I’M TOO BUSY TO EAT!
Irini Tzortzoglou’s life in the quiet old Lancashire village of Cartmel took a dramatic turn when she won TV’S Masterchef
Among the dozens of greetings cards in Irini Tzortzoglou’s home, one stands out: ‘Stop Being So Good At Stuff, it makes the rest of us look bad.’ And it stands out because people seem to be genuinely inspired and delighted by Irini’s ‘journey’ to become this year’s Masterchef winner.
Millions watched the 61-yearold on BBC as she cried and struggled her way through the heats until she was in the show’s first all-female final. In each programme her positivity shone through. ‘People empathised with me, that I was trying to do my
best and at an age still wanting to do something and improve… most of the messages I have got, they are about me inspiring them more than my food.
‘All my hard work, my tears, my joy seemed to touch people. I am so lucky to do what I do, to have so much joy and to give joy,’ she says.
Life changed for Irini in March when the Masterchef final aired, three months after filming ended. ‘I have been too busy to eat since winning,’ she says. ‘Everyone is saying how well and look, I glow and I feel beautiful because that’s how my heart feels.’
Those who watched the programme know that Irini had a rural upbringing in Greece where she developed an early affinity with food. She moved to London in her 20s and worked in banking. In 2000 she married her husband, John, and became a stepmother to three children and eventually three grandchildren. The couple relocated to the old Lancashire village of Cartmel in 2010 and, after spending a while running a business selling exclusive Greek properties, they threw themselves into village life.
Every couple of months Irini flies to Crete to be with her mother for a few weeks; one of the reasons she gave up full time
Masterchef winner Irini Tzortzoglou proudly holds her trophy at her home in Cartmel