Hillbilly’s Fried Chicken in Baulkham Hills had to close

A chef who bragged about training former MasterChef judge George Calombaris now has a fried chicken restaurant in liquidation.

Eric Tay’s Hillbilly’s Fried Chicken declared bankruptcy just four years after he opened the restaurant in Baulkham Hills in Sydney’s northwest.

Hillbilly’s is closed until further notice,” it told its followers on Instagram and Facebook on November 2.

The company had an Instagram page with 2,000 followers, which featured videos of young women reviewing a tower chicken burger.

Hillbilly’s menu included burgers with three beef patties and Southern fried chicken burgers with maple bacon and blue cheese.

Mr Tay, who ran the business with his wife, went bankrupt after All Business Accounting Solutions obtained a court order for Hillbilly’s Crispy Chicken to be immediately placed into liquidation.

Troy Graham, of Taylor Insolvency, said a months-long dispute over a bill for around $5,000 for financial advice had led to legal proceedings that would now cost almost $8,000.

“It seems as if the company has gone bankrupt over a very small debt,” he told Ny Breaking Australia.

‘The costs of liquidating the company appear to have exceeded the principal debt owed to the creditor.

‘I can only see the reason why this company is going bankrupt as a result of a dispute with a creditor who has unpaid bills.

‘The director did not have the financial resources to be able to afford a defense in court, it is really sad.’

Mr Graham said the company owes no rent or staff wages.

Mr Tay’s LinkedIn profile claims he trained Calombaris in the late 1990s, when he was an apprentice at the Sofitel in Melbourne, where the future MasterChef judge met future TV chef Gary Mehigan.

‘I am an entrepreneur. I started in the hospitality industry as a qualified chef and have worked in Scotland, New Zealand, the British Channel Islands, Melbourne and Sydney, Australia,” Mr Tay said.

“I was senior chef above George Calombaris at the Sofitel in Melbourne.”

Hillbilly’s Crispy Fried Chicken opened in November 2019, four months after Calombaris’ MAdE Establishment returned $7.8 million in wages and pension benefits after admitting underpaying 515 existing and former staff members.

A chef who trained disgraced MasterChef judge George Calombaris now has a fried chicken restaurant in liquidation

This affected employees of the Press Club, Gazi and three restaurants in the Hellenic Republic.

The scandal saw Network Ten dump Calombaris from the upcoming 2020 season, along with fellow judges Mehigan and Matt Preston, who admitted at the time that the chefs were unhappy with the pay offer.

Still active in the restaurant business, Calombaris opened a new Greek-Australian restaurant, The Hellenic House Project in Highett, in Melbourne’s south-east, in April this year.

Business partner Philipe Hatzikourtis provided the financing, while local builder Ivo Baldari did the design.

The trio also considered a strip of land near Rye on the Mornington Peninsula this year.

Mr Tay had previously owned a cafe in Oberon, central west New South Wales, called Tay’s Epicurean before operating three food trucks serving customers in Bella Visa and Oran Park in Sydney’s northwest and far southwest.

The company had an Instagram page with 2,000 followers, which featured videos of young women reviewing a tower chicken burger

The company had an Instagram page with 2,000 followers, which featured videos of young women reviewing a tower chicken burger

Hillbilly's Crispy Fried Chicken opened in November 2019, four months after Calombaris' MAdE Establishment returned $7.8 million in wages and pension benefits after admitting to underpaying more than 500 existing and former staff

Hillbilly’s Crispy Fried Chicken opened in November 2019, four months after Calombaris’ MAdE Establishment returned $7.8 million in wages and pension benefits after admitting to underpaying more than 500 existing and former staff

Mr Tay's Hillbilly's Fried Chicken company has declared bankruptcy, just four years after Hillbilly's Crispy Chicken opened in Baulkham Hills

Mr Tay’s Hillbilly’s Fried Chicken company has declared bankruptcy, just four years after Hillbilly’s Crispy Chicken opened in Baulkham Hills