flagship Melbourne restaurant, The Press Club, was awarded The Age Good Food Guide's Best New Restaurant 2008, when he was named Chef of the Year.
See him: Judge in MasterChef, with the 2015 season premiere on Tuesday at 7.30pm on Channel Ten.
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