Irini Tzortzoglou was born on the Greek island of Crete, but has lived in the UK for forty years. Her home is in Cartmel in Cumbria, with her husband, John. She studied at Kingston University, is a retired banker and a step-grandmother. In 2019, Irini won MasterChef in the first all-female final seen on the show. Having attended a course in January 2020, Irini is also now an olive oil sommelier.
The 2019 MasterChef champion has created a stunning book full of delicious family friendly recipes. Ideas for breakfast, quick meals, salads and dinner are included. Moussaka, baklava and slow-roasted lamb are some of the tastiest dishes on the menu. - the Sun Glorious and sumptuous. From the simplest dishes through to the more complex, Irini totally captures the gastronomy of Greece. - Victoria Hislop You can learn cooking technique. What you cannot put into somebody is absolute love and passion. And Irini is just bursting with it! It's from the heart, every time she cooks. - Gregg Wallace, MasterChef episode, 2019 What a gorgeous book! The recipes and the beautiful photos had me immediately transported to the beautiful island of Crete. If only I could hop on a plane; cooking the recipes in my kitchen will be the next best thing. - Rachel Knoo Greek food has a very special place in my heart as I spent some very enjoyable early years of my career working in a Greek restaurant in Southampton! Under The Olive Tree is a treasure trove of personal and factual information about the food of Greece and its islands. Irini's love and passion for Greek ingredients as well as for values associated with food such as nurture, sharing and hospitality are infectious. - Simon Rogan Completely mouthwatering, elegant and celebratory. - Anna Chancellor A beautiful book, oozing with the true flavours of Greece. - Anthony Horowitz Irini brings us the tastes and smells of Greek food, without having to actually hop on a plane. Discover sun-soaked dishes, from the simple to the more complex, in this wonderful celebration of all things Greek. - Liz Earle Wellbeing Magazine