Irini Tzortzoglou, a 61-year old retired banker won Masterchef UK 2019 competing against two other female amateur cooks for the title of Masterchef.
Tzortzoglou, or simply Irini, as she is better known in Britain, managed to amaze John Torode and Gregg Wallace, the judges of the popular BBC One television show.
Her winning dishes were squid risotto, griddled lamb chops, and fig leaf ice cream, all of which were cooked with Greek elements and flavors, something that amazed the judges.
Wallace, speaking about Irini’s talent said ”you can learn cooking technique. What you can’t put into somebody is absolute love and passion; and Irini is just bursting with it!”.
After receiving her prize, Irini burst into tears saying that she was thrilled and grateful adding that ”I can finally say that I believe in me!”
Irini was born in Heraklion, Crete, but in her early twenties she moved to the United Kingdom; for years now, she has lived in Cumbria but divides most of her time between Britain and her native island in Greece.
Irini had huge fan support throughout the competition. Here are some of the comments people posted on Twitter after her win:
Brilliant, beautiful, warm-hearted Irini. What a star. I want more fabulous women of 50 plus, 60 plus, 70 plus on screen please. Women who are still doing, still learning, still passionate, still strong, and still amazing. #MasterChef
— Vicki Spreadbury (@vickispreadbury) March 29, 2019
What an amazing end to a terrific season of #masterchef Congratulations Irini. You were magnificent and one of the most honest and gracious contestants ever. 👏👏👏
— John Mcrorie (@JohnMcrorie) March 29, 2019
Ahh nice one Irini!! Well deserved! Yammas! #MasterChef
— John Blower (@JohnBlower) March 29, 2019
Congratulations Irini ❤️ x
A brilliant final in every way.
Delia, Irini and Jilly were so loveable, talented and super inspiring, they made it an emotional roller coaster.
Thank you to everyone involved for yet another sublime Masterchef UK. 😘 pic.twitter.com/FOHn3vdSXC
— Jo (@mitsyarty) March 29, 2019