Iberostar Hotels and Resorts is proud to announce a partnership with esteemed culinary sensation Chef Irini Tzortzoglou, winner of the 2019 UK MasterChef competition.

Together, they unveil an exciting collaboration set to elevate the dining experience of Iberostar Selection Creta Marine hotel, which reopened as a 5-star hotel this month. 

Following an extensive refurbishment, the hotel has been meticulously redesigned and upgraded to offer an elevated guest experience. Exceptionally located in Panormo, on the northern coast of the island of Crete, the hotel is nestled amidst landscaped lush gardens and overlooks the crystal-clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea. It has been built to emulate the charming Cretan village it is neighboured by, with a mixture of brand new and refurbished airy rooms, sugar cube style bungalows and a refreshed lobby and common area that embodies Cretan hospitality. True to Iberostar’s culinary reputation, the resort’s all-inclusive offers a total of 9 restaurants and bars that will provide guests with a variety of natural, fresh and healthy homemade cuisine. 

Chef Irini will introduce a selection of signature dishes for the hotel’s Vegghera Cretan Tavern restaurant, which embraces the charm of Cretan, taverna-style dining. Chef Irini brings her expertise to curate a tempting menu featuring fresh and seasonal delights sourced from local producers, highlighting traditional Cretan cuisine infused with a modern flair, promising guests an unforgettable gastronomic experience. 

Irini’s own Cretan heritage, allied with her experience and passion for high quality, responsibly sourced cuisine which aligns perfectly with Iberostar’s values for Honest Food and healthy eating, makes her the ideal partner to curate Vegghera’s exciting new menu. 

The collaboration saw Chef Irini engage in creative discussions with Iberostar’s executive chef in Mallorca, meticulously crafting the menu for the reopening of Iberostar Selection Creta Marine.  

After the launch, a selection of Irini’s dishes will be replicated at Kyknos Greek restaurant at Iberostar Selection Albufera Park, a family-friendly resort in Playa de Muro, Mallorca, which was refurbished last year.  

Chef Irini says, “I’m thrilled to have partnered with Iberostar to bring the authentic flavours of my home island to Creta Marine’s guests in a fresh and modern way. Our culinary heritage is deeply rooted in tradition, and I am excited to showcase the richness and diversity of Cretan cuisine, while also infusing it with contemporary twists to delight and inspire visitors from around the world. I can’t wait to showcase the delicious results of our partnership!” 

About Irini Tzortzoglou  

Irini Tzortzoglou, is from a small village in Crete – Ano Akria in the Monofatsi, where she was immersed in the rich flavours of her homeland from an early age after working in her uncle’s hotel and meeting her husband. Irini headed to London and began a successful 30-year banking career. 

It wasn’t until she relocated to Cumbria, a place reminiscent of Crete with its appreciation for quality food, that Irini’s passion for cooking was reignited. Irini was inspired to take a leap of faith and enter MasterChef. 

Irini’s childhood was marked by scarcity but an abundance of fresh, home-cooked food, instilling a deep appreciation for locally sourced produce and simple cooking methods. This foundation served her well as she captivated judges and ultimately secured the title of MasterChef 2019. 

Since then, Chef Irini has continued to make waves in the culinary world. She authored a book titled “Under the Olive Trees,” sharing her recipes and culinary wisdom and has become an ambassador for Women in The Food Industry, inspiring others with her passion, skill, and determination. 

About Iberostar Selection Creta Marine 

The 5-star Iberostar Selection Creta Marine is located on the seafront on an exclusive beach in Rethymnon, Crete, providing the perfect blend of comfort and Greek charm. The hotel showcases a colonial-themed design by architect Marios Ninos, with all 361 rooms, including bungalows having undergone extensive refurbishments, from whirlpool-equipped rooms to sea-view suites. 

Guests can indulge in the ultimate seaside getaway with exclusive access to three beaches on the picturesque coastline of Crete. At the Aegean Sea, guests can experience scuba diving and snorkelling excursions. The hotel has enhanced fitness and wellness facilities that provide a sanctuary for those seeking wellness and rejuvenation for the mind, body, and soul. Guests are encouraged to stay active as they are offered tennis and volleyball. 

Families can use the revamped Star Camp program, where engaging activities foster friendships and ignite imaginations. As a special treat, guests can embark on a premium day trip of their choice to discover Crete’s rich cultural heritage and timeless traditions. Guests can explore the charming villages of Rethymno or Margarites, where centuries-old pottery-making techniques dating back to Minoan times await discovery. 

Guests can indulge in the flavours of Crete at the nine different restaurants and bars, abundant with culinary delights. From traditional Greek dishes at the Cretan taverna – Vegghera Restaurant, to homemade Italian food at La Locanda Trattoria or casual bites at the Greek food truck, there is something for everyone. 

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